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Good Enough Gardening

by Whitney Simpson

Gardening is one of my hobbies. Well, if I'm being honest, I prepare the soil, dig holes for some plants, hope it rains a lot (which fortunately it has this year at my house), and then pick the harvest when the time is right.  I'm not actually that great of a gardner because I often forget to tend to my garden.  But, I'm a "good enough" gardner because I always reap more tomatoes than I can consume in salads, salsa, tomato soup, or spaghetti sauce.  I could tend my garden more closely but I have found that the time and energy I put into tending the soil is just the right balance, it is "good enough" to produce the right amount of fruit.

I am also a soul tender, sometimes better than a soil tender and sometimes not.  I tend my soul with a variety of spiritual disciplines.  I tend my soul with prayer, movement, study, quiet time, fellowship, delight and much more.  Tending my soul has become something I notice if I go without (those close to me may often notice more quickly than I notice).  Without tending my soul, my life can become overrun with weeds like a poorly tended garden.   The fruits of my life (family time, friendships, work, etc.) begin to have holes in them like rotten tomatoes if I lose focus on tending my soul.  And while I'll never master it all, I am learning that soul tending helps me more fully grasp the concept of "good enough" in this life.

 

Kimberly Dunnam Reisman taught me about being "good enough" in her new Bible study.  Kim says this, “Good enough” is not about measuring up to the world’s standards. It is about discerning what God desires us to do as God’s Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit, guiding us to an understanding of what choice is the right choice for us to make."  The first time I heard Kim speak about being "good enough" something in my soul began to sing and I felt a huge sense of relief!  "Good enough" is all I ever really want to be but instead I often fall into the temptation of being super woman, being perfect, being someone I was not made by God to be.  Kim helped me understand that tending the soul helps me be "good enough" because tending the soul allows me to discern what God desires for me instead of what the world desires for me.

 

And so, I've taken the "good enough" advice and I'm working to adopt it in all areas of my life, not just my garden.  Yes, there are going to be weeds in my garden and in my life.  There is not a perfect garden nor a perfect life.    But, I'm learning to discern what is "good enough."  There is also not a farmer's almanac that tells us what our souls need and when.  Fortunately, there is scripture to guide our decisions and choices.  We can look to scripture to discover how the Holy Spirit has communicated with his people since the beginning as we learn to tend our souls.  

 

The "good enough" concept helps me live more intentionally and I hope it does you too.  It helps me live into who I am and who God made me to be.  The "good enough" advice keeps my garden producing plenty of tomatoes even when there are a few weeds in the bed. It does the same in my life.  So, the reality check that Kim teaches us is that whatever the world's standards are, they do not apply.  The reality is that I never want to stop tending my soul.  Because I never want to stop hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me.  I want and need this guidance to understand the choices that are right for me to make each and every day for the fruits of this life.

 

Prayer: Lord, bless our souls with your spirit this week.  May we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we tend to the everyday details of life and our souls in the process. Amen.

 

How about you?  Shall we focus on a little soul tending this week?  Are there weeds growing up or anything that has rotted that may need to be pulled out to make room for the Holy Spirit to thrive in your life?  Can you celebrate and savor the "good enough" concept in at least one area of your life this week?

 

If you are interested in finding out more about The Christ-Centered Woman Bible study, you can view Week 1 by clicking here.