A year ago, the children and I planted some wildflowers in a corner of the yard. I have an incredibly brown thumb, so when I didn’t see anything coming up that resembled flowers, I assumed our lovely bermuda grass had choked them out. The rest of the summer, we mowed over the spot and that was that…or so I thought.
This year as my oldest son was preparing to begin the mowing season, he mentioned that he thought he saw something that might be flowers growing over in the corner of the yard where we had planted the wildflowers the year before. He asked to not mow that spot and see what sprang up. I agreed, rather doubtfully.
A couple of weeks later it was quite clear they were indeed flowers!
Blake mentioned this parable the other day when we were discussing our wildflowers and this little “sunflower” plot:
“Are there really sunflowers growing in that mess?” I asked him. Letting it all grow up a bit before making a judgment call lest we uproot the “wheat” was his wise advice. Time will tell the truth.
I was sitting here tonight mulling over our flowers and how much this little story applies to parenting. Last mowing season, I was swift to mow down what appeared to be weeds. I didn’t take the time to be certain about what I seeing. I just went in with both guns blazing and totally missed out on the wildflowers that year.
How often are we slow to hear, swift to speak, and quick to jump to angry conclusions? How many times have we jumped all over our children without the full story because we interrupted them with our own perceptions? Has there ever been a time when we realized later we were wrong…very wrong?
I’ve purposed to stop cutting my children off in mid-sentence no matter how confidant I am that I know exactly what they are going to ask me. I’ve purposed to really listen and try to get a full understanding of what they are saying and thinking before I make a judgement call. I’ve purposed to stop “fixing” everything by mowing it down and spend more time cultivating and tending the little seedlings the Lord has entrusted to me. Sadly, I’ve probably missed a few flowers along the way. (and I am all about flowers!) That’s why I just keep praying my heart’s prayer, “Thank you, Lord, for giving me these precious babies. Please don’t let me warp them!