January is a great time for planning the year’s garden. On paper, it’s a challenge to put my latest plant acquisitions in the most optimum place. Alongside my back porch, there is a little collection of pots with plants that need to be planted once the weather thaws out.
It is said that you are not a “real” gardener until you’ve moved a plant three times. That must mean I am really real! It’s not so much that I change my mind, although that does happen quite frequently. But some plants grow too large for their location, or they simply don’t do well in the spot I’ve chosen for them.
And so they move. And move. And move again!
There are some distinct advantages to moving plants. You can divide them and spread out the roots. You can get a bigger stand of that particular flower, or share them. I have literally given away more irises than the hefty amount remaining in my garden!
When you move a root system, you can also cultivate the soil underneath, and even add soil improvements down deep where the roots can get them. Many times a plant that is moved will fare better, just from the care given to it during the displacement.
Daffodil bulbs will often get so crowded that they stop blooming. Digging them up and spreading them out will help them thrive.
Winter is often a good time to organize in the home, too. Cleaning the attic this week netted me a nice cake plate that had been misplaced and a long-lost story written by our oldest daughter. It was like buried treasure!
Sometimes our lives need a little moving and reorganizing. No, I don’t mean household moving of the U-Haul type. As a preacher’s wife, I’ve done that too many times! What I mean is developing new habits, new interests, new ministries.
New Year’s resolutions are good, but I don’t personally participate in that. Tomorrow is a new day; whether it’s January 12 or October 12. There is always opportunity for improvement on any day.
What about moving things around in our lives to make more room for God? Are we too busy with everything else to attend worship and Bible study regularly? What about personal Bible study?
How about random acts of kindness? I am good at thinking about doing something and then not having the time to carry it out. There needs to be some moving and shaking in my daily schedule so that my actions will line up with my intentions.
Just as my plants grow when they are divided and moved, my talents should also be growing. Maybe I should think about expanding my ability to speak at events. I would have to do some preparation first, of course; just as I would prepare the soil where my newly uprooted plants will be moved.
Special care has to be given to the newly moved plants. (This is where our New Year’s resolutions are addressed!) When we shake things up and rearrange our lives, there is always the danger of failure. If I move my lilies in the heat of summer, they will need daily watering and even some temporary shade.
Similarly, our new habits and talents will need nurturing and attention, lest they shrivel and die like my poor Sea Holly did last summer.
Lastly, be careful of the direction you are moving.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).