by Jill Garrett
I want to share a "little" part of my journey about the power of a single "seed." God planted one in my heart many years ago, a seed that landed on fertile soil. In His perfect timing, that unseen seed grew up and out and manifested in a ministry I was led to call "the little things." I trust with all my heart that "the little things" will bring Jesus a whole lotta glory!
My heart, for you readers, is that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened, and you would take a few moments to recall a seed that was planted in your own heart or begin taking time to pause and notice how many "little things" the Lord places along your path each and every day! You may even be that "little thing" that becomes a great thing in the life of another person.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.
I believe a seed begins as a tiny desire that just so happens to align with God's plans for you.
~ Do you remember a moment when a God sowed a tiny seed/aka a dream, an idea, a desire in your heart?
Perhaps, like me, that seed has lay dormant for many years.
~ Did you forget about it?
~ Do you remember the JOY you felt when it landed?
Thirty years ago, I walked into Lifeway Christian Bookstore and purchased my first Bible. It wasn't the first Bible I had ever received. Believe me, I had quite the collection of "hand-me-downs." I had just joined my first in-depth Bible Study, and I've gotta tell you, I felt more than a little insecure sitting in a circle of seasoned church ladies while opening up my precious mother's worn, torn, very well-loved Bible. The binding was busted! Genesis was actually MISSING….and oh, mercy me! We were studying Genesis!
Sunday at church, I proudly opened my brand-new crisp NAS version, sat it upon my lap, and settled in the ready position –anticipating the sermon. We were about halfway in, and my pastor spoke a Word that I can only describe as a SEED. I felt it! It was as if God's hand came down from heaven and powerfully buried it in the soil of my heart, and in fear of forgetting the power of the words—I grabbed the pen from the pew in front of me, wrote it down, and has spoken to me and spoken to me, over the years!
My pastor said, "Never underestimate the power of a single seed. Out of heaven, God drops it, and it lands ever so gently on the soil of your heart. Years may pass by, and many prayers will be prayed, but ALWAYS trust in that seed. Life will happen, and God will call forth that seed; it will spring forth as a tiny shoot. That seed is a desire that aligns with His desires for you. The purposes and plans He has called you to."
I do not have time to tell you all the "seeds" (aka dreams, desires, ideas) that the Lord has planted over the years of my life and those that have since grown into deeply rooted oak trees, but I do have time to tell you about the most recent one.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37: 4
I love the verse above, but when I was a young believer, the Scripture meant to me: Do good—Keep Performing----Clean it up---and hopefully, when you DO enough good for Him, He will reward you with every desire of your heart.
I realized this pattern of thinking was instilled in my earliest years of life. I had mistaken God for Santa Claus. I grew up singing and believing, "He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake! He knows if you've been bad or good, so be GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!" Be a good child of God and stay off the naughty list, and He'll give you all the desires of your heart!
Bad theology. Our minds need constant renewing. God isn't looking at our performance; He's looking into the deepest recesses of our hearts! That pattern of understanding led to my understanding of grace, and the Father is full of mercy and grace! Jesus lived, died, and defeated death to DO all the things we couldn't do! He lived the LIFE we couldn't live and died the death we deserved to die. He wore our unrighteousness to make us righteous - which is, He made us right with God.
A seed, I believe--begins as a desire, and as 1 Corinthians 3:7 says, "It is the Lord that causes the seed to grow."
The seed planted in my heart while sitting in that church pew a long time ago finally began to sprout and grow a little over a year ago!
It began with hearing—then seeing ALL "the little things."
A teacup painted by my grandmother. A tiny, oval picture frame of my girls (little) dressed in their Christmas dresses. It was hung by a beautiful, deep, green velvet ribbon next to my bed. I began snapping pictures of all "the little things" that the Holy Spirit brought to my attention while stirring my heart.
Suddenly, I was seeing life through a different, new perspective. I was actually living in the present, grateful to be walking in healing and moving further away from my past years of suffering. Suffering can often be so all-consuming that it muddies the lens from which we see. I had endured debilitating suffering for over 6 years, and on this 7th year, biblically known to represent perfection, my perspective/my eyes, were suddenly clear and clean.
I didn't/don't want to take a single moment, a single flower, a single smile, a firm hug, walking (finally balanced), the sound of my two daughter's laughter—every one of those things seemingly small, was suddenly seen for the immense beauty and power it held.
With this new perspective, I suddenly saw how many spiritual truths are found in planting, watering, and watching flowers grow. That a plant's life is fully dependent on you---your time, love, and attention. Forget about it, and it will die. Neglect it, fail to protect it, and it will be eaten by enemies. So many of God's attributes are seen by living In the Ultimate Gardener's shoes.
- Gratitude became my attitude and that attitude—that has the power to change how you see everything and everyone around you.
For since the beginning, God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Romans 1:20
Don't miss "the little things."
With a new perspective and eyes open, I began seeing "the little things" and the power they held in becoming greater than I had ever imagined.
The sprouting from the seed:
I woke in the night with the thought, " Where had I long ago read about the "little things?" Why is this topic so prevalent in my mind right now? I remembered! With a flashlight in my hand, I frantically searched the bookcases. The seed was stirring, and I knew the One who was stirring it. Finally, I found it! A book that I had owned for over twenty years.
I pulled from the bookshelf a "little," faded, black book written by Mother Theresa called "In the Heart of the World." I opened it, began flipping through the pages, and lo and behold, I turned to page 53, and the thought popped into my mind, "Wait, I am 53 years old…." The tile read: "Remember the Little Things."
Mother Theresa shares the story of an elderly man whose life's circumstances include poverty, and loneliness and he finds himself in a beyond desperate, difficult situation. She says, "His house was disordered; actually, it was filthy. I went to visit him and said to him, please let me clean your house, wash your clothes, and make your bed." He answered, "Let it be." She visited him again and said, "You will be better if you allow me to do this." The man finally agreed. He let her into his darkness. He watched while she cleaned his house and washed his clothes. While she was cleaning, she discovered a beautiful lamp. It was literally covered with dust. Only God knows how many years it had been since he last lit it. She said, "Don't you ever light your lamp? Do you use it?" He answered, "No. No one comes to see me. I have no need to light it. Who would I light it for?" She asked, "Would you light it every night if a sister came?" He replied, "Of course," and from that day going forward, the sisters committed to visit this elderly man each evening. Two years passed, and she had completely forgotten about that man. He sent her this message, "Tell my friend that the light she lit in my LIFE continues to shine, still." Mother Theresa said, "I thought it was a very small thing. We often neglect small things."
- One tiny spark of Light can completely alter the darkness.
- Do not be surprised when God takes a little thing (as tiny as a seed) and does GREAT things!
Within days, a young man walked into my husband Bill's office. He said, "This is weird. I feel like the Lord put you on my heart to come to you first. I am selling a house I have been renting for years and felt led to come to you first.
Bill called and said, "I want to pick you up and go see something. I think this is…a God thing."
We drove to the home and pop, pop, pop! That little seed was popping like popcorn in my heart. The first thing I saw was the huge, Live Oak planted in the center of the front yard, whose branches extended far out, like arms reaching towards heaven. The address: Bay to Bay at Church Street.
From outside to inside, the little house was dilapidated. It needed some love, but the bones were strong and beautiful, typical of 1940s architecture.
My daughter came home from London, and together, side by side, the two of us, dedicated 9 months of our gifts and talents in Interior Design! It was pure joy having this time together, doing what we love to do. We filled the house with "little treasures" that had deeper significance because a house tells a story.
One day, as my hands dug deep in the flowerbed, I saw something physical, a spiritual truth. In the creating and restoring of "the little things," the restoration was reciprocal. As I was restoring that little broken-down home, the Lord was also restoring my little, broken-down heart.
After nine months, I felt the Lord saying, "It's time." Open the doors.
A seed planted 30 years ago grew into a ministry, one so new, near and dear to my heart! There is nothing I love more than to have been given the God-given ability to be able to decorate the interior of women's hearts and homes and fill it with the LIFE and BEAUTY of the Gospel!
"The Little Things" since September, has become a ministry where I will combine my gifts of decorating and teaching. It is a place for spiritual growth and connection. A refuge for the weary. A well-tended garden where seeds of encouragement, hospitality, creativity, joy, and rest will be sown. A place where the Lord will guide women back to their faith and create a supportive community where all souls can find solace and purpose. It is a place where we celebrate the little things, create, worship, and laugh! We will have weekend retreats and spiritual soaks.
It is my heart's desire in the spirit of humility and hope, that if you feel led, we invite you to explore "The Little Things." Please feel free to reach out to me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
As for you, my friend, as long as it is still called today, my heart is to encourage you to right now, stop and pause. Selah.
- Ask. Seek. Knock. What is that desire in your heart? Could it be that it is actually a SEED that God planted? His intention was that you would allow Him to take it, shine His Son upon it, and see that tiny, green shoot break forth?
- Never underestimate the power of a tiny seed planted. The tiny seed of an Oak, covered by concrete, will crack that solid concrete to get to the sun, for the POWER is in its root system!
- If you are in a difficult season, I might not know yours specifically, but I have known true suffering and would implore you to be intentional to LOOK UP, above your circumstances, get your eyes fixed on the One and Only who is in no way done with you yet! I am living proof that our GOD, The Great I Am, is able to bring beauty from ashes, give us a mantle of praise for a mantle of despair and heaviness, and turn our mourning into dancing! Do not lose heart! In this world, you will have trouble, but fear not; Jesus has overcome the world!
- Today, begin with a clear perspective to see and allow Jesus to become the sole/soul Gardener of your heart. After all, he is good at mending broken things; what began in a garden, he finished in a garden. He cares about gardens—especially the garden that is your heart. Only He can untangle the messy vines and pull you up and out, leading you forward and upward in freedom!
- And lastly, remember: He loves the "Wild Ones."
And I am certain of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
My prayer for you:
Great is Your faithfulness. Jesus, you ARE Truth embodied. No matter what life is throwing at us, we are certain of this that you "Greater are You, who is in us, than he that is in the world." May we reach for you, grope for you, and find that you are not so far away. I speak the name of Jesus over every person reading this blog. That the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened, that their faith would be fanned, their spirit would be refreshed and restored, and hope would begin to fill their weary hearts.
In Jesus' name. Amen.