I had forgotten the joy that comes with digging in the soil, dirt under my fingernails, and the resulting bright colors. Sweat on my brow and hot sunshine, as new life changed the landscape as well as my perspective. For years growing up, I was both a planter and nourisher. Now my soul craves to understand the role of each and how God plays in the midst.
Digging in the soil is a gift I have not participated in for years. Now before you think I went wild in this endeavor, let me set you straight. I have very little room to do much planting, but the act itself stirred some deep memories. Ones that filtered snapshots of my mom and dad tending to their favorite flowers. Others of summer competitions with my neighbor to see who would grow the biggest tomato. All the memories melded together as the past bumped into the present.
[Tweet “Memories stir when the far off past is triggered by the present. #TellHisStory”]
More than a month ago, I came across these words from 1 Corinthians as I was reading. The internal debate of planters vs. nourishers sparked and I bring it to all of you now.
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. -1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT
Let’s take a look at this passage together.
We learn immediately that it doesn’t matter who is a planter or nourisher (person who does the watering). In the middle of both jobs is a God who makes the seed grow. We can be both planter and nourisher when we embrace the God who is more important than anything else.
Looking further into the passage, God teaches that He rewards us for our hard work. Planting comes first and watering follows, but both take on equal importance.
In my younger years, I loved new beginnings. Starting something from scratch and seeing it through to the end brought great joy. I especially took great delight in the process of growth in the many students I taught over the years. As I became a parent, my focus turned more toward building into my kids and being present so they could grow. Standing back as an observer and casual facilitator changed me in all the right ways. I learned I didn’t need to always be the start up person. I found so much peace in allowing my sons to naturally grow as I continued to provide the foundation.
[Tweet “Planting lays the foundation for growth, but nourishing feeds the soul of our existence.”]
The truth of who we are lies in our identity in Christ. Stirring up childhood memories pointed me to how God’s presence follows me everyday of my life. God lays the foundation for creating new beginnings and provides opportunities for us to be still, listen, and in the process do the same for others. A planter begins with the seed and the nourisher takes special care to water the seed with wisdom, grace, love, and perseverance. Ultimately we are God’s creation and His example always leads us to being the best of both.
So today I challenge myself to be the fertile field ready to receive God’s truth, wisdom, and grace. He wants to plant us with His Word and grow us into a loving people, who then share Him with others. Will you join me in this challenge? Your story will continue and you will grow.
This is how the story continues …
You are never too old to plant or become something new.
You are a nourisher when you freely share kindness with others.
God graces the planters and nourishers with unique gifts.
There are times in our lives we indulge in the skills of a planter and other times we focus more on being a nourisher.
You are God’s unique blessing to the world. Shine your light and rejoice in the beauty.
Now it’s your turn! Linkup your favorite encouraging post and tell your story. Grab the #TellHisStory button and link (please link back to here so others can find us) to display on your blog and invite others to join you here.
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It sounds like you’ve been blessed with numerous “gardening” roles over the years, Mary! I love your perspective and teaching here this week, my friend! Have a blessed weekend.
I’m not sure if you are a gardener yourself but your landscape is always so beautiful. I know it gets extremely hot in Texas so gardening can be tricky. You are a beautiful planter as well as nourisher with your words and photos. Thank you for being here!
“The truth of who we are lies in our identity in Christ. ” Amen, Mary! If we just remember that all the time. 🙂 Blessings to you!
I am still learning that my identity is in Christ but it is a beautiful process as it unfolds. Blessings to you too!
Hi, Mary! I have always been a planter and a nourisher as well, being one or the other or both at different seasons in my life. I’m missing planting a physical garden this year as our finances just did not allow for it, but I’m finding Our Heavenly Father using that disappointment to help me begin planting in the lives of others and nourishing relationships, and allowing Him to plant and nourish in my life as well. I tend to be a busy giver, but He is teaching me to take time to grow and flourish in what He is doing in my life as a wife and mom of 1 adult and 3 teens, and as a mentor for many younger women in my church and homeschool community. It’s a new season of Him opening up more time for me to serve others and reach a broader community of people. Thank for allowing Him to use you to bless me with your words today. Blessings to you!
God is so good to provide what you need and in the process you are able to continue to build into others. I pray you allow God to build into you as you reach out and serve others. Lean into Him for strength and provision. It sounds like you are doing amazing work. Blessed to have you here today.
Mary, I enjoyed this post as it went along with and confirmed thoughts I have been mulling over as well. Glad to join you as you start this journey and #TellHisStory!
I have a friend who calls those God winks. I can’t wait to hear more of what God is teaching you. Thank you for being here.
It amazes me how deeply we need to recognize the importance of seasons. There are those times we are called to something (like planting) and those we are called to other things (like nurturing). God has so much for us, and recognizing his patterns, his exhale and inhale, helps us see his power in it all.
And I am learning it is not just recognizing the importance of sessions but learning to be content with what that looks like. God is with us every step of the way and when life doesn’t look like we expect, the best part is that He is still there. I pray we step into the rhythm of God’s inhales and exhales. Blessed to have you here!
Beautiful truth, Mary. Recently, I’ve been so blessed in noticing how God returns the Word that was planted when we were young. My parents planted and nourished richly, but much of the fruit is only starting to come now, as other spiritual Mamas are nourishing in love, what my parents planted years ago.
I’ve had worship songs we used to sing as kids suddenly come to mind at just the right moment, Scriptures we memorized and miraculous experiences we shared. The seed sown never returns void 😊. It might take longer than we expect, but it does come.
With my own kids I am so blessed to see them speak Scripture to me in my weakness/sin – “But Mum, you said that God …”. This encourages me so much, knowing God is at work, even in my weakness 😅. It also gives me wonderful opportunities to share more with them, nourishing the seed sown in the process (also in my own heart). I now understand the power of boasting in our weakness so much better.
What a beautiful legacy you have going and one that is continuing through you. Your kids are blessed to know Scripture and for them to have you not only as mum but a spiritual mum.
It is a beautiful gift to watch God work in our lives but there is something even more special to see the growth in our own children. Thank you for blessing us by being here. I love your beautiful heart.
I start out good with the planting, but its the nurturing and continually watering that gets me every year… but Ido love the fruit or rather flowers from my efforts 🙂 Blessings and congratulations on picking up the torch for #TellHisStory so it can continue. Hope to see you link up sometime over at my place on Thursday’s #TuneInThursday
The pictures I’ve seen of the landscape around your house always look beautiful to me. You are a beautiful nourisher and I know you produce much fruit. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart here.I do hope to visit your link up soon. Love you friend!
Glad to linkup with you here, Mary! From a fellow garden lover.
So glad to have you here! I hope the weather has been favorable for your garden.
Gardening thoughts always go straight to my heart! I love that verse reminding us that God is our Master Gardener, and we are His field, His planting. The pressure is off as we work alongside Him then, following His lead. And, the pressure is off when I worry about how I am growing too. He will bring the increase in the way that only He knows is best. Thank you so much for these sweet thoughts today.
I can see you gardening and the joy it brings. I pray you still have moments of being able to do a little planting, pruning, and watering. God grows us in His timing and we are blessed we have someone who loves us so much to stick with us every step of the way. Thank you for linking up your sweet story of memories.
I love gardening as a metaphor for the way Father God, Master Gardener, works in my heart garden. Thank you, Mary, for hosting this link up.
I am sharing my friend’s post with her permission. She doesn’t have her own blog. However, her story around the one word, remember, was so fitting with your post today that I asked if I could link her story. I know many will be blessed by Kelly’s remembering, just as we are blessed by your story of remembering.
Bless you, Mary, to keep eyes on Jesus!
I loved your friend’s story and I’m blessed you shared it here. I love your heart for encouraging others, Lisa! There is something so fitting about God being the Master Gardener as He cares for us and wants nothing more than for us to grow. Blessed to have you as part of this community.
Even if we don’t have a “green thumb,” we can plant and nourish in others’ lives. I’m so glad for those who have done so with me. I need to be more alert to opportunities to do so with others.
It’s nice to know that having a “green thumb” is not a prerequisite for planting or nourishing. I can see you as a wonderful nourisher for others. So glad to have you here today.
What I love about both roles–planter and nourisher-is they both are part of healthy growth. The planter and the nourisher have to take care that their job is done so growth can happen. Great thoughts again here today, Mary! So important that we do our roles well and always remember no well is less than the other.
Both are needed for growth but it is all because of God that both work together so well. I pray we allow God to use us for His glory whether that is as a planter or nourisher. Love that you joined us here today.
I love the Scripture you shared. It is a great reminder that God calls us to play our part but that ultimately it is up to him and it is by his power alone that we see growth.
Isn’t it wonderful how God teaches us through His word but then connects it with an experience we are familiar with such as gardening? God calls us to faith through action knowing He is always at the center. Thank you for being here, Lesley!
I’ve got my gardening shoes on as I read, and am getting ready to burst out into the warm sunshine. This morning I was a “waterer,” but this afternoon, I’m going to be a “disturber” as I tear out weeds that are just beginning to take root.
I really appreciated your thinking about the idea that we fulfill different roles in different seasons of our lives.
I always think of you when I contemplate gardening. You seem to be a master gardener. I know you understand what it looks and feels like to be both planter and nourisher. However, we certainly need those times to pull out the weeds or the stuff that is distracting us in our lives. Thanks for being here.
I will never be a gardener, but I love to nurture people with God’s encouragement.
I use the term gardener loosely when referring to myself but it was definitely part of my life growing up My parents instilled a little of that in me. The best part is that you need to be a planter as well as nourisher in your life in different seasons. We can’t have one without the other. Love seeing your smiling face here!
This is a great post and scripture. A good ponder point for my mind and heart this morning. I like the concept that the planter and water-person can be different but equally valuable. Kind of like the verse about the body parts all being unique and necessary. Hope you have a good summer day.
There is a similarity in how each part of our body is necessary and needed. I love how God teaches us through His Word. It always amazes me that I can read the same verse multiple times and it is still fresh and life-giving each time. I pray your day is beautiful as you are!