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Before spring break, Aidan brought a few very small sprouting plants home from school. This is the time of year when elementary school children plant seeds in old yogurt cups and two-liter Coke bottles, subjecting them to all sorts of creative growing conditions to learn which growing method is best and which will produce a carnivorous leafy monster bent on world domination.

Aidan planted peanuts and tomatoes.

The peanuts are flourishing, but the tomato sprout died and one cup of seeds never bothered to produce a sprout at all. Yesterday, after school, she visited her sprouts and moaned. She told me it didn’t make sense—the same sunlight and water, but different results? Why, mom?



I told her sometimes you can do everything right, but a plant may not grow. Seeds can be bad, the soil can be harsh, the sunlight too bright or too weak, the water too much or too little. Sorry. You tried and hey! Look at those peanut sprouts! Very cool.

Then I heard it: DingDingDingDingDingDingDing

Was it audible? It was loud enough to make me stop in my tracks to truly consider motherly wisdom.

Sometimes you can do everything right, but a plant may not grow.

I get it.

Sigh. I wish my life didn’t have to turn into an After School Special so frequently, replete with the sunny kitchen and chocolate milk mustache (mine, not Aidan’s). Is it really so simple?

I’m still waiting for a hand to playfully muss up my hair and tell me to go do my homework. Dinner is soon.

19 comments to Peanuts

  • Kind of nice when God provides those “teaching moments,” huh? (and it’s usually when WE’RE trying to enlighten our CHILDREN)

    Thanks for sharing this neat experience.

    Stacey @ Happy Are We’s last blog post..Foiled by a Soggy Diaper

  • Ha! Don’t you just love it when the Lord reminds us of scripture…your post made me think of 1 Cor. 3:6 –

    “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”

    It’s hard to not see growth where we’ve been watering, though.

    Heidi’s last blog post..Dancing With The Stars – The Gutt Goes Home

  • Ann

    This was really touching and speaks to me when I remember your loss, and in another way when I think about loved ones who hear the gospel but they just don’t embrace it. I’m sorry if I misunderstood your message in this post! It’s always risky to share what I understood from someone else sharing their heart. You have such a beautiful heart.

    Ann’s last blog post..A Little Commercial

  • Glad I’m not the only one God speaks to in this manner. I sometimes feel like I’m the star in the sitcom of His design.

    Beautiful lesson. He’s a creative God and the giver of all life. Nothing is out of his control.

    Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..April Fool’s

  • Some things we learn just all at once.
    This was a beautiful post.

    Rebecca’s last blog post..I Got Yer Red Hot Game Right Here

  • This is one of those “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten (or 5th grade) type moments. Definitely something to mull over for quite awhile. I’m so glad He is gentle with us.

    Heth’s last blog post..A Deadly Mistake Averted

  • How do you deal with the anger? I’m struggling with that. I GET IT that things don’t always grow. But I am still angry. Why? Why ME? Why not that 16 year old girl that didn’t want the kid anyways? Why not that couple that couldn’t afford another one or that couple that didn’t want it to begin with?

    You always sounds so peaceful. So TOGETHER. Your pain is obvious, I don’t want to say I don’t hear that. I just wish I could get to where it seems you are. I’m having to fake it right now. Hoping that my mind/heart catches up to my behavior at some point…

    Andi’s last blog post..My Ugly Faith

  • More times than I can count, God has used my own words to my kids to tell me something. It stings sometimes, and yet it’s very sweet.

    Glad you posted. I’ve been thinking of you.

    Rocks In My Dryer’s last blog post..Thoroughly Vindicated

  • That is so hard to accept — especially when it comes to parenting — that you might do everything right and still. And yet, what arrogance to think that we have so much power and control…

  • Our tenure as children is so short. Then we have to be grown-ups for four times as long. Some days I really long for those childhood woes as well, and the hand on my hair.

    Okay, for the person making dinner besides me, too, come to think of it.

    Adulthood stinks more than occasionally. How lovely to remember that we are always children in God’s eyes.

    Praying you feel His hand upon you today.

    Jenni’s last blog post..Deep, cleansing breath

  • God speaks to us so simply, just as you did to Aiden. It is we who want to complicate things with our questions and worries. A simple truth brought to life. Acceptance is sometimes the hardest thing to embrace.

    I’m glad God notices and knows of every single sparrow that falls to the gound. And if He knows the hairs on my head…he also knows the hurt in our hearts.

  • I’m glad for you to have this epiphany moment. I think it’s something we should all remind ourselves in many aspects of our lives. We can only do our best, and then we have to relinquish control.

    Beth’s last blog post..Whirlwind

  • Shayne

    Hugs, Gretchen.

  • Rachel Chip

    I hate to bug you while you are going through this pain, but I saw Andi’s comment above and…I feel just the same! Your “peacefulness” is just amazing! But, I was also wondering, how do you deal with the anger and the stress of it all? Today my doctor told me that she doesn’t think I’ve been able to get pregnant again because I’m too stressed… Don’t worry about answering if you’re not up to it. God is using you as an amazing example in my life. Thank you. Praying for you!

  • How gracious He is to use the words out of our own mouths to lead us in His gentle instruction.

    More hugs.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy’s last blog post..Sorta Closing to Spring Clean!

  • You seem to be allowing Gods wisdom to flow through your words even though your heart is broken.
    I have been praying for you!

    Happy Mommy’s last blog post..Mini VACATION

  • Wow, that was powerful writing, really impressed and I’m thinking of you.

    noble pig’s last blog post..Gettin’ Your Crout-On On!

  • It’s amazing how nature speaks to us also. I heard another story recently of a friend of mine learning a wonderful lesson from an orchid she was caring for. Nature has such wisdom for us if we would just pay attention.

    Your story also reminded me of when I was a kid and had these two fish, my first pets. This is one of my most vivid first memories. One was white and one was black, both with flowing, feathery tails. They died. My mother told me I probably fed them too much.

    I was so angry (and I was just a mean little girl sometimes), that I went into my sister’s room and dumped a bunch of fish food in her tank. I was so distraught and didn’t think it was fair that my sister’s fish were just fine and that mine were gone forever.

    And it isn’t fair. But that’s just how it is sometimes. The way of nature. At least, that’s my view.

    That was a beautiful entry. Thank you for sharing! I got chills!


  • shannon

    yep. I needed the reminder too. 🙂

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