Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not work or weave or sew, and yet their garments are stunning. Even King Solomon, dressed in his most regal garb, was not as lovely as these lilies. Matthew 6:28
Would you like to plant a wildflower garden, and cultivate a wildflower heart, all at the same time? The Lord has been showing me how!
I have been spending as much time as possible, lately, walking through the wildflower fields that we planted around our house. In the early morning, with the sun slanting at just the right angle, they remind me of the burning bush from which Moses heard the voice of God. Mid-day, when the sun is hot, the buzzing of bees assures me that the endangered honey bee is thriving on these few acres, at least. Shades of pink and gold intensify the colors in the sky at sunset, and, after dark, fireflies put on a show that rivals any fireworks I have ever seen.
As I walk the fields, I think of Matthew's suggestion to consider the lilies (wildflowers) of the field and how they grow. What is a wildflower? Each flower is unique, one-of-a-kind. It is comfortable in being itself, without envy or comparison of others. It does not strive to be beautiful. It just IS! It is in constant communion with the elements, surviving through all sorts of weather, including drought, windstorms, and too much rain. I don't know about you, but I would like a wildflower heart!
Instead, I am often filled with anxiety and worry. Fear that I'm not good enough. Anxiety that I haven't done this autism-parenting-thing as well as other moms. Worry that I've messed up too many times to get it right for my son, Joel, who is now 32. These are weeds in the field of my heart, and I'd like to get rid of them and plant some wildflower seeds instead.
I've discovered these wildflower fields hold a secret for me, and perhaps for you as well. Here is what the Lord has been whispering to me:
- Prepare the soil. Plow up the old dirt. Over-turn it and expose weed roots, assuring they will die in the light of the sun. Prepare the soil of your heart with confession and repentance.
- Apply a natural weed-killer. Stay away from Round-Up, as it is known to cause neurological defects. As the mom of a son with autism, I refuse to add any more environmental toxins to our environment! Prayer is the perfect weed killer for the heart’s soil.
- Plow up the soil once again. Make sure all hidden weed roots see the light of the sun. Spiritual direction or counseling work well as you continue to prepare the soil of your heart.
- Choose what flower seeds you want to plant in your wildflower field. You can even choose flowers for what they symbolize! My husband and I have chosen coneflowers (strength and healing), black-eyed Susans (justice), bachelor buttons (single blessedness), zinnias (in memory of departed friends), lady's mantle (comfort), and baby's breath (everlasting love). Wonderful seeds for the wildflower heart are unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Walk the fields and scatter the seeds you’ve chosen, by hand. For the wildflower heart, close your eyes and imagine God, the Master-Gardener, scattering the seeds you have chosen to cultivate on the well-prepared ground of your heart.
- Trust in the process. Seeds germinate underground where we can't see what's going on. They really will grow without much effort on your part. In times of extreme drought, water with sprinklers. The field of your heart will need living water from the Holy Spirit. Spend adequate time in quiet with open hands to receive the water Jesus says is always available.
- Commercial fertilizer is not necessary for your wildflower field! However, trust is mandatory, especially in the beginning before the flowers bloom. Prayer is the best product on the market for the heart seeds that you’ve planted, as you wait for them to flower.
- Cultivate patience. Wildflower fields and wildflower hearts do not come to fruition overnight. For a field of wildflowers, the experts say that year three is when you will see an explosion of color. A wildflower heart takes time as well. Learn to live in Kairos—God’s time—instead of Kronos—calendar time.
- Don’t forget to weed. Thistles and pigweed will try and take over your wildflower garden. For a wildflower heart, weed out roots of bitterness, anger, self-pity and envy as soon as the weeds pop up.
- Buy lots of vases to display your garden’s treasures in every room of your home. Prepare to be amazed! Mason jars are perfect receptacles for gifting flowers to friends and relatives. Be prepared when strangers start approaching you, drawn to your air of peace, kindness or generosity. What you learn as you cultivate your wildflower heart will, without a doubt, overflow and bless your special child, family, friends, and place of worship.
- Finally, give thanks for the beauty as you walk your wildflower garden and watch the bees and butterflies flit from flower to flower! And for that wildflower heart? Thanksgiving will unlock the gates to the Lord’s presence, every time. Guaranteed!
Reflection Question: What weeds are keeping your garden in disarray? What wildflower seeds would you like to plant today?