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Confessions of a Brown Thumb

by Donna Haug  
11/24/2006 / Christian Living

Every year when spring comes around people start to get the urge to create beauty and color in their gardens to escape the dull drudgery of the last dragging days of winter. The dream of lush greenery, the dazzling colors and beauty of the flowers seem a long way away. Before beginning there is so much hard work to do: breaking the hardened ground, digging out the old dead rubbish, adding just the right amounts of fertilizer

I have watched this process from afar for many years. Ive admired the results and longed for the same. However, my green thumb slowly seems to turn an unattractive shade of brown as the summer wears on. The heat of the searing sun, the lack of water, the inattention due to trips and the busyness of life well the end result in my garden leaves much to be desired.

Why is it that weeds grow so effortlessly?? They grow where no one has planted them. They shoot up much more quickly then those lovely flowers I tended so carefully! Even the heat of the sun or my lack of watering them wont kill them off!!

If I want to have a beautiful garden and be able to enjoy its loveliness throughout the summer, I will have to be diligent and faithful both in weeding out the unwanted intruders and watering it consistently. The results will be there for everyone to see. The hard work is required both of the novice gardener like myself or the experienced garden expert down the road. The difference may be in our attitudes to this work. My diligent neighbor may find comfort and rest as he tends his garden, whereas I only see those frustrating weeds!

Lord, you are the Gardener of my Soul! And what a job you have! Breaking up the hardened ground and preparing it should have happened when I gave my heart to you many years ago. Sometimes it seems like you have to start all over again breaking up the hardened soil of my heart. Yet, you dont give up on me. Your tender but determined hands use the appropriate tools to prepare the ground bringing forth the beauty you have in mind for me. You carefully plant the seeds and make available to me all that I need to grow. As time goes on sometimes I allow the heat of the trials of life to dry me up rather then soaking up the living water which you offer so freely to my outstretched limbs.

Then those awful weeds creep in. They dig their roots down so quickly and start to choke out the life in my garden. I dont invite them in but suddenly they are there and growing fast. Lord, you are always so faithful to root out those life-sucking weeds in my life. Sometimes I dont know the difference between what is a weed and what is a beautiful plant. I may cringe as you dig up my treasured beautiful strong weed. But Lord you know what is best. You know what is helpful to my growth and what will hinder it.

Then, just when my garden seems to be doing great Im growing leaps and bounds and sending my green shoots everywhere there you come with those dreaded pruning shears! My heart cries out as you cut away at my beautiful branches and teach me to grow the way you want me to grow.

Faithful Gardener, help me to keep in mind the vision you have for me. Help me to accept your plans for my life. I want to make good use of all you provide for my growth and nourishment and not fight against the digging and cutting that are necessary in my garden. My desire is that others will see the beauty you have created in what would have been just an old abandoned lot, and that they will see the handiwork of the Gardener of My Soul!

Donna Haug is a missionary wife and mother who loves to write. She has spent much of her life overseas. As a result, her writings have a 'down to earth' quality to them and quite often an international bent. Check out the latest on the Haugs at

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