Monday, January 4, 2010

Watering Methods

On the corner of our property mother's flower bed left no doubt about who in the family had a green thumb. She had a way with flora, and with the benefit of hindsight I believe it was born of her creative nature - the same nature that causes some to paint and others to write.

Mother's gallery included dahlias, hyacinth, crocus, candytuft, ice plant, veronica, forget-me-nots - among other colorful creations, rock dwellers and ground covers. A profusion best observed in Spring, the delight of it often ran long through the somewhat
tropical climate of summers in the Pacific Northwest. Nature itself fostered the nurture.

When in bloom it could be seen from nearly every approach to our home. It was mother's joy and the neighbor's delight; onlookers often stopped to oogle (don't you love that word, Beth?) .

It was also my job to water that flower bed on summer mornings (with the use of "that flower bed", do you gather I wasn't very fond of the chore?). OK, so I confess I didn't much appreciate the work that had gone into planting it, or even in what other's saw there - mostly because the care of it robbed me of valuable time at play.

But mother was clear:
"I want you to spend at least a half hour with the water gently wetting the soil around each and every plant."

A half hour? Really? Gently? Really?

Well, it didn't take me very long to figure out I could get the job done in roughly 8 minutes. I'd turn on the nozzle, full blast, and douse those beauties with enough water they'd never thirst again.

Or so I thought.

It typically took a few days, but eventually mother's botanically-trained eye would detect something amiss and amok among her prided flower pasture. Plants were wilting. Some bore signs (evidence) of having endured a cruel storm.

Needless to say, she knew exactly what (or, rather, who) was to blame. The watering was not being done properly.

You see, in my haste and flawed estimations, I thought getting something wet was the same as giving it a thorough thirst quench. Not terribly astute, but a quick fix.

Problem was, and is, is that quick fixes of the watering sort are not healthy for plants - or humans either, for that matter. Just because something looks wet doesn't translate to fully-moistened, saturated.

Unless the below ground root system is quenched, everything visible above ground is likely to suffer, or die.

"Each day we put our roots down in the streams of the Living Water, Christ Himself. Then all through the day we are refreshed by what we took from the artesian brook in our nook." Lloyd John Ogilvie

It's took me a good many years, and equally many challenges to realize that even deserts bloom when streams flow upon their dry ground. So do humans.

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water
will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks
the water I give him will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give him will
become in him a spring of water
welling up to eternal life."
John 4:13-14

And let him who hears say, "Come!"
Whoever is thirsty, let him come;
and whoever wishes, let him
take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22:17

How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

Psalm 36:7-9

P.S. Mother was all about obedience, so you can be sure I was disciplined for my rebellious watering methods. That discipline often took the form of watering not just the one flower bed, but many others as well ... right beneath mother's watchful gaze no less! Whole mornings were spent "learning" how to water properly. Oy! Sometimes they still are!!



Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

As always, reading your posts is one of my daily devotionals that I so enjoy and I'm blessed by! Thanks!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Sweetie...
I love this post. How beautiful and elegantly you write. Your Moma would be so proud of you.

I too, had the chore of watering, and now that I have grown and have my own gardens I too, realize the importance of just the right amount of water it takes to make my flowers flourish. I have ooglers (love that word by the way) that take their dogs for walks, just to see what I have done new in the gardens.

I love your comparison of flowers and our souls. So beautiful and so true. Thank you for sharing this beautiful Monday morning.

Country hugs, Sherry

Tammy said...

Hello Kathleen!

I busted out with laugther at the "I'd turn on the nozzle, full blast, and douse those beauties...."! Are we related??

What a GREAT analogy of sprinkling water on our spiritual lives. So much is learned from gardening. No wonder Jesus mentioned it often(being grafted in, plugged in the vine, Living water, etc). Imagaine, you could write years worth of lessons in them. Thanks for passing one of them on today!

Going to get a DRINK,

Karen Lange said...

Love this analogy, and can relate with childhood memories of my own. And adult memories too! Thankful for God's grace and mercy:)

RCUBEs said...

Funny and convicting post at the same time! What a great way to be reminded today that we must be deeply rooted in Him. That's the only way to flourish. And if we want to bloom this year, that's the way to go.

God bless you and keep you always. Have a great week! [You may not be a gardener but I'm sure you are great with watering now :) the way you water us with His wisdom...Let it soak me!].

manthano said...

Isn't that just like us? We try
to water our souls in a hurry
too. We have too many useless
things we want to do instead.

Grandma Elsie said...

I just found you from Heart 2 Heart blogs. Enjoyed your writting very much. I will be back.

Shirl said...

What a great read and morsel to chew on today!

I also had the chore of watering Mom's indoor plants. I especially hated watering her African violets. Maybe that accounts for my love for silk plants in the house ;)

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

I love those verses.

Great post. Thank You Father for using Kathleen's blog to spread Your message. In Jesus' name, amen.

Happy Monday!

Parsley said...

Love love love this post! Thanks!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Great post my friend. I always love reading your take on different aspects of life!

sonja said...

I sure recognize some of those watering methods! Interesting the likenesses to our walk with God... there aren't really shortcuts if we want the garden to really flourish. Good thoughts again, Kathleen.

skoots1mom said...

LOVE that deep water... :)

Deborah Ann said...

Wow, you really got right down to the roots with this one! Homerun, I'm cheering wildly from the sidelines!

Heart2Heart said...


What an insightful post this was. Truly sometimes getting the job quick is not the way to getting the job done correctly! There is so much wisdom in your moms' words and thank you so much for sharing them.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

~*Michelle*~ said...

Love this analogy....sometimes I find my plants (myself) parched and wilted...the soil (my heart) hardened and cracked. I think of the quick fix you speak of by dousing it with too much water (speed reading/speed praying)....only to have it pass quickly through and not serve the Purpose.

WOW....this was a great post!

Happy New Year, my friend!

christy rose said...

What an excellent post Kathleen! Those quick fixes never really ever do the trick, do they? It is the slow and steady approach to depth of truth and wisdom that brings a full measure of intended beauty and bloom.

Rose said...

Amazing the places we learn life lessons and God lessons.
I had all sorts of visions of "that flower bed" and the gouged out places made by a water blast.
Funny how we think we are so slick and put one over on our parents and sadly we do the same with God. Thanks for the reminder to NOT do that. Great blog!


Andrea said...

What a wonderful post, Kathleen! Like a balm, it has soothed my soul this evening. Beautiful!

So many days, I want more time for that gentle soaking I long for. God is so good and always quenches my thristy soul, and I always leave His presence with peace and desire for more time with Him! Yet, what I receive always takes me through my day. God knows what we need!

Thank God for His mercy and grace! And thank you, my friend, for this post! I love the quote by Ogilvie, and I love the story of your mother's garden!

Blessings and much love,


Just a little something from Judy said...

Here is what I think after reading this insightful post. You inherited your mother's creative nature, only with the gift of writing and maybe not botanical. The picture of your mother is beautiful. You inherited that too. As for the lessons you shared, I know firsthand that shortcuts are not always good. I have learned that the hard way at times in my life journey. I have been realizing in many ways, that God takes a long time to grow us into what He wants us to be. Just like I see it taking lots of time and patience to grow up my children and grandchildren. His life giving, refreshing water...slowly, gently, and continually is what works for real growth. Your analogy is so good. It gave me food for thought as your posts most often do. Thank you for sharing the creativity that God blessed you with, on each of your posts. I think of it as a blogging devotional.

Pat's Place said...

What a wonderful analogy! Thanks!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Cleaning bathrooms... that was my assignment under a watchful eye. Not sure how it relates other than to say a deep clean is always better than a quick wipe...

Lasts longer and disinfects at a deeper level.