It’s “green week” in Kentucky! Although I believe in recycling, the “green week” I’m referring to highlights the sprouting of trees rather than the saving of them. These are the days when you peer out your window to see the bare brown trees and bushes that are now bursting with green leaves. The redbuds, dogwoods, azaleas, tulips, and daffodils, are all showing their spring colors. After a long brown winter, life returns to the outdoors. I open wide the windows to welcome the fresh breeze. In a similar way, perhaps life is returning to my indoors too! Last month’s April showers (and even some snow showers) are bringing May flowers to our state of Kentucky-and also to the state of this momma’s heart. If you are like me, when the winter times of life have sapped your soul, “green week” fertilizes our faith! My heart smiles a bright green grin. Yep, I love “green week!”
With Mother’s Day on the way, “green week” reminds me of one of the most important lessons my own mom taught me. It was captured in a plaque she wisely placed on the windowsill above the sink in our childhood home. In classic 1960’s decoupage style, the plaque simply stated, “Bloom Where You are Planted.”
You see, I was born to a momma with a green thumb. My thumb? Well, it looks a bit olive because of my dad’s inherited skin color, but not green like hers! Yes, Evelyn is naturally gifted at planting and growing things. She delights in watching things bloom. “Bloom Where You are Planted” didn’t stop in the soil of her backyard garden. This truth spread like dandelions and violets to color every area of life. This was never just a clever saying on a plaque for my mom; it is a repeated biblical principle to live by.
As Colossians 2:6-7 says, “Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so go on living in Him—in simple faith. Grow out of Him as a plant grows out of the soil it is planted in,becoming more and more sure of the faith as you were taught it, and your lives will overflow with joy and thankfulness.”
The truth of God’s Word was planted in Evelyn’s heart as a youngin’ by her own Jesus-loving father and mother as they tilled the soil on their farm in western Kentucky with their 11 kiddos. Their pockets may have been poor, but the soil of their land and hearts was super rich. She learned early that the farmer decides where and when to plant. God takes care of the sun, rain, and growth. The plant’s job? Simply “Bloom Where Planted.”
This plaque and its truth took root in our family whether my folks were transplanted from a “one room” seminary apartment in Kentucky or to a rental house in the hills of east Tennessee. From the coast of Florida to the big cities of Dallas, Los Angeles, and Houston. Whether they worked multiple jobs just to put food on the table or lived in a gated community with a pool in the backyard, they bloomed where God planted them. Whether our churches and schools were thriving or dying on the vine, Mom and Dad sought to “Bloom Where They were Planted.” By keeping rooted in the Rose of Sharon, they truly sought to smell the roses along the way. They sought to be the roses others could enjoy along the path of life.
I may not have been born with a green thumb, but thanks to a godly mom, my desire is to become one of God’s “green thumb girls!” How ‘bout you? What’s the view from your window this season? How does your garden grow?
Isaiah 61: 3,11 (TLB) says:
“For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory…His righteousness shall be like a budding tree, or like a garden in early spring, full of young plants springing up everywhere.”
As moms and mentors, would you join me in GOING GREEN this spring? Let’s GROW GREEN together and see our “young plants springing up everywhere!”
If you need some extra seeds of encouragement today, here are two enthusiastic thumbs up for Going Green:
Thumb One: Dig in to God’s Word together.
Be encouraged, moms, both young and old! Making and seizing daily moments to enjoy scripture songs in the car, Bible stories at bedtime, or devotions at the table when your daughters are young will stir up the soil to ready their soul for God’s seeds of Truth to take root. Now that my seedlings stand taller than me, digging into God’s Word does takes different forms (texting a verse, attending a conference, or sending a link that speaks to our hearts). But whatever the age or stage, digging into God’s Word results in planted truth. (Note: digging can be messy and at first the seeds planted cannot be seen, but just keep digging deep… the green will come in due season!)
Isaiah 55:10-12 says,
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud (bloom) and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
When we make digging into biblical truth a daily hands-on experience, our homes will become greenhouses for God’s fruitful and fragrant work, blooming all year long!
Thumb Two: Cultivate Community.
In our shallow society, it’s easy to become “in-grown.” My momma taught us to resist the temptation to keep everyone at arms-length but instead embrace your current place. Whether it’s planting seeds of kindness with your neighbors, in your local church, in your school, sports team, or community, putting your roots down deep results in blooming relationships.
One daughter mis-read the challenge I wrote in our Portraits of Womanhood Bible Study. Instead of reading, “Sow seeds of goodness” she said aloud, “Sow seeds of GOD-ness!” That’s God’s kind of “blooming” spirit, right? Whether it is in marriage or parenting, your home or your heart, I love the famous quote, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is always greener where you water it!”
Let’s be green thumb girls who water all our spaces with His Word, prayer, and encouragement. My green-thumb husband, Steve, taught me the secret to having the greenest, thickest grass is to power-seed. If you focus on planting lots of good healthy seeds, their roots will choke out the weeds. As power-seeding parents, we trust Christ’s God-ness will, “overcome evil with good.” So, cultivate a growing community by sowing seeds of God-ness wherever you are planted.
Although the term “green” many times describes those who are young, inexperienced, and immature, my momma recolors this term adding depth and maturity into Going Green! Retired for the past three decades back in Kentucky soil, my mom (and dad) have stayed rooted in God’s truth.
The result? They continue to bloom wherever planted. Whether its serving at church, encouraging their grandkids, leading Bible studies, mentoring couples regarding marriage, opening their home to many strangers through hospitality, or cultivating their neighborhood relationships, they keep their Green Thumbs active! (Note: You’ll love this seed idea: Mom invites the ladies on the street to enjoy a monthly salad lunch. They call themselves the “Juliets”- while the men folk find a restaurant to enjoy- they call themselves the R.O.M.E.O.S…Retired Old Men Eating Out!) Yes, my parents have chosen to stay “green” in old age.
I wanna grow up to be like them, with green hearts blooming with God’s glory! I wanna be evergreen like the blooming picture painted in Psalm 92:12-15 (NIV):
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and GREEN, proclaiming, “The Lordis upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Look around you. No matter where you are planted, because of Jesus, this can become “green week” for you! Because of Jesus dying on the tree for us, “green week” reminds us that our hearts are renewed, not just recycled. With God as our Master Gardener and our roots planted firmly in the soil of His grace, no matter what our current location or season, we can Bloom Where we are Planted! God promises it.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.” Isaiah 35: 1-2
Heart of Womanhood Resources are rooted in providing the seeds and tools needed so moms and daughters can dig into God’s Word and cultivate community together! Will you join other moms, daughters, and grandmothers in the Heart of Womanhood movement as together we GO GREEN, GROW GREEN, and STAY GREEN? The world doesn’t need another decoupage plaque with a clever phrase on it, they long to see women who take God to heart and gloriously Bloom Where We Are Planted!
Let me see all those Green Thumbs pointing upward to the ONE who can make every week “green week!”