Lessons from the garden: An unexpected guide to family growth (part 2)

National flower of Ethiopia
Image via Wikipedia

Have you  wanted to grow a strong family?  The principles of growth surround us daily and provide learning opportunities.

Lessons from the garden continued:

2.  We need others for success.

Some plants, like marigolds, deter pests from other vegetation.  Some plants provide necessary shade for others.  Daylilies make great rose neighbors because of their noninvasive roots.  The differences complement and strengthen one another.

The same is true within a family.  One child may not follow the same patters as another but will still find value in their mutual connection.  The shy child may appreciate and need the outgoing brother or sister.  The energetic one needs the calming nature of their polar opposite.  This complimentary status applies to parenting styles too.  One parent may serve as disciplinarian while the other’s calm assertive gifts sooth the family.

3.  Watch out for weeds.

No matter the terrain, weeds sneak in and disturb solid growth.  They can blend in with soil at first.  Suddenly, they burst up and choke your precious plants.  In order to save the plants, the weeds must go.  This requires getting dirty and digging or pulling them out by hand.

The same is true with people in our lives.  Some people cause us and our family more harm than good.  We have to weed them out of our lives. Cutting out people weeds is just as messy, or more so, than the plant form.  Some people don’t wish for removal and put up a fight.  But in the interest of personal growth, the value of weeding shows itself in family productivity and beauty.

4.  One person’s weed is another’s Lily.

Having mentioned the need to weed, let me also add, occasionally we discover the beauty of some weeds.  Within our yard, we had the most annoying big leaf thing sprouting by our patio, where we wanted grass to grow.  For two years, we chopped it down with the weeder-eater.  Out of curiosity, the third year, we let it grow.  The weed in question grew into a fountain shape and bloomed a Calla Lily.  It lit up a corner of our garden with amazing beauty.

At first, some people seem weed-ish.  They bring unexpected discomfort to our lives.  Their way of doing things differs from ours.  But with care, an open heart, and an appreciation for their uniquenesses, they can bloom so beautifully.  Discerning the good weed from the bad can prove challenging and isn’t appropriate for everyone.

But, as confidence allows, you might discover your own Calla Lily.

My choice today:

Tend the garden that is my family.

(coming tomorrow, part 3, final lessons from the garden.)

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