Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Growth

Everything right now is bursting at the seams with life. Growing so incredibly fast you can almost sit and watch it. The lawn needs to be mowed, the weeds need to be picked, and the flowers are blooming! It’s so green outside it almost hurts the eyes!

I enjoy the abundance! The flowers are beautiful and I ate my first garden strawberry recently! It seems so glorious that everything is growing and producing without any effort on my part! In this season I am reminded that life is everywhere and it flourishes all around us.

I can also see the weeds taking over unless we stay vigilant and pull them out. We ignored things for a little while and what a shock when we turned our attention back to the state of the yard! Although the flowers and the strawberries had grown beautifully the weeds had also taken advantage of the conditions and sprouted beyond belief! We had started with the best of intentions to stay on top of things and turned our backs for a brief week or two. The weeds looked like they were winning the battle for supremacy!

We have our work cut out for us if we want to enjoy the beauty and fruitfulness of our yard. We have to pull the weeds so there is room for the good things to grow. It is tedious work and if you don’t do it right the weeds come back as soon as you turn your back.

Interesting how life is like that! We have seen a season of growth in our foster kids. They have reached a point in their journey where they feel safe and loved and are blooming into incredible young people. It is beautiful to see and we are blessed by the evidence of life and joy in their lives.

But the weeds have been growing too. Selfishness and destructive behaviours have also found fertile soil in the freedom they are starting to walk in. Right now there is potential for either to gain the upper hand. We have to stay vigilant at pulling the weeds.

The thing with new gardeners is they often don’t see the difference between a plant and a weed. Both are new and green, and until they are more established they don’t reveal their true nature. By then the root is deeper than you thought and the effort needed to remove the weed is more than you expected. The sooner you pull a weed the less it’s impact will be on the healthy plants around it.

In people it is the same. The ability to speak up for oneself looks great until it turns out to be disrespect of others… that’s a weed. The desire to be healthy looks great until it turns out to be a obsession with losing weight at any cost… that’s a weed. A quest for good marks looks great until it means copying others homework and cheating… that’s a weed. The weeds aren’t always obvious at first glance but what they will produce if they are left unchecked isn’t the fruit we are looking for. We want the fruit of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth and we need to cultivate them in healthy ways.

So in this season of growth we also need to keep weeding!

Foster children are given the opportunity to grow in a safe place and often can’t recognize the negative choices themselves. They, like many children, need adults in their lives who can look at things with wisdom and help guide them. The process of picking weeds is repetitive and tedious. The process of raising kids has seasons that feel repetitive and tedious. Sometimes you go over the same lessons many times before they seem to make a difference. I have weeded the same patch of ground in my yard many times too.

As we come out of the Covid 19 pandemic and have opportunity to expand into the world around us again there will be many opportunities to grow. Let’s grow the right things and continue to be kind, considerate and creative in how we care for one another.

When a garden is kept weed free in the beginning and given the opportunity to establish healthy plants that lead to a harvest, it actually begins to choke out the weeds itself. As the season of growth goes on the weeding diminishes. It is true in gardening and it is true in raising children.

If we are diligent in helping them root out negative behaviours, maladaptive choices and destructive habits they will find a place to flourish and become all they were meant to be.

So instead of resenting the work we will choose to “keep weeding” and trust that the bounty that lies ahead is worth it!

In the midst of the mess

Marny

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