My Black Thumb Isn’t Really Black

I’ve always thought I had a black thumb. I’ve never kept a plant alive long term. In fact, they usually only last about a month. If that. Yes, I’m THAT bad.

We bought a house with a lot of beautiful landscaping last year, so this spring, I was confronted once again with my gardening ineptitude. But this time there was a lot more pressure.

Our house is on a corner and both the front and back landscaping are on display for all to see. This was all fine and good for the previous owners who have family landscaping business. But The Hubby and I have little to no experience in the area and definitely not the budget to keep the landscaping services.

Garden Sign Shoots

So this spring rolled around and there were weeds to be pulled, bushes to be pruned, plants to be properly identified to figure out if they were weeds or bushes…yes, I didn’t even know we had two rose bushes until I asked around on Instagram.

The point is that work needed to be done and we got to work. And there’s no professional level gardening or landscaping going on here, but most things are looking pretty good. I haven’t killed much in the process. The boys even got me some plants for Mother’s Day and those are still alive!

I don’t think a black thumb has been my problem in the past. It was my unwillingness to put in the time and effort needed to make those plants thrive.

Garden Watering

A week ago, as I was picking more weeds before a storm rolled in, God gave me some quiet moments just so He could show me His heart for my children. Summer had started roughly for us – attitudes and laziness and disobedience – my frustration level was high. What was I doing wrong? I honestly felt like I had a black thumb for mothering.

Garden Black Thumb

I had just pulled weeds not too long ago, but here I was doing it again. This was annoying to me, but my only other choice was to let the weeds take over. As I worked, God drew my attention to the weeds I was so patiently and diligently pulling out {again}, careful to take the root whenever possible and throw it away for good. Weeds are popping up in our hearts and minds all the time. They are popping up in the hearts and minds of our children. God tells us exactly what to do with those weeds:

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~2 Corinthians 10:5

A weed is every little thing Satan tries to plant in our hearts or minds and we are to bind those up in the name of Jesus and throw them out.

Garden New Life

With our children, we cannot take each thought captive for them, be we can keep diligent watch for the signs of those weeds – anger, jealousy, bitterness, complaining, disobedience, discontentment, and so on – and then patiently get to the root of that weed and help them pull it out and throw it away.

Garden Growth

Getting to the roots of these weeds isn’t always easy, especially when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope with that child. One of our children was struggling with anger just this week and I just wanted to stick him in his room for the rest of the day so he wouldn’t lash out at anyone {keeping it real}. But Jesus pointed me back to the weeds and urged me to take a different approach. I got him to sit with me, very reluctantly but calmly, and we looked at some verses in the Bible related to anger. I counted it a victory that I kept a level head and that he listened, and even talked a little, while we learned about God’s thoughts on anger.

Truthfully, in that moment, I had a million other things I wanted and needed to be doing, but my child’s heart needed tended and my husband and I are the ones God has left in charge of the tending, a job that requires our attention, patience, and diligence.

Our bushes and plants are in full bloom right now. It makes me smile every time I drive up to our house and see this…

Garden Full Bloom

And I’m thankful for the picture He painted in my heart as I pulled weeds because it comes to mind when I see those plants and that sign. Everything beautiful DOES start with Him. I know that a lot of the important stuff in parenting that gives us the strength and vision to keep going happens in those moments we spend in prayer, when we start with Him.

I never really did have a black thumb, either in gardening or parenting. I was just lacking in the patience and diligence needed to see something beautiful grow. God is doing some work in the garden of my heart and the blooms are starting to show as I interact with my children.


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That beautiful garden sign was a part of the DaySpring Redeemed Collection. The sign is no longer available, but they still have a beautiful line of home decor with a few outdoor things that point to our Creator! In the month of June, everything in the home section is $30 Off with a $100 minimum purchase. Just use the coupon code SAVE30 at checkout!

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  1. You don’t know how much I needed to hear this today. We have been struggling with attitude issues with my 6 & 3 yr old boys. I’m tired from working ask day and taking care of our 9 mo. So I’m lacking in the patience and diligence department. When I get exasperated with their tempers God showed me I needed to set the example for them. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. And thank you for a new perspective.

  2. I love this! I always thought I had a black thumb too until I started putting in the effort it requires. Great analogy to our kids and great reminder.

  3. This was sent by God at this moment in my life… We too are struggling with weeds in the lives of our kids this summer… same you spoke of… The enemy want’s me to give up.. but God sent your words to me today to remind me… We all have weeds of sin in our lives that need to be pulled again, and again, and again… Thank you… Your words have given me much needed hope!

  4. I love, love, LOVE gardening analogies. My yard is full of them and this is so well written. Thanks Erin.