Use the Mindset of a Gardener as you Parent
December 5, 2020 Adrienne Brown 0 Comments
You must use the mindset of a gardener as you parent if you want your children to flourish. In particular, when life chooses you to play the nourishing side in a young person’s life.
Since my husband and I had already raised 4 biological sons, my mindset really needed a major reset. The parenting methods that we used with them really needed to be updated to include the girls. Raising girls was a new relationship that I was not use to.
Yet, when you don’t know what to do with something new, you have to listen to the still quiet voice of God to figure it out.
It is also good to use the mindset of a gardener as you Parent. I really didn’t want to mess things up. So, this is something that I relied upon.
This statement just hit me so clearly today as I started preparing for my daily duties as a mom. If you want to nourish children you need to cultivate them and care for them right where they are.
Because I love both gardening and seeing children grow, this analogy worked really well. It made perfect sense for me to cultivate the mindset of a gardener as I Parented.
It’s a fact, that God has chosen me for this ministry, and it is a role that I have functioned in for quite some time.
A very trying ministry that will test your faith on so many levels. So as I operate in this gift to nourish others, I have to pull from my desire to see children flourish.
But it wasn’t until this morning as I poured my cup of coffee that the sensation of warm acceptance engulfed my spirit.
A gentle voice whispered to me, telling me that I was so necessary to the nourishing of the little souls that He has entrusted to me.
The voice said, “Walk in your role, live it, believe in it, feel it and own it! I am not to do it in an arrogant stance, but one of humble, realization that God has entrusted me with these children.
It is a humbling thing, and very scary at times.
Pluck up the weeds
But, first I had to clear my mind of the feeling of invasion if I wanted to put this gardening analogy to work in my life and in theirs.
Just as a gardener has to pluck up weeds, as foster/adoptive parents we have to clear our thought of negative talk.
So God put a word picture in my mind to help me with these accusing feelings. He assured me, that He had indeed planted the seed.
It was the seed of human life within the body of another real human being, one that He loved dearly, but now he had turned them over to my husband and me.
Indeed, He had allowed the precious life to form and grow in another mother, someone other than me.
Yet, He has divinely, placed those same lives into my hands. Now, I must nurture them, and help them to navigate through life as they grow.
Even still, some days I feel like an invader and have had other’s treat me like an intentional invader.
Look to the future as a gardener
Being treated like an invader is a fact that I have wrestled with during the entire adoptive/fostering experience.
In spite of it, we have to remember that seeds must grow and be nourished where they are planted.
Even though many times we have wanted to give up and say no more we are tired, we have not.
We have had to learn to resist the urge to give up and we have had to throw away the thoughts of guilt.
Especially, when we look at the circumstances of our lives. As a family, we have sat back to really analyze the tapestry of our lives.
God had my husband and me in the exact place where He wanted us. Down to the purchasing of our home.
It was just in the right area, 6 months after the birth of the first child, that He would hold us responsible for raising.
Although it has been a long, hard, emotional journey, as a family today, we marvel over this fact quite often and we are amazed at God’s preciseness.
God plants the seeds
So this is why the gardening analogy of parenting resonates with me so well. Just as seeds are planted far away in a greenhouse, a yard, or a flower pot, to grow, and the seedling plants ends up in another environment.
Sometimes human life is planted and nourished in one family, then allowed to grow elsewhere.
The child must be protected, handled with tender care, and allowed to grow, no matter where they are.
Flowers and plants brighten up lives and bring beauty to most environments. Flowers also come in many different varieties and colors.
Though I am always pleased and delighted when I receive flowers, I am more thrilled when I receive a green plant.
Green plants are more permanent and need someone to tend to it on a more hands-on, permanent basis.
A green plant comes with soil and many life-nourishing roots to assist in its growth.
When re-planted in good, fertile, enriched, nourishing soil it will flourish and grow way beyond its boundaries.
Building bridges while using the gardener mindset
Just as, A child, if placed in a good, safe, secure, enriching environment, will flourish and find their identity. They will grow when cared for properly.
God showed me, that even when the child has been separate from their roots, they can still be nourished into excellence!
So, I encourage you, If you have been charged with helping another life to prosper, to do it hard! Do it well! God has given you the ministry of being a blessing, a covenant level relationship with another life.
Be that good nourishing soil that will grow the good things in the lives of the children who you are responsible for. Fight the fear that causes you to doubt or hesitate in your position in their lives.
You must shower your love upon them, Watering the flowers and plants of love in their lives and in yours!
propagate like a gardener
You know how plants grow so much and so big, that they must be divided and placed somewhere else. This is another parallel to human life for me. There is a transition that must eventually take place.
I don’t mind admitting that this transition is what concerns me the most. The thought of It sometimes feeds my insecurities and fears of abandonment. “The scariest thing for me is the thought of pouring myself into others and then have them abandon me!” There It is, I said it!
My thoughts and fears about this are real and constantly plaguing my mind. It is the reason why I have trouble posting pictures of my kids. I hear the voice of accusation every time I want to share a win about our family online.
Feel the freedom as a gardener when in the elements
However, I am slowly coming out of that prison. Yes, I am tired of feeling like an invader
God has helped to heal my hurt from the past, He is teaching me to embrace my ministry as a mom to my kids.
God showed me in that mental picture I talked about earlier, plants being divided and placed elsewhere. Seeds from flowers being put in other fertile soil.
He showed me that all things change. All people must grow and change as well. We all must grow, leave and be planted somewhere other than our original homes, eventually.
The gardener’s mindset is set upon change
Even though I did not plan to be an adoptive mother. I have developed a different mindset about being one. My goal, my passion is to see others grow and prosper.
I love to help children find their best selves. I want to get my kids to a point in their lives so that they will have choices for the future.
That’s it, I had to change my Mindset!
I started thinking about how much my kids will grow, how much they would learn and how much they will gain with my husband and I working to nurture them.
This mindset change helped me to ‘come out of the closet’ sorta speak!
Yes, I am a mother of 8 children, some of them were adopted. Placed into my life for me to help them grow.
I know one day they will leave me, but not really!