The early morning quiet took me by surprise. Armed with my Bible and a strong cup of coffee I was determined to enjoy the weather on my front porch. The day would be full of video teaching and zoom calls.
Man, I was tired. This was taking a lot out of this mama and my patience was growing thin. I flipped open my Bible, not really focused on reading, and the pages fell open to Psalms.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
(Psalm 143:8, ESV)
Thankful that these were verses for my weary heart, I paused and took a sip of coffee. Looking out over my culdesac I saw the most interesting sight. Coming down in quiet, pillowy, rainlike motion were fluffs of cotton.
I sat not moving. Their quiet descent to the earth brought a sense of peace that early spring morning. They looked like snowflakes, but the warm temperatures messed with my head and told me it wasn’t cold enough for winter magic.
I smiled at the sight. It was that time of year that the Willamette Valley experiences each spring. Beautiful tall, majestic cottonwood trees shed their seeds and bless their entire surroundings with a “spring” snow.
This particular dusting often brings sneezes, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats. Not to mention frustrated landscapers, as the fibrous seeds rest wherever the winds take them.
Amazingly, the mature host female tree can lose up to 25 million seeds in one season. In addition, the seeds can travel up to five miles.
The enormity of this, as I continued to watch these fluffy balls hit the ground, caused me to wonder from which particular tree these seeds came from.
Our neighborhood was full of them. The task would be impossible. But God knows where each tiny seed released from. That alone caused my soul to pause in wonder.
My thoughts turned to my own kiddos at that moment. Parenting is a lot like being these trees. We have our own seed pods that eventually will be released from our towering branches. Each year our interactions and experiences form and release our kids out into a scary world.
Like many, the past few weeks have contained extended parenting times. Except for summers, I haven’t had this much consistent interaction since they were toddlers. While it has been challenging at times, I have realized, at a new level, the impact my own life is making on these little seeds.
Questions have been raised in my own heart about what exactly I am teaching them.
What are the important attributes I want them to take away forever?
This looks very different now than it did ten years ago. My heart as matured, my faith deepened, and my view of the world has been altered.
Much like these seeds, it won’t be long until they are released completely and the winds of the Creator will take them wherever He wills. For the time being, they regularly are released and return, but eventually, they will find their own resting spot.
There will no doubt be times in their walk that they will be in need of rescue, guidance, or peace.
They will experience loss and sadness as well as joy and victory.
My prayer for these seeds, as I nurture and foster them, is that they will realize above all else, they have hope in something greater than themselves.
They can find strength in One who keeps the stars in the sky and fights their battles beside them.
He brought me to a broad place, he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Like me, maybe you find yourself reflecting a little more these days on the impact we are making on our children or the little people God has placed in our paths. Life can get so busy with doing the next thing in front of us that we forget to pause and listen to the winds of change.
In these moments we can hear the voice of our Lord whispering to keep sowing seeds that matter. We never know where they will land and on whom these seeds will touch.
In my feeble attempts to choose kindness over criticism,
love over anger, or
choose self-control over selfishness, I am showing my kids how to create their own seeds.
I am displaying how to lean on God in times of despair and show gratitude when nothing seems right. I am a role model of truth and hope where darkness can overwhelm.
All because of a God who loves me with an everlasting love.
Eventually, God will bring others into their lives to impact. I pray, with you, that my legacy will produce quiet seeds of hope and strength for eternity.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.