So much has changed around here over the last year!
But one thing I didn’t expect to be so different is the way some of the plants have taken off.
Here is a picture of the east side of Kenilworth, taken the day we obtained possession on March 12 last year.
Granted it looks a little barren without leaves on the trees, but then here is what it looked like by May.
You can see we had replaced the picture window in the dining room by then with the two newer windows. But the sedum were small and uneven looking, and there was a huge, wild spirea and a couple of other random bushes. And although you can’t see them from this picture, there were tons of wild strawberry vines going crazy with weeds near the house.
Toward the end of last summer, Luke and I pulled out the scraggly spirea and the weed-infested strawberry vines, and transplanted the other two bushes. We lay down a new layer of soil, mixed with aged horse compost that we acquired from the generosity of some good friends. (who had plenty of compost to spare us)
Now, I can hardly believe how full the sedum are! And the three limelight hydrangeas we planted behind them this Spring have thrived, too.
I thought you might like to see how they’re all coming along.
Such a difference, don’t you think?
The neat thing about this “before and after” is that essentially all we did was prepare the soil. We ripped out weeds and wild plants, and gave the dirt something good to eat. We planted new plants in the newly incorporated soil, and hoped for the best.
And then aside from watering occasionally, we watched God grow those little plants.
I know it sounds so cliché, but I can’t help but compare it to what God is doing with us and our children. We try to keep out the ugly, the ungodly, the prideful and the weedy. We look for aged compost, for wisdom and maturity. His Word is abundant with it, and plenty to spare. We do our best to get it well incorporated – we read, pray.
We put forth effort, sometimes more, sometimes less, to prepare the soil, and then we wait and watch and suddenly we realize that God has been at work in us, in our children.
He is stretching out roots that are becoming strong and long.
He is flowering us, and filling us out.
He is growing us into maturity and strengthening our faith in Him.
We can look back to “before”… and see an “after”.
And, grateful, we keep on reading and praying, digging and planting, and we keep hoping for the best.
In ourselves. In our kids.
And we’ve been given a wonderful promise that we won’t be disappointed.
“The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen” Hebrews 11:1