Starting around the age of 3, my son (Logan) began to be OBSESSED with what he called “experiments.” In most rooms in our house, you could find a cup full of goodness-knows-what that he had created.
He loved to mix random things together and see what would happen. Some of them contained a mixture of substances that created a smell that would send you running. They smelled SO bad!
Many times these experiments had a “purpose” that Logan would proclaim such as killing wasps, or whatever greater cause he had created in his mind that day. The other thing he loved to do as part of these experiments was to bury things.
One day, at his sister’s softball game, we were eating sunflower seeds. He insisted that we should cease all sunflower-seed consumption immediately. These seeds needed to be taken home and buried. After all, they’re seeds, right?
So I did what any tired, not willing-to-argue mama would do. I stopped eating them and took him home after the game and allowed him to bury the seeds, thinking full well NOTHING would ever happen as a result.
I sure the heck did not believe you could grow sunflowers from seeds that had been dried, salted, processed, and so on. Nonetheless, I obliged him and gave some words of affirmation in the process for his mad digging skills.
After that, Logan waited for his seeds to grow. He checked regularly to evaluate whether there were any signs of life. I placated him and encouragingly responded to his pleas for growth, all the while whispering in my mind, “Never gonna happen, buddy.”
He believed! I, on the other hand, did not!
Proving us wrong
That year there were no sunflowers. Everyone eventually forgot about the seeds that Logan had planted with great anticipation.
It was nowhere on our radar until the next spring, when lo and behold, a sunflower began to grow. We were shocked. Logan was thrilled. His beliefs were being actualized and he loved that in this situation, he knew better than us.
That summer the sunflower grew and grew. He was very proud and protective. It began to flourish and got a bit out of control. Logan would definitely not allow pruning.
In the fall it began to die, and he would not let us cut it down. Eventually it was so dead it just fell over in its spot. He would have a gigantic fit when we talked about throwing it away.
That dead sunflower was propped in the corner on our driveway until Christmas. I seriously thought about decorating it with lights. Thankfully, he let it go before that had to happen.
The dead sunflower was finally thrown in the trash. We believed that was the end of the reign of the mighty sunflower. No way…
This year it is back, even bigger and better than before, spreading everywhere and in need of a good trim. It’s taking over our flower bed, and our poor neighbors are probably tired of looking at our sunflower chaos.
But Logan is back to protecting his sweet baby he grew with a handful of seeds and a dream. And if you’re a mom you know: sometimes you just pick your battles and let that baby grow.
What I learned
It’s amazing what our children can teach us when we really slow down and pay attention to the message. In the midst of this silly story and sunflower madness, I am grateful for the powerful lessons I’m reminded of.
Growth takes time
Sometimes we plant the seeds and nothing seems to happen at first. The transformation is beginning below the surface. This is the most vital part of growth.
We give up when we don’t see anything happening.
It’s easy to throw in the towel and let go of belief when we don’t see the fruit of our labor. Keep going. The deeper foundation is being laid.
We must believe when others don’t.
Just because other people don’t see what you can see, or feel what you can feel, doesn’t mean you’re wrong. You’ve got to cling to what you know to be true for you. No one can believe in your dream the way YOU can.
Sometimes we have to prune even the most beautiful things.
Even the most awesome of dreams can get out of control if we don’t care for it and add structure. Pruning the things that hold us back from growth is how we grow even more. It can be very necessary to take two steps backward in order to take four steps forward.
There is a season for prosperity.
Be grateful for this season. Plan for the winter. During the winter the deep work is happening. It’s necessary. We need EVERY season.
Next year will be even better.
The more we believe and nurture our dreams, the bigger and better they will grow. The hard work, the winters, the sowing, only continues to increase the harvest.
We can hold on to something for too long.
When that thing is obviously dead and is falling over in its place, it may be that its season has passed. We must learn to let go. It’s impossible to grab ahold of new possibilities with two hands when we’re still holding on to the past.
You are the one who holds the powerful message of your dreams deep within. My wish for you is a handful of seeds and a whole lot of belief, so that you may see your beautiful dreams come to harvest!