Cultivating Good Soil

When I first moved into my home, I dreamed of turning my yard into a cutting garden. I spent the cold Midwestern Winter months dreaming of bouquets of dahlia’s, zinnias, peonies and lush beautiful flowers.  Come spring I planned and mapped out the perfect place to put my flowers.  I had thought of everything: a southern facing plot of land, close access to a hose, companion planting, and invested in high quality seeds.  Soon I would be on my way to a beautiful and lush garden, or so I thought.

The seeds began to sprout, but would quickly wither and die. A few hearty annuals grew to be 1-2 inches tall, but they turned yellow quickly.

In my rush to plant my dream garden, I forgot to do a simple soil test. And if you know anything about gardening or plants, soil is either a gardners best friend or worst nightmare. 

A soil test would have told me that I was in desperate need of nitrogen and that my soil tended to be more clay based (holds water which isn’t super awesome for tender seedlings). Vital information that would have allowed me to amend my soil and create an environment for those seed to flourish.

Just like my garden, a life that flourishes begins with taking note of where we are and then cultivating good soil for our hopes and dreams to bloom. Even the most grace-filled plans won’t flourish if they don’t have the nourishment to do so.

Cultivating good soil can look like starting a journaling practice. Spending time in God’s Creation to think and dream. Booking a hotel for a night and having a retreat. Or seeing a counselor or spiritual director.

When I first started to see a counselor I was hesitant to share with others. On the outside, my life looked like it was full & flourishing. But my outside didn’t match my soul. I was weary, tired, too busy, on the edge of burn out, and trying to please people constantly. My life felt overwhelming and not enough all at the same time.

One of the first sessions, we did a life evaluation. It’s something that I have done before. A chance to go through each area of your life (health, finances, relationship, significant other, etc.) rate it and then also share why you rated that way.

Sitting in her office thinking about my life I was confronted with two options. Do I put a “I’m Awesome” mask on and give everything high numbers or do I choose to be honest and trust that the deeper work is ahead.

I don’t know if it was her kind words, the tissue box close at hand, or just being tired from another long week of “keeping it all together”, but I was brutally honest that day and began the deep work of mending my heart and soul. I learned something deeper that day. A full and abundant life begins with honesty and trust. Grace will meet you where you are.

So friend, as you begin this journey to a life that is flourishing. Give yourself grace and trust that the best is yet to come.

Nourishment for your Soul:

How are you really doing emotionally, physically and spiritually?

What would it look like to nourish your heart in this season?

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