Cultivate: Watering and Pruning
By: Gabriela Yareliz
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Audrey Hepburn
As we continue our journey to cultivating, it’s important to first make a distinction as to what matters and what does not matter. It has to matter to you for you to cultivate it, Casey says. Protect your treasure, and fight for it.
We must cultivate what matters, Casey explains, which means we have to sift out the lies and fears that choke our good seedlings.
How can we overcome the lies that often plague us and drown our hopes, you may ask. Lara Casey writes that it is best to replace lies with truth. Let’s replace bad habits with good habits; let’s replace fear with courage and faith. What are some things you can incorporate each day as replacements for the fears and lies in your life?
Fears and lies can leave us acting out of pressure or desperation, but when we do this we exclude the Master Gardener from working in our lives.
The Master Gardener
“God is the author of change,” Casey writes. “We didn’t need to know all the details; we just needed Him.” Casey continues by stating, “True faith in God is about relationship, not about rules.”
“God is the author of change.”
Cultivating takes courage because in many ways, cultivating means relying on that which we cannot control. “Planting seeds is risky. It’s putting our trust in something bigger than we are. It’s optimism and faith.”
“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:7 ESV)
Casey reminds us that to dream is to exercise faith. Dreaming is a form of planning. As you dream, you must couple the dreaming and vision with action.
“As you dream, you must couple the dreaming and vision with action.”
Pruning & Watering
Usually, the action words that surround things like gardening are pruning, weeding and watering. A good garden needs pruning and care. What needs pruning in your life?
“What needs pruning in your life?”
Remember, a gardener prunes his or her own garden. No one goes into someone else’s garden and starts ripping out the plants that they feel don’t look great. Stick to your own yard.
Just as plants need water and nutrients, we need to spiritually feed ourselves. We too must connect with the Son. (See what I did there?) Each plant is different, which means it may need a slightly different environment to thrive, yet each plant needs the essentials: oxygen, water (some more than others) and nutrients.
Just as plants differ in what exactly makes them thrive, we as people connect to God differently. There are essentials we all need, like scripture, prayer and relationship with God, fellowship– but we may find that in different ways. Some people thrive in constant community in a building, and others find God’s presence in nature on a sunny day. Some connect better in the quiet evening hours, and others need a good chunk of time in the early morning. Find what works for you, and don’t treat others as if they are you. Maybe you are a succulent and he or she is a sunflower.
Ms. Casey invites us to remember the purpose of a garden, which should mirror the purpose for our lives: “The best kinds of gardens are cultivated not for the Gardner alone but also for all who wander in.”
“The best kinds of gardens are cultivated not for the Gardner alone but also for all who wander in.”
As we take action, we need to cultivate things that will also bless others. Only God can make us develop and grow good fruit that feeds others, too.
As you focus on God’s good gifts and all He can prune and do in you, remain connected to Him through prayer, as the vine and the branch are connected. This is the art of abiding in Him.
“Prayer changes things. Prayer isn’t just asking for things; it’s an act of surrender.” Lara Casey
I hope that through this three part series you are inspired to cultivate what matters in your life. For more from Lara Casey, pick up her book Cultivate, and check out her lovely site, Cultivate What Matters, filled with so many resources for the busy woman, like you and me. Stick with us for more on how to Cultivate what matters in your life.
Check out our post on Cultivate, on Instagram. Drop us a line and let us know how we can pray for you, as you begin to cultivate. Cultivate What Matters and Ms. Lara Casey have partnered with us to give one of our readers a Write the Word journal.
To enter: 1. Find our Cultivate post, and let us know what you would like to cultivate; 2. Make sure to be following @modernwitnesses and @cultivatewhatmatters; 3. Tag at least three people you are inviting to cultivate, in this season. IMPORTANT: Open only to residents of the United States. Winner will be chosen on October 4, 2018 and announced on October 5, 2018. The winner will receive her prize directly from Cultivate What Matters. A special thank you to Cultivate What Matters, Ms. Lara Casey and Ms. Marissa Kloess for making this possible.
Go to Part III.