8 EASY WAYS TO JUMP-START YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
The Secret Garden: Wisdom from a Garden in Shambles
Lately I've been a bad gardener. My yard is in shambles. These flowers aren't mine. This is just me borrowing someone else's perfectly manicured rose garden with a well-timed sunset.
In my own space, weeds and crabgrass and gopher holes are spoiling the surface everywhere I look. My tomato trellises are all askance like a bunch of seasick sailors tossing their cookies-- but in this case, rotten tomatoes litter the deck. Where there was once an array of sweet-scented golds and pinks, my wildflowers are now brown husks of their former glory.
It's crazy to think that just one season ago, everything was manicured and thriving. My trees were heavy with delicious fruit, my zucchini plants were luscious and productive and my flower bed was resplendent with roses, zinnias, cosmos and poppies. That's how quickly a garden and a soul descends into chaos. Just a little bit of neglect and you reap a harvest of decay.
After one season of apathy, the secret garden of your life can be unrecognizable.
So how long has it been since you pulled the weeds from the landscape of your heart? Do you have a beautiful harvest embedded there? Or have you noticed roots of bitterness springing up? Perhaps you've spotted stinginess or gossip creeping over your heart unchecked. Without the intentionality of daily spiritual maintenance, short tempers, entitlement, course language and haste sprout quickly over the soil of our souls. In real life, we can't borrow anyone else's faith. We can't step into their discipleship walk and pretend ours is thriving, too. We must take responsibility to cultivate our own. It is slow, monotonous, daily, beautiful and essential work.
If you've been neglecting your spiritual garden, grab a rake and a garbage bag and lets' get to work.
HOW ARE YOUR MORNING ROUTINES?
How are your morning routines? Have you been spending some precious time with the Son? Or has your love grown cold for hospitality, evangelism or service? Looking into the light of His Word will infuse strength into your habits and callings. It will correct your perspective on how much time you have and what resources you should give. A daily dose of God's promises will fuel your ability to manage your schedule and give from the abundance of what He has entrusted you with.
The garden of our lives can be a fragrant invitation to the lost or a repugnant sign that there is nothing life-giving about walking with Christ.
Tend the garden of your soul today. Stop procrastinating and find your Bible.
Start with one of these 8 easy ideas.
8 EASY WAYS TO JUMP-START YOUR GROWTH
1. Download a Bible reading plan from the YouVersion Bible app or the BibleProject.
2. Use a Scripture-reading app like Streetlights audio Bible on Spotify and play it in your car when you're stuck in traffic, doing the dishes or slapping on makeup. It will read the Word to you in a unique and creative way.
3. Listen to faith-based podcast episodes from one of my favorite life-giving podcasts like The Daily Grace Co., The Godmother with Lisa Bevere, Carey Nieuhof Leadership Podcast, Mama Bear Apologetics or Risen Motherhood.
4. Memorize this verse about flourishing. Flourishing means clinging to God's promises in the good times and the bad. It results in deep, vigorous growth. Repeat it anytime you're tempted to avoid "Secret Garden Time!"
"Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts
of our God. In old age they will still bear fruit; healthy and green
they will remain." Psalm 92:13,14
5. Build a worship playlist on Spotify. Create a playlist of worship songs like this one that my friend Jessica built, -- she is gifted to curate worship music so take advantage and make worship the background of your whole day.
6.Take 30 days to read through Proverbs with a friend or mentor. Meet over coffee once a week or text everyday and talk about what you're reading. Let the wisdom soak in deep and begin to nourish the dry soil of your heart.
7. Find a real life mentor or some impactful Christian YouTubers like KaciNicole, Tara Sun or yours truly! Begin digesting content like this Playlist of Prayers or Women of the Bible or Beets By Schrute and Other Lessons from the Garden and grow in discipleship.
8. Stock up on devotional materials like the Hosanna Revival Journaling Bible from Amazon, a prayer journal like this one, the awesome devo by Margaret Feinberg about principles from gardening called Flourish, Well-Watered Woman by Gretchen Saffles or Jesus Listens by Sarah Young.
The Lord is faithful. The second you return to Him, you will begin to grow again. Give Him the keys to your heart and begin tending those secret places today.
Let me know what your favorite idea was in the comments and be sure to subscribe to me on YouTube for more discipleship content and guided Bible studies!