How do we grow green grass and lovely flowers? In my last blog, we looked at the old saying “The grass is always greener…” and pondered the idea that so many young women look at other’s lives and wish that theirs looked like someone else’s life. Today, I would like to look at the first of several ways we can grow our own lives into flourishing gardens, lovely enough to bring joy and satisfaction not only to ourselves, but to those around us!
There are many things that go into growing a healthy garden, or cultivating a lush, green lawn. The same is true for our lives. The more effort one puts into one’s life, the happier and healthier that life will be. Continuing to use the gardening simile, let’s call these things “tools.”
Tool #1: Water
One of the most important gardening “tools” is water (or the watering can or hose used to convey the water). Every plant must have sufficient water to grow properly, and so every life must have sufficient water to be all it can be! Through watering, plants receive the necessary nutrients to grow and flourish. There are many things in life I could compare to water, but for now I will call our “water” intellectual stimulation. Watering our souls is deeply important. This particular tool will provide knowledge, understanding, wisdom, life perspective, and so many other vital “nutrients!”
I believe that it is essential to read and study, listen and learn on a daily basis. Before you panic and think I am talking about “school,” let’s think this over. The first watering tool is reading. Read widely, both fiction and non-fiction. Read the Bible to familiarize yourself with God’s Word, as well as with a broad range of wisdom that has endured for thousands of years. Read informational books and papers to learn new skills and information, read stories to learn about how people act and react in many situations. Read histories to learn from the past, and read for fun as well as for information. The more you read, the more you will learn, the broader your knowledge and comprehension will be, and the more you will know about the world you live in.
With this information, you can begin to filter what is right and wrong, what is good and evil, what you want to incorporate into your life and what you don’t.
There are many other ways to water the soul as well: talk with people to discover their beliefs, the life wisdom they have learned, and the character qualities that make them who they are. Observe the world, watching people’s actions. Listen to music, learning to comprehend the heart-cry of many artists and composers who express themselves through song.
The most important concept to walk away with is the deep need each person has to connect beyond themselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I believe that many young women today limit their knowledge to what they see and hear through media and the input of those they admire. They never look beyond this to see what is real and what is false, what will help them and what will harm them.
We live in a world where information is readily available, yet few people really take advantage of this availability! Growing up, I read avidly, and I still do. I love to read, to study, to learn, but important, I love to grow, and that is what watering my soul does for me!!
Take a moment to reflect on your life. Do you water your soul regularly, or are you slowly dehydrating your life by limiting the nutrients you take in? Watching certain movies and reading glamour magazines can be fun and informative when mixed in with a balanced lifestyle of wisely-chosen information-gathering, but alone, these things do nothing more than give us a twisted, unhealthy outlook on life, similar to the young lady who watched her neighbor’s garden grow in my last blog post. Be certain that your life is well-watered with a healthy variety of nutrients, and you will begin to discover that you are developing a well-rounded, vibrant character with many varied qualities.
What are your favorite ways of watering your soul?