As I was watering my super small flower bed last evening I meditated on one important feature that can be applied to life—SPACE TO GROW! Let me share a “picture lesson” of my evening meditation.
Here are my marigolds a month after I planted them.
It was a sorry sight at the beginning. Why did I not buy more plants? was me regret. They looked so lonely each one in their BIG space!
SUN, FOOD, AND WATER
The main ingredients for flowers to grow are sun, food, and water. The first thing I did with the sorry, little flowers was give them food. Then I watered them! They’ve also had some natural watering (rain). Here is my granddaughter Brianna giving them a little shower.
What I want to talk about today is the “spacing”! Space to grow! That is what my marigolds have. Lots of space! They can spread their wings, so to speak. My Dad gave me space to grow. He believed in me! One of his favorite phrases in my youth was, “Kerstin can do it!” Whatever he needed, that’s what he’d say! “Kerstin can do it!” I did not always appreciate it, because it meant more work for me, but looking back I think that was the “space” that helped me to grow.
I love my yellow and orange flower bed, but I hate the little creatures that have invaded my yard. If you have them you know what I’m talking about.
They tunnel underground and make their presence known by the mounds above ground. I’ve had Terminix people put up traps since winter. We caught one! Dead! Then the last guy that was here took down all the traps because he thought he had caught them. Guess what? Right where the trap had been this mound shot up! Now we have to start the “catching” all over again.
The little plant that didn’t look like it amounted to anything… this is how it looks now, one month later! I can just imagine what it will look like one month from now. Space to grow was the key!
Apply this to your life, to your kids, to your students. Give them space! Give yourself space! Don’t put yourself in a box. Spread your wings. Be yourself! Don’t compare yourself to others! You are unique, made into the image of God. He has a unique plan for your life.
I have to apply this myself. I’m tempted to compare myself and “reduce” my abilities. But here’s a fresh testimony that shows me that I can be like my marigolds.
The last few weeks I’ve been writing stories about William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions. I was belittling myself because of my thinking that someone else could do it so much better. It’s true! But where is that Someone? As I was working I had the notion that some study guides would be good and some extended information on William Carey. So I decided to do it. Immediately I had the urge to write my missionary friend Anita about my plans. (Anita is a friend from Peru married to a Swedish Missionary; she was the Maid of Honor at my wedding.) Carlos and Anita built a wonderful ministry in northern Peru, mainly Chulucanas. This year they celebrate the 4oth Anniversary.
There is so much involved in this story. One of the young men from their church, Gilmer Roman, studied at our Bible Insitute in Huancayo. I taught a course called Missionary Vision, which he loved. He was on fire for missions! His graduating class chose the name William Carey. He married a french missionary; they worked many years in Peru, and are now working in France.
God’s timing is always perfect. Anita and Carlos were searching materials to take to Peru this fall for the 40th Anniversary celebration, to inspire the new generation for missions. That’s what I wrote to Anita, that maybe they could forward these materials to the people they serve and inspire them. “It’s like we had been talking,” Anita wrote in an email.
It’s not only flowers that need space to grow. We as humans need space. I have all the space I want. Nobody to cook for (other than myself), no one to clean for, no one to stop me. If I have an idea I can do whatever I want to expand it, except that I always want God’s approval.
William Carey went to India as a 33 year-old man. He never looked back. He spent 40 years in India as a missionary, preacher, translator, gardener, scientist… he wore many hats! Now I’ve put on the hat of writer of his story.
Aren’t there enough books about William Carey? you ask. Sure! For those that can access bookstores or buy on Amazon. But my mission is to help those who can’t get to a Christian bookstore, but they can get on the internet.
I have more than a dozen pictures to go with the story. Let me close today with one of William Carey and his children in a garden in India. He brought the gift of many new plants to India. He loved nature.
William Carey was a man of two books: God’s Word and God’s Works.