Sowing the Seed

Sowing the Seed

My girls and I venture out into the garden with a packet of seeds in hand. As I pour them out into waiting palms, they exclaim about how tiny these seeds are. I am once again struck by the wonder of nature. I reminded of the amazing potential in these tiny seeds. That given the right conditions they can put down roots, sprout and grow, lengthen and bud, and finally bloom.

All seeds are small, most fit in your hand easily, and yet in that small dark pod there is amazing potential. And yes, every seed does not end up as a giant tree, but all seeds have the potential to grow. From one seed you may get the delicate green leaves of mustard cress. From another the swaying stalks and beautiful blossoms of a tulip. And yes, overtime a dark black pip yields the amazing bountiful harvest of an olive tree.

But none of these seeds can achieve anything until they are sown. Whilst in my girls’ hands, although small and filled with potential, these seeds have no ability to grow.

Do you have seeds, filled with potential that you are holding in your hand right now? Have you done all the prep work of breaking the ground and turning the soil, and yet you are still clasping these seeds tightly in your hand unwilling to let them go?

Until you release them, out into the environment where they can thrive and flourish then they are just little brown specks in the palm of your hand.

What seeds are you holding in your hand right now?

My girls slowly make little indents in the prepared soil, and gently drop each seed in. We know that some will thrive and some will fail, and yet still we faithfully sow. For we know that none of these seeds will thrive in their hands. Each seed can only become what they have the potential to be, when they are sown.

Robert Louis Stevenson says

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

What seeds are you planting today?

I leave you with these words from Jesus for your reflection today.

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

John 12: 24-25 (MSG)

Peace be with you,


Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground

The advent of September heralds Spring in Australia. The days are warming with evenings crisp and cool, not yet the balmy relief we need in Summer. 

The native flowers are blooming, I have kangaroo paws unfurling outside my study window, growing taller each day. And the blossom of fruit trees is a cloud of pink, and white throughout the suburbs.

Spring is a gentle season, a season of transition, a season of new beginnings. As we watch the bulbs poke their green spikes through the soil we are reminded it is a season of small, slow, emergences from dark places.

How has your winter been? Has it been a much-needed time of rest? Has it been a season of darkness and pain? Has it been an unending everyday dreariness?

The arrival of spring reminds us that those dark places of winter, though hard, were not for nothing. In the quiet slow working under the ground there was much needed growth.

Winter is a season of rest. A season when the ground lies still and undisturbed for a time. The season of leaving the ground ‘fallow’.

The dictionary describes fallow as:

  • (of land) left unseeded after being ploughed to regain fertility for a crop
  • (of an idea) undeveloped, but potentially useful

The word comes from Old English and means ‘to break up land for sowing’.

There is a clear picture here that soil needs to be left for a time of rest before it can be replanted, and after that time of rest, that the soil needs to be prepared for planting.

Have you had a time where you have had to rest, and leave things fallow in your life?

The beginning of Spring is a time of preparation. It is a time of breaking new ground. A time when we get out in the sunshine and do the hard work of preparing the soil.

It is not the joy of planting, yet! Rather it is removing the weeds, and breaking up the hardened ground. It is a toil that seems to give no real yield. And yet it is a very necessary step in this season. For if the soil isn’t healthy, with all that is required for growth, then how can we expect the plants to thrive?

What is your idea that you have lying fallow and would like to bring to life? Before you can develop it, you need to create the best environment for it to grow.

In the garden breaking ground may involve turning the soil, for your dream it may be turning it over with some trusted friends.

In the garden preparing the soil involves eliminating weeds, for your dream it may mean eliminating distractions to create space.

In the garden you may need to add fertiliser or nutrients, for your dream, you may need to take a workshop, or set yourself a creative challenge.

It is a quiet rite of spring to prepare the soil. It is a hard often unseen work. But maybe for you the fallow season has ended and it is time to break ground.

For reflection I leave you with this well know passage from Ecclesiastes. Peace be with you as you as quietly contemplate what steps you need to take in this new season.


There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
   a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
   a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
  a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
   a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
   a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
   a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiates 3:1-8

What I am learning about breathing

What I am learning about breathing

I’ve been thinking a lot about breath of late. Of how vital it is and how much we take it for granted.

Maybe it is because I have started a weekly Tai Chi class that focuses so much on the exhale and inhale. Maybe it is because my constant phrase to my daughters when they get stressed or upset is, “Breathe”. Maybe it is because I find myself saying it when I text my friends, (I’m unsure whether it’s more a reminder for them or for me.)

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In the waiting: slow down

In the waiting: slow down

My youngest daughter decided she was going to read the bible. We suggested she start with the new testament, and after a short while reading she exclaimed, “there’s a lot of babies in this story.”

She had been reading the gospel of Matthew which lists the lineage of Jesus. Starting from Abraham, through David, to his father Joseph.  As the passage itself says, there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, and 14 generations from David to the Babylonian exile, and then 14 more generations from the exile until Jesus. As my daughter said, “That’s a lot of babies!” There is very long time between the promise of the Messiah and the arrival of him.

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In the Waiting: Advent Devotional

In the Waiting: Advent Devotional

This year has been one of waiting for me. At first it was a waiting that led to a disappointment. Then it was a waiting that I felt compelled to do, even though all that was within me yearned for movement.

I have been waiting on others, waiting on peace, and waiting on God. I feel like it has been a year of many reminders again, and again, of God’s promises to me and yet still I have had to wait.

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