What My Mother Taught Me

I was trying to put it into words this morning over breakfast, how one of the most important things my mom taught was the natural way of gardens and growing things, and how our inside selves are all like that.  I am not sure if she intended to teach it that way– maybe she just believed it herself, deep down, and taught it by living it straight out in the everyday.  You reap what you sow, and seeds produce plants which produce fruit just as surely as thoughts produce actions which produce consequences.

Her home was as basic and simple as that.  Fill it with family and God’s truth and nourishment for the whole person, and children would grow strong.  No space for false words or false hearts, or idle hands, or emotions flying loose.  You reap what you sow.  Speak words that are true, look people in the eye, learn to be useful and be thankful, to make beauty and see it everywhere, to find a balancing point….and never stop growing.  This is how to grow a life that is worth something, no matter where you live or what you have.

And when we did the foolish things that kids do, we felt the consequences and wanted to choose better next time.  Not happy lessons, but we were learning that sowing weeds makes a sorry crop, discovering who we wanted to become by realizing who we did not want to be. The connection must be there… mindfully and carefully… planting and weeding and watering if you want to pile up the fruit in the end.  You reap what you sow.

Jesus pointed to the same thing, that basic parallel between gardening and living. My mother is a gardener and she understood what He was saying, lived that way in front of us and taught us well.  On this Mother’s Day I say “thank you, mom.”

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.  Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”  Louisa May Alcott