On Cultivating Carrots & Creativity

By Edie Melson
@EdieMelson

But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner. 
I Corinthians 14:40

Spring is here and so
many of the people we know are busy planting gardens. As I listened in on one
recent conversation, I was drawn back to one summer when I decided to try my
hand at gardening.
Our boys were young,
and we had decided—for some unremembered reason—that planting a vegetable
garden would be a great idea. I can’t imagine that either my husband or I would
have had the time or energy—after keeping up with three active young boys—to
really take care of it. Oh, the optimism of young parents.

But we were optimistic,
and so we began. We used an old tiller, plowed up a small bit of ground, and
planted a variety of seeds. One of the vegetables I was most looking forward to
eating fresh out of the garden was carrots. When it came time to plant the
carrots, I was amazed at how tiny the dark seeds were in the palm of my hand. I
remembered the man at the garden center warning us to plant the seeds
sparingly, but the seeds were so small, and I really wanted a large crop of
carrots. So I sprinkled them thickly in the ground. After all, I figured, if a
few were good, more would be better.
Those of you who are
expert gardeners are probably beginning to grin, because you already know what
happened. I think every single one of those tiny seeds took root and sprouted.
As they grew, in a few short weeks they became a tangled mess, fighting for
nutrients and space. Then, after lifting a couple of inches of green toward the
sun, every single one of those carrots withered and died. I was left with nothing
more than the bitter taste of disappointment and discouragement.
As this memory
resurfaced, I found myself asking God why it had come to mind. I realize that I’d
been looking at my calendar and I heard God warning me, once again, that my
life was becoming crowded by saying yes to too many things. All the things were squeezing out the time I needed to write. He was warning me
to plant fewer seeds and take time to nurture them. Otherwise I’d find myself
with an empty garden, with nothing but withered endeavors from pouring too many
good things into my life.
So I ask you, how is
your garden? Is it well-ordered and taken care of? Or, in your desire too accomplish much, are you also crowding out any hope of reaping a harvest?  

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Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent, fiction, Alone, and nonfiction, While My Child is Away. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She’s the the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com.