Thinking Out Loud by Connie Schaeffer: Weeds and Seeds

Green thumb? No, not me! Growing up on a farm does not guarantee that you will develop the gift of gardening.

We had beautifully well-tended sweetly scented flower gardens with a rainbow of colorful blooms throughout the season. Our vegetable garden always yielded a cornucopia of tender delicious vegetables; ones I liked, like tomatoes and ones not so much, like Brussels sprouts. My chores never included the planting of any of the bountiful harvest. My job was hoeing and pulling those never ending crop of weeds. Weeds are tricky business, for it seemed like the faster you got rid of them the faster they grew.

I have MANY questions for God when I see Him, for in life there are many mysteries. Weeds are one of those. “Why God, why?” I am told weeds protect the soil somehow. I hope it is true because there are so many varieties and they are hard to pull or dig out, especially in dry cracked ground. Anyway, weeds seemed to become my specialty and this is why I never really learned the fine art of planting the delicate seedlings or knowing the joy of dropping seeds from packets into the fresh rich soil.

OK big deal, we have established, I don’t have a green thumb and I stink at seeding gardens. I have unearthed the knowledge along the way that I do seem to have a knack for planting words. Words are a powerful thing and can be used for blessing or cursing. Words can build up or tear down. Words can nurture or destroy! On occasion, I have even had to eat my words; they taste like humble pie. Choosing life giving words can be a real gift to someone thirsty for encouragement or hope.

Planting the seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control yields a wonderful harvest that benefits that planter and the receiver of these fruits. This is not an original idea, for these are all listed in the Bible as fruit of the Spirit.

I personally have found true delight each day in being intentional about using my words to inspire, reassure and affirm people. Doing this usually results in immediate and positive feedback in the form of a smile replacing a frown. Results like that spur you on to plant more and more of those same kinds of word seeds. Writing notes of encouragement whether through e-mail, snail mail or Facebook is a thoughtful way to interrupt someone’s day. Often people speak of how timely the words were – just when they needed their spirits to be watered with words of affirmation and hope.

The important thing to consider when watering with words of kindness is to be authentic. They need to be spoken from the heart. This will help pull out weeds of bitterness or anger. Purpose today to plant some word seeds in your home and then continue to plant them at your workplace. Sprinkle some around when you shop for groceries or are out doing errands. It is OK to talk to strangers when scattering these kinds of seeds. We can’t tend every seed we plant, but if we do it with the right motive, it will yield a crop of love. Plant a word seed today and see what happens. The world will be a better place with this kind of a harvest, but that is just me thinking out loud.

Connie Schaeffer is a resident of Kutztown and enjoys reading, writing, but not arithmetic.