Do you know what I like about sewing?
There is a pattern, with instructions and pictures, and even fabric recommendations. If you follow the instructions precisely, you will come out with a product that looks exactly like the picture on the front of the pattern.
Simple. Color by number. That's what is comfortable for me.
But gardening isn't that way at all. There are so many variables. The soil. The weather. The seed quality. Insects and animals.
That's the way it is with raising children, too.
How I wish there were a pattern or map to follow. It would be so much more comfortable to follow the directions precisely and come out with this kid that looked exactly like the picture on the front of whatever package you picked out.
For the well-mannered, well-adjusted, on fire for Jesus version, cut here. Double stitch on curves. Press seams.
Instead we prepare the soil the best we can, water faithfully, and try to keep animals from destroying our hard work.
And we pray. We pray for the tender shoot to grow strong, to stand firm against the battering rain, to combat the withering heat, to bear fruit.
We wait and watch and continue to water. And we know the outcome isn't really a product of our making at all. It is a divine miracle that we have been charged with keeping.
Oh, Lord, keep in your care the precious young plants you have given me. Protect them and let them grow straight and strong to produce an abundant harvest for you.