Friday, March 28, 2014


Like the good southern woman I am, I put okra seeds into water this morning to start soaking. I gave up  on the idea of apartment gardening this year. My rosemary, and yes the cactus, are dead, and my kale plant is not far behind. We just don't get enough direct sun in our little apartment.

The thought of a garden-less season saddened me, but I'd let it go. This just wasn't the time for it. Another year.  But, I was reminded last week that my church has garden plots for the community and to fill our food pantry. When I checked, one was still available.

This is my beautiful plot:

It's big. It has soaker hoses already installed. The soil is loose. It has a nice little colony of ladybugs. It's even complete with a volunteer onion (?) right in the middle and some plants that might be lettuce. I weeded it this week, and, while I'm still sore, it felt good to have soil turning over in my fingers again.

It's still a month and a half away from our last freeze (lets not talk about that), but I got the okra started today.

I love watching seeds grow. It amazes me that these tiny seeds turn into fuzzy, mini okras, and then full grown ones, and then into a pile of crispy fried okra on my Sunday lunch plate.

It's magical.

With the start of gardening season spinning through my mind I finally got around to reading the article I'd bookmarked on Suzii Paynter's sermon at the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry conference today. I really like Suzii, and have a lot of respect for her and her work in Texas with the Christian Life Commission (working on everything from trying to end hunger to combating human trafficking). Her words resonated.

Suzii Paynter urged participants at the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry conference to consider lessons from the life of 19th-century abolitionist Sarah Moore Grimke. In a novel by Sue Monk Kidd based on Grimke’s life, The Invention of Wings, the central character prays, “Please God, let this seed you planted in me bear fruit.” Suzii Paynter told women ministers to listen to the voice of God who called them, not the “belittling voices” who tell them what they cannot do. 

“The premise, of course, is that there are seeds of leadership deep in our lives,” Paynter explained. “These seeds bear remembering if they are to bear fruit.”

And, “Accept the unfinished business of your life in ministry. You do not know which imperfect, unfinished parts of your story will be part of God’s golden theme,” Paynter said. “You will never be given a tailor-made calling. But you will grow toward the fullness of your calling if accompanied by Christ.”

I'm going to let these okra seeds soaking up water on my desk be a reminder to look for, nourish, and remember those seeds of calling, seeds of leadership, in me and in others.

{You can (and should) read the whole article here on ABP's website.} 

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