Gardening in White Pants

Gardening in White Pants

July 3, 2017

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

I am an unlikely gardener. My grandfather could grow tomatoes with his eyes closed, but I never seemed to get it. For most of my life I craved instant results and quick fixes. I wanted flourishing and full bloom, right from the start.

I preferred to skip the in-between part. The sometimes-awkward waiting, tending and growing part. So, it’s no surprise that I’ve killed a lot of plants in my life.

But, after a miraculous season of God transforming my hopeless marriage and redeeming what felt impossible to change — infidelity, hurt and broken promises — I felt a new, somewhat unexplainable, desire to start a garden.

Gardening had always seemed like a gentle hobby for those who had more time on their hands. Yet, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d type, much less live: God was transforming a plant-killer like me into a gardener.

As my life was being changed by God’s grace, my hands followed.

One Saturday morning, I stood in the yard and opened a packet of yellow pear tomato seeds. As I unsealed it, I steadied my hands. If you’ve ever enjoyed an heirloom tomato in the summer, you may have noticed the seeds. They are tiny and delicate. I reached into the packet and touched one with my pointer finger. It grasped on to me, as if I now held some responsibility for its life. I could choose to cultivate it or let it remain dormant.

Inside a seed is something powerful: potential. And potential is scary, isn’t it? It calls us to grow — to take action, become and step forward in faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Planting seeds is risky. It’s putting our trust in something bigger than we are. It’s optimism and faith. It requires letting go, and I don’t like letting go. I like being in control. I like efficiency, security, routine, predictability. I like having a plan.

As I looked down at the seeds, I knew I held possibility in my hands. What do I do now? How do I plant this? How many seeds do I plant at once? What if I don’t do this perfectly and it doesn’t grow?

I had a choice to make: Risk imperfect progress to grow new life, or regret not growing anything at all. In that moment, faced with the possibilities in a tiny tomato seed, I chose fear over faith.

Yes, you read that right.

I flicked the seed off my finger back into the packet and sealed it up.

I was too afraid to plant anything from seeds at first. I feared I would mess up and everything in my garden would die. And I believed the lie that if I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wasn’t going to do it at all. I was conditioned to think that messes were bad and doing it perfectly the first time was good.

We don’t like imperfect starts, do we? We want perfect right out of the gate.

But all plants grow through the dirt, and so do we. Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.

Trying to cultivate an intentional life without making a mess at times is like trying to garden in white pants. I’ve done this — stepping out into the tomato vines, thinking I’ll just prune a couple of rogue vines and somehow walk away dirtless. But keeping my white pants clean isn’t possible when pruning “the Bobs,” as we call our tomatoes (thank you, VeggieTales). That doesn’t ever happen, no matter how hard I try.

And you know what? When I’m focused on keeping my white pants dirt-free, I end up missing the joy in what the garden calls me to do: be fully present right where I am. The garden begs for my presence, and when I give it — with leaps of faith and garden-dirtied pants along the way — it grows.

Lord, help us grow what matters alongside You, taking leaps of faith and trusting in what we can’t yet see. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 3:7, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (NIV)

Ever feel like you have to have it all together in order to live a meaningful life, but instead feel inadequate, overwhelmed and exhausted as you’re trying to do it all? You’ll appreciate Lara Casey’s new book, Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, offering wisdom from God’s Word alongside lessons Lara has learned in her garden. Woven throughout is her personal story, which gives freedom to move from planning to planting a meaningful legacy.

Connect with Lara on her blog and follow her adventures in motherhood, business and gardening on Instagram.

Enter to WIN a copy of Cultivate by Lara Casey. In celebration of this book, W Publishing Group is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, July 10, 2017.}

What have you wanted to do or start, but you have been afraid of trying?

What do you feel has been holding you back from taking a leap of faith?

© 2017 by Lara Casey. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks W Publishing Group for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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  1. I have been trying to expand my business. Fear has been my wall. This article is a true reflection of who i am. Someone who needs to know what the ‘Z’ is fron ‘A’. But with the help of my husband im begining to understand that you have to keep moving no matter how little you think you know or are capable of. Im overcoming. Ill get there someday.

    • What a blessing! A beautiful picture of not allowing fear to paralyze us. I encourage my children to try and not worry about excelling but it’s a message I need to hear more than they do.

    • WOW! Thank you for your words! God is never late to use someone to talk to us through, he is always on time and knows what we need!


  2. Jill Brantley says:

    I needed this today. Thank you!

  3. I needed to read this devotional today

  4. Kersten Millen says:

    I really enjoyed reading Gardening in white pants it resonated with me in so many areas of my life. As I strengthen my relationship with Christ I realize I have to constantly reaffirm my faith and learn to be patient. It’s a learning process but I will get there one day.

  5. Jamille Atha says:

    I don’t have a green thumb per say, but yesterday I explored a beautiful garden at a farm and it was therapeutic for me. I wasn’t actually afraid of getting dirty, but was very inspired and in awe of God’s beautiful creation. Thank you for being transparent with us. Reminds me that He has made everything beautiful in His time. God bless.

  6. Rose Le Page says:

    Thank you for these thoughts on growing. God is the supreme Gardener who placed Adam and Eve in a garden to tend it and to keep it.
    “Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees,
    That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees.
    So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
    For the glory of the garden, that it may not pass away.
    And the glory of the garden, it shall never pass away.
    (Rudyard Kipling)

  7. I love this devotional. I am going through a similar storm in my marriage (hurt, broken promises etc) and have turned to God for help. It’s not easy being a sole believer in a relationship for two, and my turning to God has seemed to have added a bit of fuel to an already blazing fire as my husband just wants things to be as they used to be. But I am not turning back I believe God brought us these struggles to get back on his path as it is because we have followed the desires of our flesh that we are in this Garden now. I know my roses won’t bloom right away but the hope in this story gives me hope. Amen.

    • Tarryn, I, too, am the sole believer in my marriage. There are many, many other women in this same situation. We see this as a ministry God chose us specifically for. I have been planting seeds for decades and it can be discouraging not to see a hint of a sprout! But God, in His infinite and great love for us, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. Those seeds will grow in His timing. Meanwhile, Tarryn, your roses are in bloom with that sweet aroma of Christ.

    • Good morning, Tarryn. It is most definitely hard be married to someone who isn’t following Christ. Take comfort in 1 Corinthians 7:12-17, which talks about being married to an unbeliever. Continue to lean on the Lord and he will give you strength each and every day.

  8. Thank you for such an inspiring, thought provoking message on growing.

  9. Denise Moyer says:

    “Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.”
    Those words jumped out at me. I have trouble separating that.
    That gives me something to think & pray about.

  10. I enjoyed your devotional immensely!

  11. Thank you for this devotional. I am struggling right now on w as I ting on God’s timing on a matter dear to my heart. This gave me comfort. Blessings!

  12. I need to focus on making imperfect progress by faith instead of doing nothing led by fear. Thank you for this reminder!

  13. Stephen says:

    Great blog so accurate, simple, well explained, gave me a lot of hope to my spirit.

  14. I feel so restless lately. Like I’m not living up to Gods expectations for my life. I hold myself back, partly because I don’t know “where or what” to jump into. I’m praying for clarity and courage to do what Jesus has called me to do. (and to hear whatever that is)

    • “Clarity and courage.” Good requests, Sara. Perhaps God isn’t calling you to “jump into” something new, but to take small steps of obedience where you are right now–step into Bible reading, step into informal conversations with God, step into worship in small moments of joy.

      People ask how I know God’s will in specific situations. That knowledge didn’t come suddenly in a big moment of clarity. It grew out of tiny seeds of obedience, like Lara’s carefully tended garden.

    • Sara I read something once that I thought of when I read your comment. It said, “When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.” When you’re in a place of unknown just start with what you know to do and listen carefully for the whispers of the Father as he guides you. He will come if he’s invited. I’ve made a point to say, God I invite you to do the dishes with me. God I invite you to help me get the kids to bed. He longs for a relationship with us, we just have to ask through prayer and do what we know to do.

      • Amber– I know you left this for Sara, but I wanted you to know that your words touched my heart and I so needed them today. Thank you–

  15. A seed as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain. My great grandmother had a necklace that was a marble with a mustard seed in the middle…I wore this for years and every time my life calls for it I drop to my knees and pray with confidence. God has moved big mountains in my life and through all this it gives me confidence that God is really in control…and through my faith he is working like a tidal wave in my messy life. I can feel his hand guide me everyday.

  16. Yeah, this is typically me. Been afraid to do and to try things all my life. I’m afraid everytime I try, something bad is going to happen. I need to just let go and let God.

    So thank you for your amazing words of encouragement.

  17. Thank you for this devotional. I would love to read and share this book with my daughter.

  18. Toia Banks says:

    As a single mother of 4 and us all having many talents i need this.

  19. ALL of the words in this timely devotional speaks to me. I am so mind-blown by this :’)

  20. Lindsay says:

    I enjoyed this devotion this morning, how true we can be taken and molded into something more when we allow our God to be in control and not us !

  21. Ashley Williams says:

    My desire for quick fixes in my life, has often caused me more heartache in already painful situations. My need for some sort of resolution, right then, has often made me make reckless choices. Some days I wish I just had an off switch. The devotion today was the right word at the right time. I need to learn to step back, and let things cultivate, God is here and he is working, I just have to let go.

  22. Love to work in in flower garden..

  23. Sharon Seneker says:

    I need to develop inside too! 🌺

  24. Donyelle says:

    Thank you for the devotional this morning. It seems every area of my life is in turmoil, from my marriage to my job. I struggle with knowing when to wait and when to move.

  25. Cary Hughen says:

    Me!Cultivate me.

  26. Cyndee Crout says:

    I pray to cultivate, care for and grow in faith to do whatever God would have me do.

  27. Tammy Emrick says:

    Thank you for that story and devotion. I am 49 and in a strange place in my life trying to figure things out. I need some solid direction and not the quick fix I desire. I also do not have a green thumb. I love gardens but growing one scares me. Afraid to fail.

  28. Luanne Roberts- Hunte says:

    I have often been told that I like being in control- I must know exactly where we are going, what time we are leaving, who will be there and so on. While I refer to this as preparedness, others don’t. People call me a control freak if I do not know the plan down to a “T”. I’m hoping that this book will helo me let go and let God or at the

    very least allow me to see what others are saying about me because one cant acknowledge and change what one isn’t awarr of.

  29. I love this. Each year I ask God for a word or a theme for what He wants to do in me and with me. My word for this year is “intentional”. I am going to have to check out her book for sure!

  30. Eric Williams says:

    This is why I keep returning to universals truth like love your nieghbor and be still. This is scriptural. After poring over the scripture I come to find out not only knowledge of the word is necessary but too is attitude. Niether good or bad but perhaps what is appropriate for the situation. I say perhaps because I don’t have the whole truths. This is a humble attitude.

  31. Cheryl Janowich says:

    It takes time for some things to grow! I so not like waiting! Thanks for your devotion today.

  32. WOW.

  33. This was what I needed to hear today. I am so impatient at the in between part, and want to skip right to where everything is grown and mature in my life. As I push through the tough times right now, I know I need to lean on God and not rely on my own fear and insecurities.

  34. Clara Murphy says:

    Excellent reminder for us to slow down and live in the moment and to put your trust in God. We have to work at things we want and not expect instant results.

  35. Dorothy Clement says:

    I would love the chance of winning a copy of Cultivate!

  36. Susan Alexander says:

    Thank you for your message, Lara! Your words were exactly what I needed to hear today! I look forward to reading your book!

  37. Yea, those overwhelmed feelings!

  38. Loved this devotion? Thank you . Love’Bobs’!

  39. What a beautiful description of faith over fear. It gives me hope that even I am not a failure if I do not perform perfectly and the freedom to step out and try! Thank you!

  40. Laurie Anne Scott says:

    This looks like a wonderful book! As a newly-retired woman, I’m looking for opportunities to cultivate new relationships and use my time and talents to bless others and deepen my relationship with Christ.

  41. Karen Hemenway says:

    I would love to read this book. I need help in the areas
    The book is about.
    God Bless, thank you

  42. Thank you so much for this devotional and the book, too.

  43. This was such an inspirational read. I struggle with this exact thing every day. I really appreciated this message, as it is a “perfect” start to my day!

  44. Isolde Hendrich says:

    I received a Packet, with all the necessary Mohai material, Pattern Pieces, except the correct yarn and the ”movable” joints, which would in the end enable my wish for a large home-made Teddy Bear to come true!
    I love Teddies, and it would give me a major feeling of accomplishment, to let this Teddy sit on a chair or on our bed, after a good 13 years (perhaps more!
    It would have movable arms, legs and a head, which could be changed into a different gesture each day!

    But I am too afraid to begin, as I am afraid that the end-result will not be good enough!
    I am afraid, that it’s shape will be distorted…., that one arm might not look exactly like the other.

    I am now 56, and life is ”flying” past… I have been healed from Cancer twice, and am extremely thankful to be healed, and yet: I am afraid/lack confidence, to ”just do this! SEW MY TEDDY ! (It was a large and expensive gift
    coming from my husband’s heart.

    • Lee Ann says:

      Oh, Isolde…..please, please, PLEASE take that first step of faith and go through the motions if you must (with the first steps, with no emotion)… will bring you such great joy to see what your own hands have created 🤗😃. Much love to you. I, too, have way too many ‘unfinished projects’ that I am afraid of even starting OR finishing 💙💜❤️🎵🎵

  45. “And I believed the lie that if I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wasn’t going to do it at all. I was conditioned to think that messes were bad and doing it perfectly the first time was good.”

    I can’t tell you how much the above statement resonates within my soul. Thank you for this devotional this morning. Just what I needed!

  46. Gilda M. Wise says:

    Thank you for the devo for today July 3rd…we all grow through the dirt…blessings!!

  47. Ceci Manuszak says:

    Thank you Lara for your inspiring and simple truths. They provide inspiration.

  48. Kari Mabry says:

    I struggle with this. I am going through a divorce where there was infidelity however my husband only seeks to leave the marriage. I long to plant a garden, any seed in our relationship. But God has shut this door. I will have to plant another garden and it will not be easy.

  49. Barbara Mills says:

    Lara spoke to me this morning….woke up feeling defeated and sad by the loss of a friend moving away and disappointment in not doing the things we were going to do…I can plant the seeds of new friends! Thank you God!

  50. There was this amazing woman named Hope who painted signs with her arthritic hands for craft shows. I purchased one that read “Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see, believes in God”. It has always been an inspiration to me, as she was. This post reminded me of that.

  51. Rebecca says:

    Thank you God!!

  52. Thank you Lara…beautifully written. I liked it when you said:

    “But all plants grow through the dirt, and so do we. Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.”

    Mary Mary has a song called “Dirt” and it talks about that we all need a little dirt to make us grow. I have had a little dirt in my past and it has made me grow. (grow up) So….it was reassuring when you said “making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.” I’m still growing and I know God is not finished with me yet. Congrats on your book. ~Lisa~

  53. Shirley says:

    The “anticipation” that comes from planting a garden grows “patience” in us and then we reap the delicious “rewards” of a job well done. God knows the steps that are needed in each and every “garden”, for He has been the Master Gardner from the beginning.

  54. Claire Lockwood says:

    Hi Lara,
    As I read your devotional today, it was like reading my story. God is indeed awesome at transformation and I celebrate with you that he can truly make things new. Living a Godly life in the face of broken promises is risky, however knowing he is my strength and trusting in God’s promises to me has been so rewarding and the beauty that comes out of brokenness is still being revealed. Thank you for your encouragement today.
    God Bless

  55. Thank you Lara for your timely devotion! Oh how I’ve tried living most of my life while trying to keep “my pants white”, in other words mess, or better yet, mistake free. I am getting my confidence back because I am remembering that I can get out of the boat, take risks, step in faith, trusting in God that “He will raise me up on eagle’s wings.”

  56. Thank you for reminding me I don’t have to be perfect. Jesus is our perfect Savior.

  57. Jodi Smith says:

    Thank you for this devotion! I would love to read this book!

  58. Mona Gould says:

    Please enter my name for the book. Loved today’s devotional:)

  59. Penelope Farley says:

    I empathize with Laura, as she used to be! I feel I have to have everything under MY control and not fully trust in God to carry me through the difficult times. HELP needed! Thank you for your encouragement, Laura!

  60. This is my kind of read!!! Would love to add this to my devotions!

  61. I am looking forward to becoming acquainted with Lara’s ministry and teachings. I’d love to have a copy of her book that I read about in today’s devotion about gardening in white pants.

  62. Would love to read your book!

  63. Mary Beth says:

    Inadequate, overwhelmed and exhausted is exactly how I feel much of the time. My fear of not being perfect keeps me from ever stepping out of my comfort zone. Thank you for this great real-life reminder that we have to step out in faith and take a chance in order to reap rewards. If we don’t sow, nothing can grow!

  64. This is a great message I think we all get caught up in perfection but God didn’t create us to be that way. He wants us to be happy!

  65. Monica Ramos says:

    What an awesome reminder of how God is the one who transforms us…we. Have potential to do beautiful things in the Lord but when we see things through our own eyes we dont realize that very thing God is trying to bring out of us…through our struggles and mistakes the feeling of inadequacy we lose sight of the bigger picture..trusting God and allowing him to do what he does in and through us during our process. Thank you…really needed this today..What a mighty God we serve!!!!!

  66. I love routine. Not wanting even on holidays to let it go.

  67. Vivian Monroe says:

    Thank you! Really enjoyed the devotional this morning!

  68. Bonnie Benner says:

    I learned so many lessons in this brief devotional. I can’t wait to get a copy of your book. You have given me a new appreciation for my garden!

  69. Lauren Cumings says:

    I really needed this message this morning! I would love to read Laura’s book and dig into this topic more. I definitely feel inadequate when I don’t have the perfect plan but it is not my plan that is perfect.

  70. Amanda Nolt says:

    I would love to read the book!

  71. I think I need to read this book…I seem to be stuck in planning and control mode and can’t seem to get out of it…

  72. Amanda LaGore-Smith says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience because just when we are obedient God changes and helps not only your life but the lives of others as well. Confirmation is the key, today.

  73. Anji Gravitt says:

    Love the cultivating analogy relating to life and devotion.

  74. Cathy T. says:

    Lara, thank you for teaching and growing each of us. You touched my heart with the visual of the tiny seed…isn’t that exactly how every relationship starts.

  75. Arlene S Bonilla says:

    This blog puts everything in perspective. I am starting the journey to put God in every moment of my life beginning with prayer all day long. I tend to pray at night or morning and I understand now I can speak to him anytime & he wants me to. Morning devotion and worship is mandatory for me because I get easily distracted. Thank you for connection with gardening as I am in the progress to remake my father’s garden at home. The recreation of our family garden could be the start of a transformation for me and the family. Blessings

  76. Thank you for this devotion today. I would love a copy of your book.

  77. Lynn Vaughn says:

    The Lord certainly seems to be showing me that perfect will never happen this side of heaven and mess is what happens with growth and asking me to cling to him, fight the lies of the enemy and step out! Thanks for this reminder.

  78. Sheri Dohner says:

    This spoke to me as this is the first year that I decided to step out and grow a garden. Patience has never been my forte….but I’m trying. Would love to read your book along the way:)

  79. Paula Glaser says:

    This is so me you describe! I prayed quite vehemently to God just last night to please give me strength and patience for his answer on his time and to show me what he wanted from me. Maybe this is his answer of help.

  80. STACY PERRY says:

    This is where I am right now in life. A season of culivation.

  81. Thank you for your post. I would like to enter the raffle for the book. Sounds like we have a lot in common.

  82. Twila Godsey says:

    I am starting a new teaching position this year. Thanks for the devotion!

  83. Great read! Words I needed to hear! Thank you!

  84. Deborah Wilson says:

    I would be too afraid to wear white pants in the first place. I have a brown thumb. I figure If I just leave the plants alone, maybe they’ll grow, not. Proof positive, I just dumped 6. Would love your book and learn to become more intentional.

  85. I would love to read your book. I find it so important to find those things in your life that truly matter and with the strength of God to allow Him who made you to help you grow!

  86. this word was just for me. gardens have my heart lately. i was just in a beautiful vegetable garden last night, actually. something about them feels so promising to me. i feel one with my creator around them. thank you for this word. i know it was for me.

  87. Rochelle says:

    I feel like my life is a mess and I so desperately want it to better trying to hold on to hope!

  88. Ashley Turner says:

    Would love to win a copy of the book

  89. Patricia says:

    Thank you for this piece. I’m at a point in my life where I need to be intentional and sometimes gets overwhelming and will prefer a much quicker process but I’m learning to be present in the moment which is a challenge for someone who can imagine things far and wide. I would love to win a copy of your book to help me with this process. Thank you.

  90. Mariann says:

    This was my life many years ago and God directed me to Proverbs 3:5-6. It is a beautiful life to be a beautiful mess of a girl. And I would have missed so much if I stayed in the perfection mode of living

  91. I’m thankful for your lines of wisdom. I’m afraid of the unknown, and after 27 of adulterous affairs one after another. My covering left. I feel foolish to still want our marriage to work. My heart has held on to unforgiveness for too long. I’m afraid! Please send me your book.

  92. Loved this! God speaks to my heart most when I’m in my garden covered from head to toe in dirt and sweat. When I look my absolute worst and wouldn’t want a human soul to see me is when I am closest to my Poppa God. Would love to read Lara’s book.

  93. Amanie Ghurab says:

    God has called me to a ministry that is beautiful I believe in the supernatural but in the natural it looks like a mess. I minister to young women and God uses me to leave their bondage of addiction, abuse, and sexual sins. It isn’t always easy its ugly at times with a lot of emotional and physical pains they deal with. But I know from my experience bc God delivered me from all those things and more. That messy is needed to get to the beautiful and lovely. It has taught me what long suffering is and how to love like Jesus does. To find the beauty in all the mess and chaos to be able to see the potential a person has when they cant even see it and to stand in the gap because I know one day that seed that was planted will grow and become great in Jesus Christ and go and plant another seed. In the Messy imperfect moments is where God teaches us, grows us, and also shows us our potential.

  94. Great devotional! Please pray for me as I overcome fear. Fear seems to dominate my life. Fear of the unknown, fear of not being enough, fear of failure, it is just exhausting! Praying that God will teach me to choose faith!

  95. Stephanie says:

    This is exactly what God has been speaking to me. I am so grateful to have read this devotional this morning for the reminder to trust in God. Would love to read the book!

  96. Angela White says:

    Was afraid to take a leap of faith and open my own ballet studio, which was something I had wanted to do for many years. With a lot of prayer and encouragement from my friends and family I finally did it, and we are about to celebrate our 3rd yrar this Fall. This had been a journey with some struggles a long the way, but God has been faithful. I would love to read Lara’s nook about the things she has struggled with along the way and how God Blessed and guided her. I still have moments of fear and doubt and would love to hear how she handled these things.

  97. Thank you for your encouraging words! I am in a difficult season and I’m trying not to get my white pants dirty!!! Blessings

  98. Courtney says:

    So easy to hold back from doing difficult things because we’re afraid to “get dirty”!

  99. Felicia says:

    I would enjoy reading this!

  100. Diane Nichols says:

    I can totally relate to having a brown thumb 😉 but like you trying my hand at making it green by diving into gardening. There are so many analogies to my gardening skills (or lack thereof) that correlate to my walk with God. Thank you for sharing. Would love to read the rest of your story in your book.

  101. Linda Gail says:

    As an older woman and a life long gardener, what struck me was your inspiration, Lara. Your grandfather. May we older ones continue to sow seeds of love, encouragement, and patience in our little ones. As Paul admonished us, we plant, Apollos waters, but it is God who gives the increase.

  102. Holly Kock says:

    Thank you!!! Where did I pick up believing no this lie of being perfect. It’s nothing but fear and it’s causing me so much sadness because I don’t try to color outside the lines? Plan on me picking up this book!!

  103. I would love to win a copy of this book! Thank you for the opportunity!

  104. Jodi Munro says:

    Today is my birthday as I walked through my flower garden early this morning thinking about my friend’s comments last night on my beautiful flowers I thought this to myself I certainly can’t take credit for my flowers I just water them God is the one who makes them grow. And then I read your encouragement for today about gardening in white pants how well I could relate. And then the Bible verse at the end– it is not about the one who plants or the one who Waters but it is about God who makes them grow and I was truly blessed. God has blessed me with the knowledge that he is thinking of me and loves me especially today on my birthday

  105. I can so relate to this EFT. I feel like I live out a life that has it all together in my mind, but the reality is that all the seeds of potential are still sealed in the packet, unrealized and the field of diamonds remains untilled and unrealized. I’m in my mid 50’s and feel like time is running out and I may never bring this garden to life. that mindset accentuates the fear, and unfortunately, my white pants stay spotless. I know this isn’t what God wants for me.

  106. Laurie gleason says:

    Going through a serious health issue has taught me sometimes you have to take chances.Faith that God has got this.You need to put the work in and pray for guidance..
    We have an awesome God…

  107. I am so excited about this book! I am currently growing through a messy season. Pick me!

  108. Kimberly Pate says:

    I’m learning and living to just use what I have in the palm of my hand when God calls me to be apart of his work. Just me.., the stripped down me. Thank you for this today, it reminds me yet again to lean into what is not easy or perfect in order to gain the blessing God wants to give to me and others around me.

  109. Amanda Whalen says:

    Your book sounds really interesting. I love reading me memoirs by Christian authors and the gardening aspect intrigues me. I’m a novice gardener – just a few pots of herbs and some tomatoes now. But reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, vegetable, miracle” was really eye opening and i think your book could be inspiring too.

  110. Kristin says:

    Great devotion! It’s so hard sometimes to be patient and wait in God in this instant gratification world. Thanks for the reminder that He is the only one who can make things grow.

  111. Mandy Willis says:

    This book sounds right up my alley. I have to have everything perfect before I do something and I always have to have a plan. Cultivate is a word that means a lot to me. I grew up on a farm and now am married to a farmer. Most importantly, the sunday school class that began my change and growth is named the Cultivators. God continues to cultimate my life but my desire to be in control still gets in the way.

  112. Thank you for the timely devotional. It was exactly what I needed to read this morning. I am grateful for the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

  113. Emily Fleener says:

    What an inspirational devotion! I am not a gardener either and I’m pretty sure it’s my fear keeping me from it as well. I’d be honored to win a copy if this book. Thank you for sharing your struggles and heart.

  114. What awesome God-timing; I was needing some gardening on the inside today. Thank-you for sharing this!

  115. Cindy Culberth says:

    Thank you so very much for this encouraging devotional. I saw myself in your words. Fear of failure is debilitating. I would love to have this book!

  116. Christy says:

    Love this garden analogy and the phrase “Imperfect Progress” !!

  117. Thank you’

  118. Robin Reina says:

    I love your gardening analogies! Thank you for this devotional.

  119. I would Love to read your book!

  120. Heidi L Greenlee says:

    As always, God’s timing is perfect. The devotional for today is exactly what I need. I would certainly love to win a copy of this book. At this time I only read fiction (a lot of fiction, 2-3 books a week!) but I am feeling the conviction that I need to get back to reading an occasional nonfiction book that will help me grow, like that little tomato seed. 🙂

  121. Cindy Martin says:

    I’m having such a hard time right now. I’m in a crossroad of my life. I’m 52, been separated for a year and a half. I was married at 16. I want to repair my marriage but my husband doesn’t. I have a great job but just want to throw it all away. I need encouragement and help with my faith that one day everything will be ok.

    • Stephanie says:

      Cindy, I’m in the same situation. I’m 53 and separated for 2 years. I was married for 25 years. I want to repair my marriage and my husband seems to be reluctant. I have been praying God and I believe that he will come back home soon. Keep praying and believe, soon God will answer your prayer.

    • I am so sorry for what you are going through. When I find myself at a place in life that I never expected( caring for my husband with early Alzheimer’s, age 58) I find it helpful to look at these situations as “What is God going to teach me through this? ” I try and find humor in what ever I can. This is a huge help in my situation! ;). Also know that God wants what is best for you, His daughter. Sometimes we have to let go of what we ” think” is best and trust God to bring us to something much better! You deserve someone who wants to be with you!!! Don’t settle for something just because its familiar. God is so great! And He loves you more than anyone else! Trust Him.

  122. What have you wanted to do or start, but you have been afraid of trying?
    Long story short… I want to start an art ministry on our farm.
    What do you feel has been holding you back from taking a leap of faith?
    What is holding me back is the decisions I need to make will “upset the apple cart”. So… the real answer is I am letting my loved ones hold me back.

  123. Claudine says:

    It’s comforting to know that other women are walking through the same season.

  124. This was my first Proverbs 31 daily devotion, and I loved it. Thanks, Lara

  125. Thank you Lara! As a gardener I so appreciated your words this morning. I can see how my personal progress in growing through and past my fear can be compared to my veggies growing through the dirt. I prefer imperfect progress over perfection because that transfers the responsibility from me to God. If forces me to trust HIM instead of myself, and it allows me to relax. I would love to read your book!

  126. Christy says:

    Our church just completed a series on intentionality. Would love to read this and follow up on this theme! Thanks for the opportunity. 😊

  127. Barb Keane says:

    My life is a mess. I struggle in so many different areas. I would love to read the book.

  128. Debbie Bowen says:

    I hope it is meant to be that I win this book

  129. My family is in a season of discovery. Our orange groves have a disease that we have been battling for years. The Lord is closing the door on this chapter of our life. My brother is having a difficult time accepting this. I’m praying for his faith to be restored, so that we can move forward.

  130. Aimee Dabney says:

    Would love to win

  131. Diane Hess says:

    Feel this book would really benefit me right now. Thank you

  132. I subscribe to several similar emails/blogs but yours is the one I intentionally read. I go into my email (filled with a sorts of spam) and look for it and save them all. The perfect words. Every time.
    Thank you, blessings!

  133. Linda Rea says:

    This hit home! Thank you

  134. Martha Parrish says:

    I would love to read your book. Thanks so much for this encouragement today:)

  135. I too have struggled with starting new things for worry of making mistakes and getting it wrong. I don’t think of myself as a perfectionist but just a stay-in-my-same place kind of girl. Thanks for this encouragement to plant and bloom more so I can reach the potential God has called me to.

  136. Diane Kitts says:

    Thanks for the good words. I can jump into the garden without much hesitation but the commitment is more difficult. Sticking with it day after day and following through with the care required is too daunting at times. I push foward but sometimes the outcome is too disappointing. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  137. This book sounds like it is just what I need.

  138. Brittney says:

    Thank you for y’all’s daily devotions. I start every morning with them and I love them.

  139. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the story today. I have to go all in, I all areas of my life.

  140. Kim Smith says:

    It is refreshing to know that we don’t have to be perfect to live in Christ. It is also reassuring that others experience the same trials and tribulations. Thank you Lisa!
    You have been an inspiration.

  141. Mona Riggs says:

    Our Christian walk is like planning a seed, we walk by faith, not seeing results right away. Thank God your marriage was transformed. Also. I love the Veggie Tales reference. It made me chuckle.

  142. I finally discovered why I don’t like gardening! I’m always seeking perfection, and I want it right now. I guess those are two things that don’t go well with gardening. What an aha moment for me! Both of those traits are things I’ve been trying to work on already, but this article inspired me to dig into gardening to help me work through it!

  143. Kolleen says:

    Perfect for my devotions this morning. Thank you!

  144. Linda Rudd says:

    Thank you Lara for your devotional. I too have been deeply hurt, discouraged and abandoned after a 30 year marriage but God never leaves us. He is always here to pick us up in His loving arms. He can turn the thorn patches of life into beautiful gardens. He is our healer and miracle worker and able to do far more than we can see with our eyes.

  145. Carolyn says:

    Thank you for this message this morning. I’m in a season of sadness and fear. My husband has basically quit our marriage and family except on the most basic of levels, which is mostly just coming in the door after a week on the road as a tractor trailer driver. I feel like I’m sitting in the dirt rolling around making a worse mess somehow. I feel like I’ve done all I can do and the only place to do anything more is at the foot of the cross, bathed in muck, with a tear stained face. A mess has surely been made, by both of us.
    My husband loves to garden, actually he loves to plant the garden while my son and I hardly what grows. Oddly enough, just like our marriage. He planted all the seeds, waters them occasionally, but that’s it. I am so sad and scared and hurting.

  146. Kathleen says:

    I have let fear crush all my dreams;it’s more comfortable staying safe, not moving out. BUT, the LORD is stirring me and I’m ready to take a step.

  147. Peggy Cuomo says:

    White pants to just do one little thing in the garden,,,or good cloths to touch up just a little spot missed with paint,,,or bleach that small area on the shirt. Jesus help me be all in!!

  148. Once again I am amazed at how God speaks answers to our concerns Today He has chosen your words alongside His words to be words to share with others. I would appreciate your book, as I believe it might be one for Bible study with a group that is apprehensive on moving from being more than followers and becoming true disciples. Please pray that this group will get their white pants dirty. Thank you.

  149. Melonie Janssen says:

    This is a great message for me. I struggle to start anything if I know that I can’t get it all done and done well. Thank you for blessing me with this word today.

  150. Linda L Livingston says:

    Good morning, I will begin by stating all that you shared and have written describes me.

    Beginning with my bible verse I exist by: Hebrews 11:1
    ” Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen

  151. Camille says:

    Loved this and needed it today! So relevant and encouraging in the season of life I am in…struggling marriage and raising toddlers!

  152. Jessica Mixon says:

    Letting go can be so difficult.

  153. This was me last summer. I was a mess. I fell in love with gardening and that and my dogs unconditional love saved me – healed me.

    I find myself teetering again on that bad place. This book would mean a lot to me if it could help me find peace and unperfect living again. Teach me to let go and let God.

  154. Susan V. says:

    Today’s P31 devotion touched my heart and soul, as I am daily trying to cultivate the seed that have been planted as my husband and I reconcile our broken marriage. I am truly trying daily to place my complete hope and faith in God.

  155. Jane from Waco says:

    This devotional has been an encouragement and challenge to me this morning. The Lord has been pushing me to plant some seeds. I’ve been choosing fear over faith because I don’t like messes either and I also like control. I’ve also made some messes lately and fear making more so I’ve not been willing to step out. I will be reading this over multiple times. That you for sharing your real walk.

  156. Roxana Wieseler says:

    Yesterday’s message was about reaping what you sow. I will share this devotion with my Pastor.

  157. Michelle A says:

    I was a perfectionist before I gave my life to Christ only 4 short years ago. He is showing me I’m not perfect, not in any way, but he can still use me. Thank you for sharing this message of Hope!

  158. I am encountering many of the things you have eloquently described. May your garden continue to grow and flourish. I would love to Cultivate more areas of my life.

  159. I found this write up really encouraging as i have found myself in a similar situation beforr thanks for sharing.

  160. Laura S says:

    This was great, thank you!

  161. Thank you for sharing these words! Just wanted I needed to hear today.

  162. Kana Keisel says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear this message this morning! My husband and I have been separated for 6 months and we made the decision to try to reconcile yesterday. I need to let go of the past and focus on the future. It will likely not be perfect. It will likely be very messy. However, it we truly want things to work (and I do), we both need to work on ourselves and work on cultivating our marriage and love for one another again.

  163. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you. I’ve resisted transformation for so long. Thank you for these words encouraging freedom.

  164. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for this timely post. God knew I needed it.

  165. Eileen Frain says:

    Thank you! I did start a few seeds this year, but with the cold spring hardly any sprouted. It took me awhile to buy some plants. And you gave me this great insight about starting projects and learning from the “messes” and “misses”. BTW, this was the first devotional I received. Thanks again. God bless.

  166. Terri Rowley Kandell says:

    Thank you God for this insight today.

  167. I needed to read this today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  168. Oh my! This is what God is wanting me to learn! I’ve been one to walk away or flee if I can’t do something “perfect” the first time….. I’ve missed out on a lot by living this way. Thank you for sharing your story!

  169. Carolyn Kreider says:

    I love Jesus and gardening…..would love to read this book!

  170. Dixie Boling says:

    This really touched my soul this morning. Sometimes this is me in my fears.

  171. Nicole Ferreria says:

    I’ve been feeling like this, the need to control every outcome and have it be perfect before jumping into anything! It’s funny because this reiterated what I’ve been going through!

  172. Barbara Hellriegel says:

    It may be later in my life (67) but I am beginning to plant those seeds and cultivate my mind and see results. It has been an amazing journey to begin.. I look forward to the rest of it! Thank you!

  173. I’ve been dreaming of starting a garden, too, and would love to read this book.

  174. Donna Wedgeworth says:

    Thank you for being real. We all have masks to keep people from seeing the imperfections. May God continue to enrich your life

  175. Shari Videtto says:

    This must have truly been a word from God spoken through another to me.
    I have dealt with some of the same issues and life and relationship problems. I truly needed to read and hear this today.

  176. Exactly what I needed this morning!

  177. Melynda says:

    I am so excited to get a copy of this book!

  178. Robin Hunter says:

    This devotion resonated with me deeply on quite a few levels. I would love the opportunity to dig into the other insights and wisdom the author has to offer.

  179. Tatyana says:

    My fiance and I are going through a very painful time… He decided to date another woman, in retaliation against me. Lord, I know he still cares and hurting me is hurting him even worse… Help both of us to grow spiritually and personally, heal and transform this relationship for Your glory…

  180. Just how I feel all the time. Thanks for sharing.

  181. Kerry Osmond says:

    Love this devotional! Thank you for sharing.

  182. I continue to cultivate a trust in God as I move forward in what my career should be. Right now I’m trusting Him to guide me to a physical location where I can resettle (again) and that He would provide a job, a career and health care I need. I know He has plans for me that are better than I have; I just need to trust Him to get there and follow Him.

  183. I need help letting go. My family is currently surrounded with the “messiness of life” that includes the untimely death of my mother in law to cancer; loved ones afflicted with addiction; suicide attempts; and more in the last six months. I am struggling with why… why this happened to my family. How I can “fix it” for my family. I want to skip this part. I need to learn to cultivate and allow my hands to follow God’s plans. There’s so much dirt around me…opportunities for new life; how do I stay whole to lead my family back to seeing the potential garden. I’m my family’s link to Hod. My husband’s faith is not as strong as mine right now and I need help hanging on too. My daughters are 9 and 4 and I’m trying to get it right for them. The last 3 and 1/2 years have been so hard. God bless all the contestants. I’m praying for you. Please pray for me.

  184. Thank you for the insightful devotion.

  185. Raina Theiss says:

    Would love to win a copy as I learn to be intentional!

  186. I feel like I need seeds from God’s word everyday to be planted in my heart, and mind so my soul can grow and be right with him. It has been times when I felt like not planting and by this I can’t receive my harvest right. So I must learn to trust God more and not lean to my own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the many scriptures God has planted in my heart to live upon. I feel without God’s word it is impossible to grow. Just like plants need watering to receive their strength we need his word everyday in our hearts and mind to find strength. “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Thank you for your words of encouragement and I am also going to follow you on instagram.

  187. melissa says:

    I love this!!!! I have so much fear of stepping out. I don’t know what God’s plans are for me, but I’m fearful that I will have to step out of my comfort zone. I want to live to my full potential…whatever that looks like. I would love to read what the Lord has showed you through gardening. I’m sure it’s beautiful!!!

  188. This is a neat parallel between life and a garden. Taking time to pull out the pesky weeds always reminds me of God’s work in my life as he removes the bad habits and strongholds in my way and lets me stand tall, rooted in Him.

  189. Crystal says:

    My husband and I are currently going through some very large struggles in our marriage and I won’t lie; I am frightened where it could lead and have been trying to control the situation. Today’s verse and study demonstrate to me that I need to have faith that God is in control. I need to lean on Him; thank you for today’s devotional

  190. Wow what an interesting comparison. I often feel so inspired so full of ideas, then I let my mind wander thru all the what ifs and I shut down. I never start so I can be sure I don’t fail. Thank you for starting this conversation.

  191. Very well said and thought provoking!

  192. The struggle is real! I think my perfectionism stemmed from a desire to please my parents. To hear “good job”. Lara’s wonderful writing helps me to remember that it’s ok not to do it all exactly right. I can’t wait to read her new book!

  193. I have never been one to enjoy a garden, however, this year has been a year of change. I recently had a baby and started my own garden. Both require love but don’t always come with instruction manuals and that is something I deeply fear. I enjoy order and predictability and God has showed me other plans. Thank you so much I am exactly in the same situation right now and He knew I needed to read this.

  194. Eleanor hiskey says:

    Not a gardener but loved her description of learning; and
    Would love a copy of the book “cultivate”.

  195. Susan Forte says:

    I enjoy your devotionals–I am struggling with having the courage to do a few things right now. I would love to receive a copy of this book. Thanks for reminding me that I need to depend on God for my courage!

  196. Wonderful devotional. Thx, Lara!

  197. crystal says:

    Perfectionism has robbed me of trying many new things, for I fear that if I won’t get it “just” right the first time around, why bother at all??

  198. I’d love to win a copy of “Cultivate”! While my name is Rose, I wasn’t born with a green thumb at all. I actually apologize to plants that come into my home! That being said, your blog touched my heart. I’m at a decision-making season of my life. The “what-if’s” are consuming me 24/7. I know God has more for me; I just need to hear Him clearly and then OBEY! Thanks for your encouragement today!

  199. Patricia Williams says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency.

  200. My husband and I have been separated for 10 months now and he is filing for divorce. I love this reminder to live in the moment where I am right now and to keep my hope and faith in God to handle the rest and restore my marriage!

  201. I love paralyzed by fear. I feel like I have good to control everything, and I’m the process, my life, and my children’s life, are passing me by.

  202. My garden needs tending today and I will certainly be reflecting on your devotions.

  203. I love knowing that I’m not alone in my fears of taking a leap of faith. And the reassurance that I don’t have to be perfect. It’s ok to make a mess, God will clean it up!

  204. Rhea Eggert says:

    Today’s passage was so meaningful to me as one who was taught to believe everything needed to be perfect. My husband and children taught me otherwise and God keeps showing me the way. Choosing to follow Gids plan is not always easy.
    I would love a copy of “Cultivate”

  205. Yep that’s me 🙋 Spot on with having to be in control and perfect of everything, want it yesterday, end results now! Me!

  206. Lara, I love the way you write and your devotion truly spoke to me! Often we’re too afraid to move in the direction where God is leading us. We forget that HE plants us where HE desires and brings forth the growth. I need to take “my way” out of the equation and instead take great delight in the fact that God Himself planted ME, bringing forth HIS intents. Our trials prove the genuineness of our faith and we persevere because of them. How many great people in our history failed miserably many times over, were told they were not good enough, suffered depression and illness, before their seed took root and blossomed (Henry Ford, Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, and the list goes on and on). We press on, trusting God and taking great delight in what He’s doing!

  207. Tatiana says:

    Such a powerful word. Thank you for sharing.

  208. Wow…I needed to read this today! It’s exactly how I’ve been feeling…what I’ve been questioning…what a “Godwink” moment!
    Thanks for posting💕

  209. Stacey Altepeter says:

    There it is. Fear. It’s good to have that confirmation that I’m not the only one who sometimes chooses fear over faith. It’s also good to have that confirmation that things can be different.

  210. I really enjoyed this devotional as I am a gardener too. I like Lara’s illustrations … first the natural then the spiritual much like Jesus parables. Great read for those of us who hate waiting and don’t like messes!

  211. Cried a river of tears last night over an incredidly imperfect (understatement!) situation my daughter is currently pressing through. Nothing aches like a the heartache of a mother for her child.

  212. Love the comparison with the white pants!!! I’m starting a new job, a new path, and I’m trying not to worry about what it’s going to look like! I rarely buy white pants, but may have to for my first day! 😄

  213. Stephanie says:

    As a single mom, I need all the help I can get to make sure I am growing, so that I can help my children grow properly too. Hoping to win this book to help me in my journey!

  214. What a great message for today. Thank you!

  215. I love this! Very powerful story and parallel. I’ve lived a storm for several years with my marriage, filed for divorce, cancelled it, trying again, hanging on, and looking to Christ to create a miracle. The most powerful thing is the growth I’ve seen in myself. And I love that He gives me joy and laughter in the midst of my storms! I’m not depressed or down trodden. Thank God! Sometimes I feel sad because things aren’t where I’d like them to be in my marriage but God is keeping me and I’ll continue to trust Him!

  216. Stephanie Maltby says:

    Wow! So needed to hear that Word this morning! What a great example of stepping out in Faith. Gives me strength to start doing this and really choosing faith over fear. Thanks so much!

  217. Mariann says:

    This sounds wonderful ! …and after I read it, it goes to my dear gardening friend. thanks

  218. I could use some faith growing for sure. Thanks for this message ❤️

  219. Katie Semeniuk says:

    I can certainly relate. I have killed many plants in my life and haven’t planted a garden yet. Perhaps one day.

  220. I’d love to win this book! Thx

  221. Meredith Todd says:

    Lara! I first found you thru a JL program where we completed your Power Sheets. And I loved the surprise of waking up to a devotional by you this morning! Thank you for sharing so much grace and goodness. I would love to read your new book!

  222. Struggling to determine where to start today in my quiet time, and came to this devotion. Spoke volumes to me in so many areas of my life. I think she must be writing my life, my thoughts, my struggles!

    As always, God reaching me right where I am.
    Thanks be to God

  223. Great story.
    I connected with it.

  224. I am a single mom, living with chronic pain, and the Lord and my garden give me hope each day, that no matter ow barren life may be at times when I trust in God he will bring me beautiful seasons of harvest! Thank you for the reminder!

  225. Tammy johnston says:

    I would love to read this book! The devotion was awesome!

  226. Pamela Ehlinger says:

    What a good word this morning!,

  227. Your devotionals are piercing me. I would like to win a copy of your book. Please enter me so I can earn a chance to get your book for me.

  228. Valeri Gungor says:

    Having just tended my tiny garden, struggling against cucumber mosaic virus and squash borer but still producing beautiful fruit, this article resonated with the theme of idealism vs faith. While my once perfect garden plants now show battle scars, they are producing. I, too, show battle scars. Before me lie some major life decisions, seeds still in their packet. Do I plant or hold back? I’m encouraged today to continue to seek God’s plan and listen for His direction in this and other devotionals, but today, I hear Him whisper, “Start planting. I’ll tend them with you.”

  229. Praise God for this devo! I have too much fear I need to let go and let God take the control!!!

  230. I would love a copy of Cultivate! Our faith is so much like a garden….. love it!!!

  231. Lori Ehlenfeldt says:

    Being intentional is so hard when you are raising two children during your retirement years. Especially when they have mental health issues from their early years. I would love this book – thanks!

    • WOW.You need prayers more than I do! Lol! I’m caring for my husband with early Alzheimer’s. God bless you for taking on this enormous responsibility at this stage of your life! It speaks to who you are at your heart. I will pray that God gives you strength and courage . And a little rest now and then :).

  232. Cricket Scott says:

    We are getting ready to start a new Women’s Bible study. I would love to have this book to be able to share with other women. Being intentional is what spoke to me. Each day to be intentional in faith and grow in Christ. I want to read this and share with others.

    Blessed to be a blessing

  233. Love to garden…love this analogy…all of it so perfectly said. Thank you!

  234. This was a great reminder for me to be present, faith filled and patient each day as I wait for the blossoms to come. Thank you.

  235. I needed this today and everyday!

  236. What a great message of beauty from the dirt
    It spoke to my heart
    Thank you

  237. Christy says:

    Solid devotional!

  238. Thank you so much for this devotion! I am at a crossroads in my life and really related to this message of risk, faith and God’s goodness.

  239. I love this! I can so relate to the fear of planting something and then it dying. Not so much a plant because I’ve killed quite a few of them and the harshness of their death has worn off. But what about letting that seed of an idea be planted into something that can sustain it’s life and cause it to grow. Fear often catches me there and I think of all the possibilities and responsibilities that come with planting, tending, cultivating and caring for something to grow. My own thoughts of intimidation and fear take off and I… like you… flick the seed back into the packet for another time. Oh that instead I would be brave, have courage and plant that seed of faith into the rich soil of His grace. Thank you for these encouraging words!

  240. This is an amazing book calling women to be rooted right where they are and to trust God the best Gardner out there in their lives. If I win I’ll send it to my friend going through marital hardships.

  241. “If I can’t do it perfectly, I shouldn’t do it at all.” That’s me! It was an eye opener to realize that’s choosing fear over faith. Wow! I needed to hear that! I’d love the book!

  242. “If I can’t do it perfectly, I shouldn’t do it at all.” That’s me! It was an eye opener to realize that’s choosing fear over faith. Wow! I needed to hear that! I’d love the book!

  243. Grateful for this reminder that there is beauty and growth and God right there with us in the mess of things.

  244. Good words this morning to wake up to. Would love to win a copy to delve deeper.

  245. Thank-you! Perfect

  246. Thank you for the opportunity to read this. It really spoke to me. We all feel like we need to be perfect don’t we? As women, as mothers, as sisters, aunts, daughters….. Thank you for your honesty!

  247. Sounds like God has given you a mission to help Mommas like me with perfectionistic tendencies. I love the symbolism of gardening. He is the ultimate gardener, pruning out the weeds one at time. Thanks for the reminder this morning.

  248. Kimberly says:

    I’ve been striving to live a more “intentional” life for years now – without a lot of success … but I keep trying everyday and am hopeful that God will help me in this area !!

  249. Thank you for the reminder: “making a mess doesn’t mean you become one”!

  250. Rachel Yates says:

    That was great to hear this morning! Thanks for being so open with us!

  251. carolyn sherin says:

    I find my peace working not so much in a garden but my yard whwre I know God created everything there. I just help to keep it alive and beautiful. It takes alot of work and certainly not in white pants. I loved this devotional. It opened my eyes to new thinking. I want something different in my life but after loosing my son 5 years ago I have become afraid to see myself as confident and adventurous anymore. I think your book would be great for a jump start.

  252. I understand the perfection or nothing! I need to step out in faith and trust, and believe God. Stop holding back!!

  253. Janet Sprinkle says:

    Thank you for helping me to see that you don’t have to be perfect, as none of us are, but we must take that first step forward and try to do things (and may be much better at them and/or enjoy them more than we think)>

  254. Jean Fitzgerald says:

    I would love to win this book!

  255. This post really spoke to me. I would love to win this book!

  256. Mike Hodes says:

    This is a wonderful story and really spoke to my heart. The word pictures have motivated me to try some new things that I have been afraid to do. Thanks!

  257. I would love to win this book! It sounds so inspiring!

  258. Marsha Tennant says:

    Thank you for this gentle reminder. The Proverb verses were my dad’s favorite. A beautiful God whisper that I needed this morning.

  259. Seems to be my story that you are talking about and experiencing! Would love this! Gad bless you ~

  260. Linda kenyon says:

    “All plants grow through dirt, and so do we” softened my heart towards my son who has struggled in the “dirt” for a long time but is starting to grow and so am I!

  261. Ann Kite says:

    Wow… what a great collection of thoughts. “Making a mess doesn’t mean you are a mess”… Cutting this out and posting this in the little sun porch where I stuggle to paint, often picking up my brush then putting it back down for fear of messing up the paper. Great devotional.
    Thank you.

  262. Annette Bland says:

    Great reminder that we can so easily believe the lie of don’t do anything if the result won’t turn out perfectly. Perfectionism is a trap that I fall into again & again. Happy 4th of July!

  263. Loved this devotional. That’s for the giveaway

  264. Diane Cilluffo says:

    So true……trust in the Lord to let things grow in his timing.

  265. LINDA CORSIATTO says:

    Wow how this rings true with me today!
    I can so relate to this! How often I choose not to do something for fear of it not being perfect.

  266. Oh how this was exactly what I needed to hear! What a beautiful analogy—the process of gardening and the process of our seeds of faith in action. After seeing the literal fruit from gardens of friends and family this summer I have wanted to give it a try myself. I have helped my parents in our garden growing up, but have allowed my lack of knowledge to keep me from starting my own. Perhaps my desire to start a garden and the fear that I wouldn’t get it right can be a lesson of faith for me. Like your worry over the tomato seeds, I am also struggling with what to do with the gifts and passions that I know God has placed in me. Perhaps I should take action to start a garden and establish it as a step of faith in God’s ability to direct my steps in purpose. It make help me to further root my trust in the Lord in times of unknown. I think if I cultivate both tangible and intangible, remembering that action always yields an outcome, it would help me to persist through the process of growth when the fruit is yet to be seen.

  267. Wow. You could be telling my story. I would love to read more in the book.

  268. Sally Illman says:

    Yesterday at church, I was telling two ladies, one being our pastor’s wife who is struggling with cancer and the other being a lady who works at a plant nursery, how “scary” it is to have a garden. When to plant? How often to water? When to harvest? I’m way too much of a perfectionist! Both were encouraging and smiled at me sweetly as they encouraged. So your entry was perfect this morning. Thank you for sharing what God gave you.

  269. Sharon Steino says:

    I really could use that book….I’m somewhat like you…don’t like my white pants to get dirty….my husband and I was talking about that just last evening

  270. Whitney says:

    What an incredible message! Thank you Lara for reminding us to walk by faith and not by sight.

  271. Our pastor just spoke about seeds yesterday— incredible that God put an entire plant, or tree, in a little seed— that is truly alive, but only dormant at the time. His design is amazing!!!

  272. Joni Clay says:

    What a beautiful way to embrace a messy life. Head on with God as our shield. I love how you helped me to see that we don’t have to avoid mistakes or messy living but live life the way God intended for us through faith that it will all work out.

  273. Very meaningful devotional… “And I believed the lie that if I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wasn’t going to do it at all” spoke directly to my heart… Thank you for sharing…

  274. Marguerite McKinney says:

    I enjoy your writing and your outlook on life…thank you so much for sharing. I’m heading out to the garden right now!

  275. Needed to hear this message today. Thank you for sharing your faith and God’s grace with me.

  276. Tracy Friesen says:

    Thank you for inspiring me to live an intentional life, being ok if things get messy. 🙂 Thank you for your words.

  277. This truly spoke to me right where I am. Widowed 19 months ago and feeling incapable of doing anything right as our youngest (17 yr old son) is struggling in so much but especially in his faith now has to endure watching me fight my own cancer diagnosis ( triple negative breast cancer). Fear of messing up even more can get overwhelming.

  278. Amber Jacob says:

    I would really enjoy a copy of this book!

  279. What a timely thought. The first week in July I set my goals and intentions for the next 12 months. This year I have felt so stuck, not sure what was holding me back. What opportunity could I open myself up to? What new thing could I try? As a freelance Christian writer and speaker sometimes I feel I spend a lot of time just waiting. Lord, show me where I can take action, plant a seed, be more proactive, and use my time more wisely to serve you, my family, my friends and anyone God puts in my path.

  280. Vickie Spires says:

    Gardens are such great metaphors for so many things in life.

  281. Amy Beaman says:

    Love this! My issue this week was cleaning out the garage and hanging photos and canvas prints for a gallery wall. Took a day for each and lamented much that it will stay a mess and we shouldn’t even try. In the need I love the results!

  282. Jennifer Godfrey says:

    This was a great devotion. It really spoke to my heart this morning. I am in the middle of making a big change in my life and am very fearful but I will have faith in the unseen. Just as the scripture says and Trust my Lord and Savior.

  283. Would love to hear more of Lara’s story!

  284. Katherine Baugher says:


  285. Would love to win this!

  286. Thanks for the awesome devotional. I am at a place in my life where I feel God leading me in another direction. I am not sure what that exactly is and am ready to take a step of faith, but I don’t know what that is. I’m just trying to listen to God and looking for His guidance. And yes, I am fearful, very fearful, but trying to trust Him and His perfect timing.

    Thanks again for the words of encouragement in this devotion!

  287. Sarah Humes says:

    I love the fact that Lara hinted at overcoming some really tough stuff in her marriage. I have too, and I would love to learn more about her story! Also—-I loved how she talked about creating an intentional life…as that is completely my goal! Great message!!!!

  288. Mary Christopher says:

    Hi Lara, your devotional really spoke to my heart this morning it was exactly what I needed to hear. I look forward to reading more from you!

  289. Thank you for the courage it takes to share what our Father plants in our hearts. He, the Master Gardner, is doing His own work on us, isn’t He?

  290. Pauline Kuepfer says:

    An inspiring devotional! Thanks

  291. Much needed!! Thank you!

  292. Would love a copy

  293. Donna Ivy says:

    This devotion was so meaningful to me today. It reminded me that perfection doesn’t have to happen when we are approaching new paths in our lives. Gardening is a great analogy. I, too, have always been hesitant to grow a garden when all I’ve done in the past is kill house plants! Thank you for your words of wisdom! I thank God for women like you that have been called to write and inspire others. Have a blessed day!!

  294. The exact journey I want to be on right now.

  295. Shari Kozlowski says:

    Thank you for this inspirational devotion. Although mind has not absorbed , I know is much for me to learn here. I fear I’ve learned to think somewhat of the same as you child messes and I don’t to pass that on to my children. So I will press on.

  296. The fear of failure is a lie that I tend to wrestle with, as many of us do, as well as the lack of confidence to try something new. This study today was very helpful and encouraging!

  297. Jennifer Nicole Terrance says:

    This post today really spoke to me and touched my heart. I found myself (the notorious plant killer) beginning a garden this year. I have wanted to for years but always bought the lie. However, this year I went crazy planting wildflowers and roses and tons of other things and about half of it is a total mess! But I can’t help but be just a little excited that I am actually growing some things…. it’s no oasis and looks more like a wild cottage in the woods. But for a widowed mom to 4 little kids with a broken heart, trying to grow through all the heavy dirt…. something is better than not trying at all. ❤️ I’d love a copy of the book😊

  298. I am so thankful I was led to begin reading your daily devotionals!

  299. Tracy Harvey says:

    Tge Lord’s timing is is always perfect. For tge past 4weeks my whole life has been upside down. But last week i was at a store an. Came a cross sonw Vegetable seeds an tge day befor i jyst happen to watch UTube on how to Garden in A patio In containers. Tgen To Day i Found your Post about Gardening in White Pants. An i thought Really. Thought at first. How Funny tgen as i read it. My. Spirit was talking to me. My thought were. Related to Gardning. In my patio. But at rhe same time. My thought. Of how God is Showing me How he wants me To Grow in him More an yes iam not a perfect person. Most of all iam such a. Mess. But in ling run. God has a plan for me. I just needed to dig through the Dirty Mess to reveal. His wisdom. For a New Growth in my Life. Thank you for your Post. I know it was ment for me to See it. Thank you Jesus Amen

  300. Jo'is Levy says:

    I would like to win a copy of your book.

  301. Erin Perek says:

    I love this. You’ve described what I didn’t realize I was feeling…how I’m afraid to start so many things in my heart…because of the fear of failing. I have to read more. Thank you for your words!

  302. Becky Clanton says:

    I loved this blog post and was exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thank you for blessing me!!

  303. Thank you for this devotion. It inspired me, and reminded me to trust God. I often fear messing up so I procrastinate, which doesn’t help me or my family.

  304. Denise Goins says:

    This book sounds like just what I need right now in my life.

  305. This was so fitting and so needed!

  306. Gina Glass says:

    Mrs. Lara, I just about cried when I read this. You see,my daughter is in rehab til Sept & I have her 2 kids. She is tending a garden & is pleased with the results, my 5 yr old grandson ate a carrot approximately 1-2 inches long! I am the one holding the seed. I say all that to say this, your story grabbed me by the heartstrings & I felt compelled to write you. Thank you for reminding me to go ahead and plant the seed, & do it in white pants! God Bless Lara.

  307. Allison Moore says:

    I would love to win this book! It would be such a blessing!


    I think that this is needed by all of us. Thanks for what you allow God to write for us to hear.

  309. Kristin Truxal says:

    This sounds like what I need. I have a hard time starting something because I don’t want to mess it up or make mistakes while doing it. I would love this book. Thank you!

  310. Jen Lehr says:

    I loved Lara’s first book, Make it Happen, and I can’t wait to read Cultivate!

  311. Carol Jacques says:

    I have been doing my own business since 2008. I’m retired and have money coming in so I’m okay financially. I’m not really doing this business because I’m not forced too financially. It’s a great business because it really helps families get on track financially. Everyone needs what I do but….. I’m not doing it. It’s been 9 years and I’m still not good at the presentation and closing. I went to the convention this June and have finally decided, ” Im doing this thing!”
    You described it perfectly, I wanted instant good and instant success. I haven’t wanted to get my white pants dirty, so in the process nothing got done! I’m now ready to play in the dirt!!

  312. Grace Crapitto says:

    Sounds like a fabulous book! I sure need to learn to put my trust in God instead of holding back
    because of the fear of failure.

  313. Karen Williams says:

    My brother in law just passed away suddenly. And he was one of those men that lived in the present. I’m not very good at that, I always look to the future or look back not living in the present. I’m not sure how to do that.

  314. Jannie Higgins says:

    Thank you for sharing your honesty. Too often I don’t start things, afraid I can’t finish or be very good at it so don’t even start. I need this encouragement!

  315. I’m interested in learning to embrace grace when it comes to relationship evangelism. I’ve been trying to be intentional about telling others, but I also don’t want to hit people over the head with Jesus either. It’s hard for me to share Christ with friends I had before I became serious about God…. I always end up reverting back to old habits around them like cussing or listening to music that DOES NOT (!) glorify God. Of course I repent and receive God’s forgiveness, but then to turn around and pray or discuss Christ afterwards makes me look like a hypocrite! I wonder if the book addresses this!

  316. Eileen Santa says:

    I can relate with your gardening story at least with the part of killing plants, I get discourage when I don’t see results immediately and then forget to water or care for the plants. Maybe that reflects some parts of my life when I wandered off God’s ways.

  317. I often flick the seeds back into the package. Thank you for sharing your insight on cultivating a life/legacy of faith and action.

  318. Thank you for sharing. It sounds like a wonderful book.

  319. Thank you for your devotion today. Gardening has been a lifesaver for me most of my adult life. Not only the plants have given me peace, but the multitude of insects who inhabit them. Observing the garden in all its glory is so relaxing and the quiet provides that time for God to speak to us. Everyone would benefit from even a potted plant to care for and spend some quiet time. Thank you again for sharing your story.

  320. Thank you for sharing what God needed me to hear today!

  321. Michelle says:

    Thank for the encouragement to start this day that the Lord has made. This spoke right to me today. Thank you!

  322. What a great analogy. Thank you.

  323. Jennifer Ziegler says:

    Love this! Thanks!

  324. Sounds like a book to grow from. 🙏🏻

  325. Lindsey says:

    Great devotion! Would love to read the book Cultivate to learn more!

  326. Cynthia says:

    This article reminds me to take risks. God is with me. It will be okay.
    Thank you

  327. Kathy A. Rusch says:

    I am a failure at gardening but because of God’s great grace, I am not a failure in mentoring women…need this.

  328. JOY CAMPBELL says:

    I am a Master Gardener who knew nothing about growing things and so took the MG course. Now I am mostly successful in my gardening efforts and enjoy Scriptural illustrations that refer to gardening. Thank you for these thoughts that show us how frail and fragile we are and encourage us to keep trying.

  329. Beth Erickson says:

    I, like the author, like to keep my garden within my control and pant things I know I can manage. The same goes for my life if I can’t keep my life in a state where I feel like I can control it I want to give up and not even try. But giving up is not part of God’s plan, trusting him and continuing on is. Life is messy I just have to remind myself I am not the only one with a messy life and being honest is better than hiding.

  330. Sheri Yuille says:

    This book sounds wonderful and just what I need as I set forth on a new journey.

  331. Lindsay boyce says:

    Grow seeds of Faith.!!!! I’d love a copy of Cultivate

  332. Kristin says:

    “All plants grow through dirt, and so do we”. What a timely devotion as I let (go and) my children begin their gardens of adulthood.

  333. Candie Pacileo says:

    I would love to win a copy of Laura’s book! I really enjoyed reading her devotional this morning, as I too, relate to gardening! Thanks so much!
    Candie P.

  334. Virginia shaddox says:

    Thank you for this inspirational devotion today

  335. Jen in TX says:

    This new book sounds wonderful. Would love to read it.

  336. Sue Bolles says:

    I am an avid gardener known to take wilted and half alive plants only to grow them into beautiful ones. This devotional hit home with me….in comparing my earthly life to the life the Lord wants for me. I have had suffering and events that made me want to give up, but I always turn to God to lead the way. They say what you live through makes you stronger…but Letting Go and Letting God helped me along the way. I know my road to eternal life will be strewn with life’s rocks that block my roadway, but I know my happiness lies at the end and with my caring God. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  337. Ashley Wilson says:

    I recently left a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship with my ex fiancé after his infidelity came to light. I am struggling every day and this blessed me soul today.

  338. Amanda Reeder says:

    As a life long gardener this resonated with me. I love the process of growing a garden. The journey is different each year. I loved how she related this to life and our journey through it. I will try to keep this correlation in mind when I am needing to “get dirty” and not be held captive by perfection. The book sound wonderful!

  339. I didn’t want to read a devotion this morning because I’ve felt I’ve made such a mess of life…but, I did, and it was yours, and the words were exactly what I needed to hear. It very much felt as thought I could have written those words myself. “But all plants grow through the dirt, and so do we. Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.” Thank you for that.

  340. Laura Covey says:

    Your Proverbs 31 message spoke stright to my heart. I am so afraid of making messes that I am often paralyzed and unable to act at all. Which sometimes leads to messes bigger than I would have created if I just made an effort to try. I need help living a more intentional life.

  341. Courtney says:

    I love how the example of a garden, can show us our relationship with Jesus. “Don’t plant sod where God’s planting seed. He’s more interested in making us grow than having us look finished.” -Bob Goff

  342. What a beautiful lesson! This city girl recently moved to a farm and your words are exactly how I feel. I’m a perfectionist and totally chickened out on planting a garden (or even just one tomato plant) this year because I knew it wouldn’t be right. You have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and just go for it. I think your book will help me “cultivate” this new and adventurous season of my life. Every day is a leap of faith. Thank you for reminding me to trust God in the middle of all my messes. I’ll save my white pants for heaven ☺️!

  343. Peggy Moore says:

    Sounds like a great read!

  344. Julie Wrzesien says:

    This book sounds like something I need to read. I am coming through a difficult season of life and am ready to start something new.

  345. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today. I love your perspective! I’m often pressuring myself and those around me to be perfect Too, forgetting that we sometimes make messes as we are trying. I’m reminded of the passage, “store up treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy.” We often chase after the wrong things, trying to look perfect to others.

  346. Gloria Sheff says:

    I just read the first chapter, and it really spoke to me. I would be very thankful if I won one of the copues of your book.

  347. Thank you. This message was just what I needed today. Your words hit home with me. Would love to get your book to read what insights God has given you.

  348. Beth Thomas says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. I am also not a gardener, so I can relate!

  349. Tiffany says:

    Could really use this book!!!

  350. Viviana hill says:

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring

  351. Rebecca Pollard says:

    I loved your post. It spoke straight to my heart. I think sometimes fear cripples us and robs us of all God has for us. We start rabbit trailing ideals, that in return snowball into these grand scenarios that will probably never happen. Thank you for the reminder to press on!

  352. Karen Houser says:

    God has been pruning and weeding the garden of my heart for years now. Thankful to call myself a recovering perfectionist who longer, on most days, is afraid to mess up my white pants! Enjoyed the excerpt and would love to read the whole book!

  353. Christy Wages says:

    Loved the saying you have to risk imperfect progress.

  354. Lisa Kelley says:

    Oh my goodness – what a GREAT message that I really needed this morning. I too am a hopeless gardener. I long for lush plants with divine fruits and vegetables plucked at their peakness but the patience involved is not one of my strengths and so I end of with just a mess of a mess. And such is my life also – a mess of a mess (internally). I have a wonderful life (wonderful husband and two amazing daughters, close friends, a great job and a loving extended family). Internally – a complete wreck – battling Satan and the temptations that he wields my way each and every day that keep me bound, and always thinking – tomorrow I will get it right. Trying to start and end each day with perfection, which never happens – because we live in a sin filled world. What your devotion spoke to my heart this morning is that perfection is not attainable nor does God even remotely expect it. But living each day, trusting in our Creator, who can take even the smallest step of faith in the right direction and continue to build on it day after day- that is what our loving and patient God is looking for. It’s time to get started with one little seed of faith – get my white pants dirty in the battle that He is calling me to fight – to break the chains that keep me bound and finally find victory and peace. To God be the Glory!

    • I will pray for you, Lisa. Speaking of starting your day with perfection…I’m on the other side of infidelity but mornings are hard…I have morning verses right on my nightstand to read to encourage a positive start to the day and then have several stacks of notecards etc with verses that I read as I go to each room in my house. God and scripture get me through each day. God is amazing and He will help you in any situation. Do whatever you can each day to acknowledge Him walking right beside you through your day.

  355. Thank you for the inspirational post! I am not a gardener but am reminded of life looking like a garden by planting seeds and watering them while trusting in God that they will grow into something fruitful. Can’t wait to read your new book!

  356. Michelle Blair says:

    I love these devotionals they are always right on time!

  357. Love this devotion! Sometimes I just don’t begin for fear of imperfection. Love the line from this devotion “making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.”
    Thank you and May God bless you!

  358. Today’s devotion spoke to me. I’m in conflict with my family right now because over 8 months ago I chose to stay in my marriage after infidelity. God is doing amazing things in our marriage and in each of us spiritually. The danger (fear) of what might happen again is something they won’t risk and they won’t trust that God is leading me.

  359. Oh my goodness! We sound a lot alike and I really enjoyed and needed that devotion. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  360. Linda Devereux says:

    I love the word picture on gardening in white pants. I too am a gardener. It teaches us much about faith and hope in things we can’t see. Keep up the good words of encouragement!

  361. Thank you for your encouragement to let go of fear & control and risk being imperfect. I needed this reminder.

  362. cyndi woods says:

    The title of this devotional grabbed me and I knew it would be what I needed. It went perfectly with my personal devotional I did this morning from the bible. I loved her comment about having a choice to cultivate the seed or let it stay dormant. That spoke to me so loudly, It has inspired me to love, respect, and give more kindness to my husband.I wish I had pages and pages to express how this devotional has affected me. I am so thankful Lauras’ book is available on audio as i am legally blind and need to listen to books. I am so looking forward to her reading me her own book. Thank you so much for this devotional. blessings to all your team.

  363. Joan Bonina says:

    I loved your fear and putting seeds back always bought plants first

  364. I think fear can control your life, but grabbing onto grace with Jesus makes the difference, Easier sad than done,

  365. Thank you for your devotional today…. I am trying to not let fear rule my life and this was an encouragement!

  366. Janet L. says:

    Thank you for this message today. It was very encouraging.

  367. Thank you Lara for this beautiful blog, especially for your honesty it is so easy to give in to fear and allow this to influence us instead of trusting and having faith. It has spoken to my so clearly, I am feeling really challenged at the moment to choose to believe God’s promises, living out Hebrews 11:1 in my daily life. Speaking truth over my life, trusting and having faith in God (with sometimes as small as the mustard seed) as I wait for answers to prayers even though I do not see the bigger picture. I know God will remain faithful and he will provide as he has done many times before but it is so easy to let fear and the lack of my understanding in God’s ways consume my way of thinking. Thank you so much for this devotion, bless you.

  368. Barbara Hobson says:

    I praise the Lord for this devotional this morning. I am one of those who believes that everything that I do has to be perfect. If my quilting is a tad off-I put it away, because it is not going to be perfect, and therefore nobody would want it to display in their home. I am a bookkeeper and so everything has to be perfect in that and I carry it into all the other aspects of my life. Therefore, I have tons of projects that have flaws in them stored in my home, and also in my heart. Thank you for reminding me that it is God that does the perfect work. Not me.

  369. Cynthia theobald says:

    This story felt as it was just for me, I think that as hard as it is sometimes when things are so rough and so many things happening we feel like controlling and fixing but our almighty created is with us always and he has the divine plan for us and all things

  370. Gillian Christy says:

    I find God so often speaks to me through His creation. It can be something very simple, for example. A few years ago I made every preparation I could think of to attract Hummingbirds to our garden. Imagine my disappointment at finally removing the Hummingbird feeder in mid August as not one Hummingbird had made an appearance. Then, amazingly the next morning whilst having breakfast a Hummingbird suddenly arrived and hovered outside the kitchen window for several seconds. I was delighted and felt God saying through this that so often we strive for something instead of just trusting God. I would love to obtain one of Lara’s books for my friend who loves the Lord and nature too.

  371. Jenelle Mullet says:

    I love your authenticity in revealing that you did put the seed back. At first, you let the fear control you, I appreciate when women admit that it takes time to grow in Faith. I work with Middle school girls and have three teen daughters myself and they tell me all the time how much they feel others have it together all the time. So, it is so important when we help them see the realistic picture of other women’s lives. I am not a gardener at all, but this still really touched my heart. Thanks for a beautiful devotion!

  372. Vickie Manning says:

    Would love a copy of the book for my boss. She recently lost her husband. She is facing a lit if new growth battles.

  373. Lindsey Anderson says:

    I’m a mom of four who can easily be overwhelmed by all of the responsibility which leads to feeling paralyzed. My desire is to move forward into greater things for the kingdom right within my home and then outward from there. We also are starting our own backyard garden!

  374. Felicia Walker says:

    Hi Laura, I am a 47 year old female, and I would love your book. Is it too late for me to Cultivate? I get the “Encouragement for Today” emails sent to me daily and they are so inspirational. I’ve been struggling and praying lately because I’ve been feeling worthless, incompetent, hopeless, and just overall like a failure. I woke up this morning and prayed to God, feeling like this has to be the my last cry out to Him for help because I have not received answers from Him previously. I struggle with holding it all together in life, even reading the bible, retaining what I read, and consistently attending church because of social anxiety and attention deficit disorder. After I prayed I knew I would have a bad day because prayer normally sends me into tears which leaves me very emotional and feeling drained for a while. I got to work and checked my emails as normal, and when I read the “encouragement for today” email which talked about cultivating, I felt like God actually heard me this time. Something you said “But all plants grow through the dirt, and so do we. Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one,” really resonated with me. I have such a fear of failure because so many of my past failures have been so painful. I have a hard time accepting who I am, and actually still struggling with who I am. Because of my age I feel like its too late to even begin trying to change or improve. I just want to accept me for who God created me to be, but I don’t know who that person is, and its hard to find myself in a world where so many standards don’t appeal to me. Thank you for reading this.

  375. Jenny O'Shields says:

    What a great reminder, and most definitely what I needed to hear today. To let go, and let God. Thank you.

  376. Wonderful analogy of the white pants. This was a great message, not just about letting go but about trusting God. This really belssed me, Thank you!!

  377. Carol VanDomelen says:

    Wow, reading Gardening in White Pants brought tears to my eyes …. I felt like Lara had written directly about ME, as she spoke about the fear of not trying something new for fear she would fail and not appear “perfect” to the outside world. Cultivate sounds like a book that my heart and soul needs.

  378. Stephanie Stephens says:

    Oh, thank you for this devotion this morning! “I was conditioned to think that messes were bad and doing it perfectly the first time was good,” REALLY hit home with me as think the same way. I immediately prayed after reading your sentence, that my thinking be re-programmed!!! And I too do not garden due to your same reason, but hey maybe I will try now. Thank you again for sharing your story!

  379. Rebecca Anderson says:

    “risk imperfect progress to grow new life”
    Thank you!

  380. Thank you for this thought provoking study. I’ve never been a gardener but I’ve always admired this skill in others. The idea if not trying for fear of failure resonates with me.

  381. Debbie Stephens says:

    Wow! Surprised to see Lara’s name on my devotion this morning! Lara was my daughter’s mentor in PCC back in the 90’s. What a sweet mentor she was for Tiff.

  382. Thank you for the message today. It is what I needed to hear. I would love to read and study the book.

  383. KIMBERLEY says:

    Thank you for your encouragement. It’s ever so helpful in my daily journey. 🙂

  384. Carol Lamar says:

    I love how God and the universe stalks me! If someone called, texted, emailed, and then showed up where you were then it may feel like he/she is stalking you. Proverbs 3: 5-6 keeps showing up for me. I randomly chose this page today and had never visited before. My feelings before devotional were the words you wrote about feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. I love that God loves me, knows every hair on my head, my every concern, and He is there when I open my heart and seek Him! This book would be a blessing to me and each person I touch while walking in my purposeful assignment here on earth. Thank you.

  385. sandra holmes roy says:

    Reading this article has helped me refocus my mind on what God wants daily from me. Having been recently told that I have ( according to medical doctors, God has numbered my days ) 18 months to live, what testimony I leave has become foremost in my thoughts. But I had become to focused on trying to do things perfectly. Thank you for reminding me that it’s God who gives the increase. My job is to plant and water.

  386. I Have been afraid to finish everything. I start because of feelings that if i go all the way. It wont be good enough. I am 27 years old. Mother of three kids.I am married but my husband i have been seperated for more than two years. He had an affair and a child with another woman. Which for a long time has been extremely painful for me. I have always wanted to have run my own day care to have a business that i can leave behind for my daughter and also where i can teach kids and spend more time at home with my children. I also want to go back to school for a bachelors in counseling. I forgive my husband and love him very much. I hear from him every now and then. And i do believe God is a miracle working God and have hopes of my marriage being restored and being. A marriage and family counselor to help others that been through the same things i have been through. This season im in sometimes feel like its never ending. And i do desire to grow and see myself the way Gods see me. Be more attractive and take better care of myself. I know God is good and able i need The Lord strength and endurance to take action. Just one day at a time.thank you for this devotional. God continue to bless you and your family

  387. Natalie Howard says:

    Awesome devotional! Very timely for me! Thanks for sharing your heart.

  388. Leticia Lopez says:

    This was a divine appt meant totally for me.Thank you Lara for putting yourself out there with such integrity and honesty. The Lord’s been pulling out the weeds in my garden, time to cultivate the soil and start planting seeds for a bountiful harvest of reconciliation, forgiveness and love! God abundantly bless you 🙂

  389. Melody Irby says:

    I really enjoyed this devotion. This is the second time the Holy Spirit has spoken to me in the last few days about having faith in what is not yet seen. The first was a message on how God asked God’s people at the battle of Jericho to march for 6 days before allowing the wall to come down. The speaker explained that those soldiers did not get to see even one brick fall for that entire 6 days, but they faithfully marched, and at the appointed time the wall fell. This devotions about the seed is an affirmation that I need to have faith that seeds that I have planted will bloom at the appointed time.

  390. Terri Pierce says:

    I almost didn’t read today’s devotion but so glad I did! Thank you for sharing your thoughts Lara it was full of truth and great reminders.

  391. sandra holmes roy says:

    Forgot to say I’ve been a christian for a lot of years so I know I’m in a win win situation. To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. God has allowed me many successes and some failures. And thru each situation He continued to teach me to trust Him so I will continue to trust Him. He is faithful.

  392. Margaret says:

    This was just what I needed to read today, am having some fear issues, need to let go and trust the Good Lord!

  393. Deanna Kruse says:

    I can think of many times in my life when I chose fear over faith and decided not to do something because I feared it wouldn’t be good enough. Perfectionism has always held me back. This only leads to regret. I am trying to “let go and let God” in all facets of my life.

  394. Peggy Ozaki says:

    As someone with a green thumb, I’ve always loved the comparisons in the Bible between growing plants and how God grows our faith as believers. Sometimes I find it silly that I can easily trust God to grow my plants but have difficulty trusting Him with many facets of my life. Today’s devotion was nourishing for my heart!

  395. Oh does this resonate with me. I’m a disinterested gardener of plants. But I am an intentional sower in preschoolers. I have felt less than with my own teens however. Trying is what matters. I continue to make messes but I am still hands on. Thank you for that reassurance that growing is more than the cultivation and production of perfect “plants”. My children are growing by God’s grace

  396. Jackie Tate says:

    Wow! I could have written most of this devotional! I want a beautiful garden, but I want it without me having to do much. Same way with weight loss! It doesn’t happen, I get discouraged. My garden doesn’t grow, I gain more weight, flowers die, and I’m done…discouraged. that’s the part I could have written.
    Your testimony regarding what God revealed to you, I needed to hear! Please pray for me! That I might keep the white pants on, God’s word in my heart and realize these things take time…and faith!
    Thank you for sharing

  397. This is something I struggle with daily
    The fear of failure keeps me from trying…

  398. Lisa Hill says:

    My husband and I wanted a daughter but could not have one of our own. We wanted to adopt for years but we’re afraid of we would not be able to afford to adopt.
    My husband decided if God wanted us to have a daughter he would drop one in our lap. I began to pray that it would happen. One day I got a call from social services that a little girl that we knew several years before was going to be up for adoption. I immediately said yes. When my husband came home that night I told him about the call. He said let’s go get her. It was not that easy she was in another state and lots of red tape between the states HD to be overcome. Two and a half years later we brought her home. Many times during that time I wanted to give up because it didn’t look like it would really happen.
    With God’s help he helped us to see the bigger picture of having a daughter and teaching her about him. She has accepted the Lord as her personal Savior and it is a great joy to watch her grow in him. A seed has been planted in her and we are excited to see what fruit she will produce. She is the seed we almost gave up many times before we had her. Watching her grow has been more than amazing. God is awesome and I often think about the joys we would have missed if we had not waited on the Lord.

  399. Thank you for your comments on gardening in white pants. It made an impact on my heart. I also have listened to the lie that everything has to be perfect. Thank you again. Please keep me in prayer

  400. Sharon Burkett says:

    Thank you for sharing this devotional. It was just what I needed to remind me that both my gardening and my writing need to cultivated and need my attention even in my white pants. GOD will get the dirt out. Thank you again.

  401. God knew I needed to read this wisdom today! Congratulations on your book! Looking forward to reading more pearls like this!

  402. Courtney says:

    Oh, I absolutely LOVE your statement “I could choose to cultivate it or let it remain dormant.” That one, short, uncomplicated sentence so very well explains one’s spiritual life. For years I allowed my relationship w/ God to remain dormant. And as you pretty clearly explained, there is no possibility of growth without first planting something. Not only do you have to plant, you must, most importantly, cultivate. It takes daily work & time spent with God & in His Word for your spiritual life & relationship with Him to begin to grow & eventually bloom & flourish into something beautiful & miraculous. Thank you for such a great analogy.

  403. The reviews for this book are making me want to dive into it promptly. Set aside the housework, that I feel needs to always be perfect, and just dive into and read it front to back!

  404. Niki Rooke says:

    Just got out of my little garden……….and this message talked to my heart. The book looks amazing!!?? Empty nest, new decade – too early to retire but NOW WHAT??? I NEED IT!!

  405. Nichole Buchanan says:

    I want to choose a life of faith and not fear. Thank you for your continued grace through the emails, blogs, and updates. I think too many of us try to “garden in white pants” and just end up covered in a mess. This email was such a great reminder of how we need to live through faith, for Him. Thank you for sharing your story! I look forward to seeing more from you. Thank you!

  406. Thank you so much for this message! I needed this exactly when I read it! I recently started writing full time in obedience to God’s calling, and everyday I fight with doubt and discouragement. Thank you for your words of encouragement! I am trusting in God today for the things I cannot control!

  407. Cindy Gatlin says:

    Thank you for your powerful message today. I am realizing that being a perfectionist has caused me to procrastinate most of my life. Then one day I woke up and I was 55 years old, widowed, struggling with anxiety, depression and grief. I feel purposeless, even though I know God has a good plan for me. Sending blessings from Texas.

  408. Sherri Hedberg says:

    I loved this little bit of encouragement titled “Gardening in White Pants”. I would love to read her whole book. God Bless you for this web site and opportunity.

  409. Proverbs 3:5-6 are my favorite verses but I still have trouble not leaning on what I see and understand. I love the story about the garden and waiting for the seed’s potential. I’ve heard the phrase “imperfect progress” before and thought about putting it on my bathroom mirror as a reminder but didn’t at that time but think I will this time.

  410. Vicki in CO says:

    I loved this devotional! It came in God’s perfect timing and reminded me once again to let go and let God! I have always wanted to write devotionals and be published somewhere, but I’m too scared to even begin. For that matter, I don’t even know where to begin! This book sounds like something I should definitely read. I would love to win a copy.

  411. Oh, this is so me. This. is. me. Fear is so overwhelming. I so needed to hear this today. I fear messing up my children and that keeps me making many mistakes. At a time when they need me to listen and ask questions, fear comes into play and I say things out of fear instead of love and faith in God. God is helping me to see that I can love them, show them grace, through the messiness of life. I thought I was alone, now I see that I am not. Thank you for sharing this. God is Good. It is His kindness that draws us to repentance. Thank you.

  412. Marycarmen says:

    Love it. I’m so Blesssed’

  413. Terri Silsbe says:

    Great devotional. Good food for thought 😊

  414. Looking forward to digging into this one!

  415. HannahGrace Finney says:

    I really like this story this morning, me and my mom is growing a garden and Lara is right about the white pants. You will have your pants all dirty by the time you are finish gardening. But you need to slow down and stop wearing about what’s going to happen to your cloths and just enjoy what you are doing. And juts like for the good in your garden.

  416. I am starting to teach again after 8 and a half years off. I want to be a great teacher and show the school that hired me that I am well qualified to teach. I also need to let go of doing things perfectly so I can show my students that it is okay to make mistakes and grow cultivate to become who God wants us to be. Even if that means going through hard times.

  417. Patricia Jaracz says:

    I love gardening analogies!

  418. Jennifer F says:

    Sounds like just what I need.

  419. Vicky Nordeen says:

    I have faith, but sometimes it’s hard after having conversations with others. Unfortunately, most people in my life don’t have a relationship with God like I do, so really I’m listening to worldly views, and it’s hard to walk away from those talks and not question my faith. Am I an odd ball for thinking this way, for having hope. My brother-in-law today called me a poodle and referred to my sister as a pitbull. Why is it that the righteous get ridiculed and come off as weak?

  420. Terry Smith says:

    I would love to read her book because I struggle with the same ideas of perfection and fear to step out in faith. It sounds like a wonderful read! Thank you and God bless this ministry.

  421. Danielle says:

    Oh how THIS resonates… thank you for the reminder it’s not about perfection but rather progress. I pray Father that You help me to choose Faith OVER fear…

  422. Stephanie Reinke says:

    I have been a bit fearful of jumping into working again as I just had my second baby and I am struggling with decisions at the moment! Would love this book

  423. Lisa Carey says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book that I’d love to read. I have to admit that I strive to find the balance between doing things with excellence and avoiding the trap of perfectionism.

  424. Kim Hanson says:

    This book sounds like the perfect aid in helping me get the Lord’s joy back in me. I don’t of am feeling incredibly exhausted and overwhelmed.

  425. Karen Pinkston says:

    I would love to read the book, Cultivate, as I have found myself in a long unplanned season of rest! Looking to the Lord for direction to pursue a new passion in this season! I, too, desire to plant a small garden!

  426. Linda Womack says:

    I love gardening and have spent mindless hours to achieve what i want. But my priorities arent right when i do this.

    We recently moved to a home where the gardens are pretty well-established. I’m spending more time in God’s Word as a result.

    Thank you for sharing a part of your life story.

  427. Lisa Istre says:

    I would love to read this book. I ended a 14 year relationship and I’m having a hard time moving on.Would love some motivation! Thanks and GOD bless!

  428. Sharona Yake says:

    Love the analogy
    And the encouragement to continue to trust God for the next & the next thing…
    Blessings from Canada 🇨🇦

  429. Kimberly says:

    Love this and would love to read the book.

  430. Cindy b says:

    What I’ve wanted to do? Work on a master’s degree. What’s holding me back? Age (60), cost (will I have a return on my investment?), fear of failing and not making the cut.

  431. I, too, am an unlikely gardener, but I’m trying! I would love to win a copy of the book.

  432. HEATHER says:

    You had me at your quote, “You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do: You should go do them.”
    Broke my heart, because that’s exactly what I WANT to do!! Blessings!!!

  433. Susan G. says:

    Don’t we all need to grow an “intentional life”?!
    I would actually like to grow a garden too! I haven’t had a garden for over 25 years and I miss one. I am watching my daughters little garden grow now as I visit her every 2 weeks, and I am just as excited as she is to see all those green shoots pop up through the dirt! When I get done traveling so much and stay home more, I will plant my garden…but I will leave my white pants hanging in the closet. 😉

  434. Ooooo – it would make my day to win this book! I have read Lara’s Make It Happen and it was SO good! Thanks for the chance to win!

  435. Beth Joyce says:

    Great giveaway!

  436. I love Lara’s comment that “Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.” Sometimes perfectionism and worry can get in the way of experiencing life the way God wants us to.

  437. Lara – I just began a new season of my life this week… Retirement! After serving 31 years in education, it was time for more rest, reflection, and renewal. Grandkids, grandogs, and gardening are my passions, so your devotional analogy of gardening and letting go of doing thing perfectly really hit home. I would love a copy of your book to read, and then share with family and friends who struggle with similar control issues. God bless you!

  438. Heather Fuller says:

    Thank you for the hopeful/inspiring story about gardening. I’m going through a season in my life that’s similar. Most of the time like you I want & do put the seed back in the package, it feels SAFE but also paralyzing at the same time. I know God’s moving & doing a work in my life, I’m hopeful that he’ll bring it to finish as I cooperate. Most of the time I feel like putting my tennis shoes on and running very far away but I’m learning how much I miss out on in the meantime. It doesn’t FEEL like I’m going to get to where I’m going but I’m believing this year is a new start for me. Faith over Fear!!!! Just bought myself & 2 other girlfriends t-shirts, thanks for the encouragement!!!

  439. Carolyn says:

    Can relate to this insight today as I am tackling a project. I was dealing with taking the “lick & a promise” approach or the thorough approach of “doing it right”, but maybe not as efficiently as I should. Either way will produce an end result, but which will bring the more satisfaction?

  440. Tina Gillispie says:

    I felt like this written just for me! I am always putting things off if I don’t feel like I can do it perfectly. I pray that God helps me with this as well! 💜

  441. Wow. This meant so much to me, having experienced infidelity. Thank you.

  442. You’ve really got me thinking even more about how I spend my time, when do I use time just for me? What ever happened to the word ‘Fun’? and who is that guy I married?? We will be empty nesters this fall but just for the school year. What do I want my life to look like? I honestly have no clue! I have spent years being the glue for everyone else, I couldn’t even tell you what my dreams are, how do I put myself first??

  443. Thanks for the devotion. We are to have faith and trust in God which produces the fruits of the spirit. It is better to be joyful than to be afraid. Nehemiah 8:10 b ” “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

  444. Andre Wagner says:

    I always wanted to and stil want to be in control of my business responsibility and believe that without me being there 24/7 or knowing all what happens hourly that things will collapse. But God has on many occasions reminded me that faith is the only thing needed. God did not set me up for failure nor will He test anyone beyond his capabilities. He made us and loves us why will He disappoint us. I pray that all Gods children can receive the gift of faith and that I am reminded daily to trust in Him always

  445. Cherie Reese says:

    Today’s reading truly spoke to me. I have always struggled with perfection. Along with that, of course, comes insecurities. I would be very interested in reading Lara’s book Cultivated. How fun if I were chosen to win her book!

  446. So good! ❤️❤️❤️

  447. Alice McGhee says:

    I have often thought that pulling those nasty old weeds from my garden was like pulling out sin that was interfering with the growth of the Spirit of God in my life. Thanks for your encouraging post.

  448. Tammy Wislhire says:

    Wow – what a great devotional today! Hit the nail right on the head – I think we, as women, all struggle with some degree of this issue. Today, this spoke directly to my heart on an issue I have been struggling with because I thought it needed to be perfect to work. Great reminder to let God do the work through you – sometimes imperfect progress works better to God’s glory!

  449. I really enjoyed this devotion. I strive so hard for perfection but if everything in my life was perfect from the get go, I wouldn’t be who I am today. My imperfections and God’s Love and Grace have made me the wonderful woman I am.

  450. Angela McCall Hill says:

    “Planting seeds is risky. It’s putting our trust in something bigger than we are. It’s optimism and faith. It requires letting go, and I don’t like letting go. I like being in control. I like efficiency, security, routine, predictability. I like having a plan.
    As I looked down at the seeds, I knew I held possibility in my hands. What do I do now? How do I plant this? How many seeds do I plant at once? What if I don’t do this perfectly and it doesn’t grow?
    I had a choice to make: Risk imperfect progress to grow new life, or regret not growing anything at all. In that moment, faced with the possibilities in a tiny tomato seed, I chose fear over faith.”

    Been there…done that. Praying for faith over fear.

  451. Camill goorbarry says:

    Great outlook and analogy comparing our fight with being perfect to your gardening experiences. Thank you for this enlightenment for me to take my leaps in faith and trust God wholesomely. Amen!

  452. Heidi Janelle says:

    I love this and I really admire Lara Casey.

  453. Hebrews 11:1 is a life-verse for me – one I keep coming back to time and time again because it reminds me of God’s promises. Like Lara, I like a plan. But I find that when I let go of my plan and ask God for the courage to follow His plan instead, a sense of peace settles over me. And things turn out better than I could have imagined (or planned!) myself. I would love to read Lara’s new book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  454. Elizabeth Kasper says:

    Great reminders! I would really love to win this book. Good luck to all!

  455. Valerie Gilmore says:

    Would love to read this devotional..I really need it.

  456. Marilyn says:

    I so needed to read this right now! I am leading worship at a conference for grieving moms next Saturday and have felt overwhelmed and inadequate. As fresh waves of grief overcame me this morning, all I wanted to do was go and be a participant, not a leader. But my husband reminded me this was something God was calling me to do. And so I go relying on God’s strength, not my own. It may not be perfect, but God will use my offering.

    • From one worshiper to another: The Spirit of the Lord is upon you, because he hath anointed you to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent you to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18

  457. Love Lara Casey! Can’t wait to get her new book!

  458. Thank you. I’m a bit of a constrained perfectionist having missed out on lots of possibilities because of fear of not doing it perfectly first time. Piles of fabric for projects that are in my head but haven’t made it to the cutting table. Not to mention the relational stash. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes and a difficult pattern to change…cause it involves risk. I’d love to read your book!

  459. I really love Lara Casey’s perspective on life. She is so inspiring! I’m looking forward to reading her new book, Cultivate.

  460. Always wanted to start a garden but live in apartment, some day I will have a place to plant one and sit on my patio to sit and enjoy them along with a glass of tea or a cup of coffee in the morning. Would love to have your book Cultivate to sit and read on my patio and glass of tea.

  461. Marissa B says:

    We recently purchased a home that has both small and really large raised garden beds, about 200 sq ft total! They are all overgrown with weeds as the inside of the house has taken priority. I’ve managed to kill almost every plant (including cacti) that I’ve tried to care for. My husband was talking about ripping up all the gardens, and I begged him not to. I’ve been so inspired watching Lara grow her beautiful gardens, and now with this new book, I feel almost called to return the gardens to something beautiful and productive. To experience the process. She has totally changed my perspective of what it means to garden- it’s not just weeding and toiling in the sun. It has so much more meaning for me now. My daughter is also starting to walk and I can’t wait for her to help me in the coming years!

  462. I received this today right after I went outside to tend to some garden duties wearing white capris and my husband had said, “You’re going to do that in white pants?” Love this!!!

    Yes there are a few things I am dragging my feet in doing that I feel the Lord has for me … but there are thoughts that are holding me back. “You shouldn’t be starting that at your age.” “You have too many health issues to be taking on more responsibilities.” “Your husband is in remission from cancer and still taking a chemo drug. You need to make sure you are available for him.” (However, he is doing well, AND is more active on ministry than I am!!)
    You get the picture here. I need to get into God’s garden snd get to work!

  463. Nancy deRochambeau says:

    I live on a farm and always need garden info!

  464. I so needed this!

  465. I have a couple things I have hesitated on starting, this was a helpful encouraging article and looks like a great book.

  466. If it is the will of the Lord I would be blessed

  467. Shannon says:

    Can’t wait to start reading!

  468. Cathy Vanderpool says:

    I remember when I was about two following my grandmother to pick strawberries FAR out in her garden. Haha. I had on one of her hand sewn bonnets, so big that I could hardly see in front of me. I remember sitting down with her in her kitchen shelling peas. She was so fast. She grew flowers all over her yard, and she would let me pick them.I still love flowers!

  469. Sarah Baker says:

    Love this.

  470. Sarah Milheim says:

    Thank you. This was much needed today.

  471. Laura Giaccaglini says:

    ❤️ Love this.

  472. A friend was trying to help me out today…..and i missed out on some bible teaching… not taking a risk…God is teaching me about proper friendships and my boundaries also stepping out in faith…making decisions that have His approval…… He is moving in our family relationally and I believe Him and His promises for our restoration in every way! He is faithful and in Control. Your Devotional was in my inbox at just the right time….thankyou. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 … was a conformation of exactly what our pastor talked about on Sunday—-in relation to his restored marriage and family and life. And Im trusting and believing that for ours…..for His Honour and Glory…In Jesus Name.

  473. Kristina says:

    I love this comparison! I have never been drawn to gardening all that much, but I have always enjoyed the end result! Slowly, my family and I are starting to fall in love with the process, too, and learning so much about life along the way! Thanks for sharing!

  474. Lauren Liebscher says:

    The analogy of the garden fits me to a T.
    A thought came to mind when I was reading. The seed is willing to grow into a tomato. Who am I to deprive it of the life God intended it for? He didn’t deprive me of the life He intended for me. Thank you for sharing, and praise God for the thought! God bless you and your ministry.

  475. Oh My😳 This is SO ME!! I am So Not a Gardener, Except in Regards to my Husband of 43 years, my now 3 Amazing Adult Children & My Adored 3 Grands & extended Family. Yet, here I am at 65 years old living alone for almost 5 years with divorce pending in the next month or so. After this difficult time of deep darkness & utter dispair, I have finally, again, surrendered The Seed of Me back to my Heavenly Father Who Never Left me, Loves me Unconditionally, and is Absolutely Unchanging & Worthy of my Complete Trust & Praise.

  476. Cathy G says:

    So thankful God helps us grow in our life and He helps us take a leap of faith.

  477. Michelle Stewart says:

    I ❤️ this post and gardening! This post is definitely a keeper for me-Thank You!!

  478. Jan Bradison says:

    Your article really spoke to me. I felt as if I were writing it. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into this through your book. God Bless!

  479. Your words remind me about the growth that lies beyond the fear. Thank you.

  480. This devotion struck home. Would love this book!

  481. Megan L. says:

    Thank you for this devotional! Too often I let fear keep me from growing, but I’m learning to let go and trust God. He is always faithful.

  482. Cat Calhoun says:

    Love Lara! So excited about her new book!

  483. Racquel says:

    Love the line that even if you make a mess you are not a mess. Beautiful mess!

  484. I have been reluctant to take a leap away from my soul-sucking job into something I feel God is calling me to do. That uncertainty is so hard to face though.

  485. Samantha Smith says:

    I believe this book is talking about me and how I wish I could get over what if I mess up what if it doesn’t work right. This book and I need to be reminded how God can use misfits and make it right. Thank you. I hope I am chosen to winn IT. Have a Happy 4th of July. GOD BLESS YOU.

  486. Such a wonderful message! Thank you! The book looks great, would love to read it sometime 🙂

  487. Paula Weiss says:

    I would love to win this book, but more so could use your prayers for my family.

  488. I loved this thoughtful post. I would love to decorate my home. Nothing fancy, just comfortable and welcoming. Having confidence in doing it.
    Thank you Proverbs31 and Lara Casey. 🍅

  489. I think this topic is one that everyone can identify with. Being perfect is impossible but most of us have been taught that it is imperative! I am hkadvthus book will address this.

  490. Simple a wonderful devotion. Spoke volumes.

  491. Simply a wonderful devotion. Spoke volumes to me.

  492. Donna C says:

    Exactly where I’m at…thank you!

  493. Christina says:

    Love this!❤️

  494. Casey Smale says:

    I look forward to reading this book.

  495. Sherry Stephens says:

    Awesome devotional!

  496. Sherry Stephens says:

    Awesome devotional !

  497. Elizabeth says:


    “But all plants grow through the dirt, and so do we. Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one.”

  498. Thanks for your encouaging devotional! I can completely relate!

  499. Danielle Roberts says:

    Love this Lara! You’ve inspired me to get out in the garden and look at plants and pruning in a new way. Thank you for sharing your insight!

  500. Phyllis Nuttley says:

    This lesson from you really touched my heart.
    I have to start to prune things out of my life and start having faith when I plant my new seeds that they are going to grow up as Jesus wants them to be .
    Thank you again for sharing !!

  501. Shelley says:

    Thank you, Lara*
    This is one of The Best devotional words I have ever read; touching deeply inside me. Oh how the fear grips and God is bigger

  502. Thank you for sharing! So encouraging and challenging!

  503. Great analogy; love the idea of forcing oneself to push past the desire to be perfect and just satisfy the desire to get started! Thank you for your transparency.

  504. Alisha Ford says:

    I’d love to win a copy of Cultivate!

  505. Janis Newton says:

    I would love to read your book and hear your story. Thank you for your inspiration. Prayers are powerful and I think your message is powerful too. I would really love to be part of you and your grateful and loving messages to others.

  506. This couldn’t have come at a better time! Totally resonates with my heart and soul as I’m a single mom blessed with a 3 yr. old little boy and still going/growing through a complicated, stressful, and messy divorce. My faith comes and goes and this message is what I need right now!! Thank you – very much needed!

  507. To accomplish something in life, we have to take a first step. Sometimes we have to take that step without a completed path in mind. We might step into some holes and mud along the way. But eventually we figure out the real way to get where we are going. The obstacles we encounter strengthen us and as we see our destination in sight our resolution gets stronger and the obstacles become less traumatic for us. For God is our leader and with Him we will succeed!

  508. Chelsea D says:

    I was so excited for this book to come out. Really important message for me during this season!

  509. Vanessa says:

    My life is in PERFECT shambles! Taking leaps of faith is one of my down falls! Just became a reborn christian. Feel as if everything needs to be perfect but yet im still failing!

  510. Thank you for such a vivid and thought-provoking devotional!

  511. Oh my heart!! I so needed this! My word for the year was “intentional”. I admit that I haven’t been doing much with it because y’all, intentional living is HARD! I definitely identify with wanting the already perfect blooms and skipping the waiting, the digging, the mess. But how much do I miss by doing that?? Here’s to getting my hands dirty and dirt on my white pants!

  512. Natalie Castleman says:

    I want to make intentional decisions in my life to help glorify His kingdom.

  513. Heather Howlett says:

    This message really spoke to my heart. I have always struggled with perfectionism. It effects my self confidence, relationships, and even normal everyday activities. I think deep inside I just want to be loved and accepted. Fitting in has always been important to me. After many years I am finally learning who I am. I am a woman of God. Although I still struggle with perfectionism, I am reminded that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

  514. This is so true. I have been fighting my perfectionist tendencies, but this describes why I need to get past it. By trying to understand how everything works before I even begin, I am holding myself back and missing out on everything that unfolds during the process.

  515. Julie Taylor says:

    Blessings to your new creation in God.

  516. Janice Alston says:

    This is so needed in my life. I know in order to grow we have to first plant the first seed. I need help I sometimes fall short, on not giving myself enough room to grow. I would love reading this book, I feel it could really open me up to try other opportunities in my life. Enjoy the message, I need to plant mire seeds to see if my lice would grow. Thanks!!!

  517. Sometimes we are so afraid and such perfectionist that we halt what God want to accomplish through us even with our flaws and shortcomings. We have to learn to have faith and keep moving forward. Thanks for the great message.

  518. Lora Armstrong says:

    This is so me! I would love her book!

  519. Karen Erwin says:

    Love the analogy of ga denied nag with white pants to life. Would love to have her book!

  520. Just what I needed to hear!!

  521. Thank you for your encouraging words. May God continue to blessed you and be a light to our path.

  522. I’d love to win a copy of this Bible Study as I often feel like I’m not good enough and left out!

  523. Sometimes the leap is the hardest part! I have felt many failures/messes from not starting which I look back on wth regret. Then I see things I started and messed up along the way but have reaped the fruit of staying with it by God’s grace……those messes I don’t regret. Thank you for reminding me it’s not about the messes but the trying and seeing it through to fruition by letting God “help” that is what living a God-filled life is about! Philippians 4:13 “For I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”

  524. I love this! I’m in the process of planting seeds for a new life… one that follows the purpose and plan that God has for me. I’d love a copy of her new book and I’m signing up to follow her blog immediately!

  525. Stephanie says:

    Sounds like an amazing book! Would love to read and share!

  526. I am pursuing science and, right now, I have a research internship in a breast cancer lab. I have realized this summer that God is showing me what has been written in this article. I know I am a perfectionist. I have to be in control so that things will run perfectly. I have to have a plan and know what I am going to do so that I can figure out how I am going to do it right. This doesn’t happen in research. You have to take risks. Instead of feeling meaningful in the lab, I “feel inadequate, overwhelmed and exhausted” at times because I want to do it all perfectly. This doesn’t just apply to lab, but other areas in my life as well. This article reveals all the more how God is bringing me into a new season of growth, and, in order to do that, I have to let go and step out.

  527. RacquelG says:

    Would love to read what’s inside of this book hopefully it can help me find life and encouragement in this tough season of my life…waiting and working is just hard but I know God is faithful. Thank you in advance.

  528. I live my life to help others nurture themselves so they can reach their full potential. I would love to add this book to my list of resources. Thank you for the sweet chance. ☺

  529. We’ve recently just started vegetable gardening. There is so much to learn. Patience is required! What to plant where, how to prepare the soil, what to add to make it better with more to offer plants and seeds.
    We starter adding compost from our local dump. Isn’t it funny that garbage and discarded stuff can be combined, mixed together and over time become the best thing to grow the biggest most beautiful veggies. Kind of like life. All those experiences and messes help cultivate each of us and give us an opportunity to grow and become something beautiful. Thanks to the grace of God.

  530. Thanks for choosing faith and deciding to live intentional – even though it means getting dirty sometimes and working hard. I have chosen fear over faith way too many times and am ready to live the rest of my life by faith instead. This is just what I needed to hear today. I have potential but will never reach mine if I don’t start choosing to walk by faith.

  531. Amy Justice says:

    I enjoy the daily devotions and I would love to read her book.

  532. Thank u for writing this devotion. It helped remind me that being a gardener is about planting and watering but it’s God who makes it grow. I need to daily remind myself of this so that I do not grow weary in scattering my seeds. Can’t wait to read this book!

  533. Lisa Silva says:

    This new book sounds like exactly what Im ready for. My family is being called to serve as pilot/healthcare missionaries in the Amazon of Brazil. To leave our comfortable predictable life in the US….and grow up in the lush messy rainforest garden is very intimidating. Praying for guidance and growth on this very topic. Thank you for this series of devotions! Blessings!

  534. Hope welsh says:

    Truly connect with Lara

  535. Dawn Bennett says:

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  536. Lorraine says:

    A awesome timely word for me. I garden so this was a great way helping me to relate.

  537. Love this message! Fear…it’s always holding me back.

  538. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. So many times I let fear get in my way. Believing everything needs to be perfect or more like I need to be perfect. Not trusting the Lord. Stops me most times. Limits me every time.

  539. When I think about planting you have to start with the delicate seeds in small containers of soil and slowly move them into stronger sunlight and wait until the little seeds sprout and become strong enough to plant in the garden. It takes patience and it is the same in our lives as we are witnessing to someone about Jesus. They are little seeds that need a lot of nurturing and love before they are strong enough to be on their own to produce. ❤️

  540. Sarita Martinez says:

    Thank you! I was looking for this kind of wisdom in my life.. we must continue to grow in Grace, faith and knowledge of our Lord.

  541. What a great writer! I could really connect with her story.

  542. Wow I read this yesterday and re read it again today. I’m not a patient person and feel that everything has to be perfect. We are God’s perfect imperfectly creation. He wants us just the way we are and loves us with all of our imperfections. It’s okay to get dirty. God wants us to reach out to him and he will cultivate us if we believe.

  543. Kelly Bronnenberg says:

    I have for most of my life felt inadequate. I have recently started Pathways Core Training to find my self worth and it’s hard to reprogram your mind. To give yourself grace. To live in Gods grace. The training is and has been a gift from God, He led me to it and has kept me strong and willing through it. He led me to my surrender moment and to living in my surrender state of mind. I do believe that this teaching would help me as I continue on this new path, in my transformation as a worthy child of God. Living out His plan for me.

  544. I struggle with the fear of not being good enough everyday. Although I have come along way, as the weeds in my flower bed will attest too, lol,I have a ways to go. Love your writing style!

  545. Erma Hochstetler says:

    I’m the type who is do scared of failing at something new that I just won’t even try it. And if it’s not done perfectly I consider it a fail. I have been trying to work on that to trust God to guide me and not expect perfection from myself but it’s kind of the one-step-forward-two-steps-back dance. I would love to have this book to help me gain the victory.

  546. Lisa Camino says:

    All of my siblings are gardeners, but I am not. I am the only one with a strong faith and religious beliefs. I wonder how we can help each other continue to grow and learn? I really am looking forward to this book!

  547. Great devotion. Exactly what I needed to read. I had an opportunity to visit your blog. Beautiful. I enjoyed the honesty and open discussion on growing in any season. Looking forward to reading your book.

  548. Erica C. says:

    I think I’d really enjoy and benefit from this book in becoming more intentional with God’s grace.

  549. Cady Martin says:

    And I believed the lie that if I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wasn’t going to do it all.

    I love this part in the Devo. I feel like a live like this.


  550. Monique Zambrano says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I loved this Devo!

  551. Angela Duffie says:

    I know exactly how you feel about gardening. After my husband passed away, I started working in my yard. I learned that you can pray and work problems out in your head much better with your hands in the dirt. I learned that if a plant dies, it is not the end of the world. I also learned to ask questions from other gardeners. My yard is not a magnificent flower garden, but I realize it is a work in progress just like me.
    God Bless You!!!

  552. Andrea Vasquez says:

    I thank God for the simplicity in your gardener’s anaolgy and for His placing of this lesson upon your heart.I am resting on Prob. 3:5-6 today.

  553. lara polk says:

    AMAZING – I so needed this today – I have spent a lot of time trying to grow by scheduling everything and keeping it all neat and just right and wanting it to hurry up and happen…………….well I have learned it takes time, you are going to get dirty and it is not going to go as scheduled. I would really enjoy your book because right now I need some inspiration with all that I have going on in my life between taking care of my son who is very sick, dealing with adult children and my grandchildren and now elderly parents. I feel so torn and worn out. God bless you and your family and have a blessed day. PS: It is also nice to see someone with the same name LARA 🙂

  554. Jocelyn Lacey says:

    This devotion was beautiful!!!! I’ve wanted to Garden, but I am terrified of ants! I had a psychologically damaging experience (two actually) involving them. When my sister was pregnant with my niece, I was adamant about being called a cricket. It never took off, so Aunt Jocie is what I am. Different spelling, but same pronunciation. Anyway, I would love to be the receipent of your book. Maybe I will get over my fear of ants and start gardening! God bless!

  555. Becca Clegg says:

    I grew up with a mother who gardened and still does. I used to hate getting dirty and didn’t like bugs. I too, have grown into my mother’s shoes and I have my own garden. It’s something we do together and share a passion for. Your book sounds amazing. Would be honored to read it.

  556. Jenni Wilson says:

    Well, Lara, your vivid message arrived, sent by a friend passing through a messy garden just now, but truly relevant to me as well. Yep, I have a couple of seeds I haven’t planted – for those same reasons you named. And there are seeds I’ve planted anyway, and seen the miracles of new, vibrant, sometimes awkward but amazing results. Glory to God, Seed and Soil Giver, Designer of Seed Life, Giver of Results, Maker of Smiles and Satisfaction and Courage to Sow Again….. Now why in the world would I ever choose not to sow! Thank you for this colorful kick in the pants. I’m headed outside to pull out the old, crummy tomato plants and start over. And maybe write the workbook for parents…… ✝

  557. Love this devotion. It is so hard to let go and be present and sometimes letting go of the need for control

  558. This is exactly me. I’m going through a very hard time. My husband has left a 10 years of marriage. I was feeling something was wrong and wanted to make it right. But he is through is unhappy and miserable he says. Later I find out that he’s having emotional affair. I don’t think I’ve ever been so hurt in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever been so hurt in my life I would love a copy of Lori’s book.

    • Marilyn Dore says:

      Please don’t give up! Pray and read Dr.James Dobson’s books on marriage. My husband and I were separated for 3 years after 40 years of marriage and we have reconciled. May God Bless You!

  559. Fear is probably the biggest enemy in my life holding me back from being all God created me to be! I hate it!!! I’m 65 and feel more fear than I use to! It’s paralyzing! Will you please pray for me, I want healing to be free, to be ALL God wants me to be. Thank you so much.😔

  560. Bernadette Marquez says:

    My garden is a mess. I fear the muck and more o I find myself hiding under a rock or stuck in a deep pit instead of planting seeds of faith, because I convince myself that nothing will grow…

  561. Crystal westerberg says:

    I enjoying reading the devotions. It always speaks to my heart. Thank you

  562. Juanita johnson says:

    I need this so badly for a fanily member to helo me wirh sone of my children that need hwlp.

  563. Marilyn Dore says:

    I luv gardening and the white pants article got my attention. Thanks! Please register my name for a chance to win the book.

  564. Thank you so much for this wonderful message. Yes without faith it is impossible to please our Father in Heaven.

  565. Michele says:

    Afraid of starting dating? Fear of rejection. Gardening in white pants was written just for me.

  566. Debra B says:

    This devotional came at the exact time I needed it! Go figure!!! I always thought I was patient, but I realize now that too often I want it all completed with no work or waiting involved. Thanks for opening my eyes. I would love a copy of the book; I’m sure I would learn a lot.

  567. Thank you Lara for the reminder that we grow through dirt! It’s so easy to expect perfection from ourselves and not receive God’s grace as we grow. I can’t wait to read your book!

  568. Mary Ann says:

    Hi! I’d like to win a copy of Cultivate.

  569. This weeks study speaks directly into my very uneasy soul. I so badly want to set myself free, from myself. My need for control and stubborn attitude keep me locked inside my own mind. I know how good God is, I witness his grace every single day. Yet there is something inside me that struggles so hard with letting go. My fear of failure, rejection, you name it…it clogs up my thought closet far too much. Those gasoline words have truly consumed my mind more then I ever realized.
    These past few weeks have really helped me shift my thought process and these water words are something I will make a conscious effort to put to use. I pray God brings us all a sense of peace and the ability to completely surrender to Him.

  570. Marilyn says:

    Just started following God Vine and I would love to have Cultivate by Lara.

  571. Katherine says:

    I would love to read your book as I try to “let go” of trying to control all around me and set boundaries with my children

  572. Alicia Draines says:

    What a wonderful reminder that our messes are beautiful and signify progress. We shouldn’t shy away from the mess but be confident enough to take that first messy step.

  573. Allison says:

    Thank you, Lord for this word to me. I am so grateful for your presence, wherever it turns up. Thank you for giving me the small amount of faithfulness that I have. All I have, even my virtue, is really yours. Mine only as a free gift. Thank you for using people as your hands and feet. Amen.

  574. Debbie Reavis says:

    After going through a horrible depression the last year, I am trying to find inspirational words and biblical understanding. I enjoyed your devotional.

  575. Vicki Clinton says:

    I appreciate your words of wisdom. Thank you

  576. Connie Spencer says:

    I have been reading the daily stories on your website for some time now. The authors are all really good, but I’ve never responded to your site before. I have archived several of the stories on my computer so I can re-read them later. Would like to have a free book, as I am very low on funds, haven’t bought myself a book in a long time. Thanks.

  577. Pam fariole says:

    I felt like this was written just for me today. Overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged describes my state of existence and I do not like feeling like this. I needed to hear this today. Encouragement and to believe that God has not forgotten me and He is working in my life. Chin up buttercup… just trust!!

  578. Throughout my 32 years of gardening I have looked forward to seeing what lessons the Lord has in store for me each year as I spend time alone with him in my garden. Lara, your words about “growing through the dirt” will be fresh on my mind today as I pick green beans. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  579. Thank you for your devotional today. My marriage is in the seedling stages of been rebuilt after my husband’s alcoholism. The analogy of the seed give me new insight on how to proceed. Your devotional is definitely a Godsend. It has given me hope and faith to continue to cultivate that God’s help the seed of forgiveness and hope and be open to rebuilding our marriage.

  580. Kimberly Walker says:

    Thank you for your beautiful devotions that often speak to my heart!! Thank you!!!

  581. Susan Parker says:

    My husband and I love gardening. Quilting can be similar in that it seems overwhelming to start, I put the same “has to be perfect” spin on it and in the end, if you stick with it-take one step at a time, you have something useful and rewarding from scraps.

  582. Planting a church in New England, where evangelical church’s are often viewed as cults or a renegade outside influence, I resonate with this message.

    I don’t know what I was expecting when we arrived here a little over four years ago, but the soil was certainly resistant. We planted seeds anyway, and waited…and waited…

    And. Now. Growth is coming, but it has required the “messy” gardening of getting involved with people’s lives and being willing to wait for results to sprout. Disappointment is a familiar companion to the impatient gardener who does not make waiting and hoping intentional.

    Seedlings can be difficult to distinguish from weeds, in the early stages, and they certainly do not produce much to please the eye or palate for awhile!

    I needed this reminder, today, that God, who has grown the seeds, will be the One who brings forth fruit from them; but only in His time; and I need to wait upon Him to bring the growth as I seek to patiently continue sowing seed in this “Granite State” ground!

    • Amanda Morrison says:

      So awesome! thank you for your willingness to share Jesus, I want my daughters to grow in a world where we show them whats truly important is that relationship. When you leave what you had to do what you are doing, its pretty hard for people to pigeonhole it (church) as a country club. Thank you for being the Bride!

  583. Stephanie says:

    Sounds like a “perfect” read… Wanting to live and model living intentionally!

  584. Katie Getz says:

    This is such a good post. I like the mess turning into garden analogy. There is a struggle in growth and I am working on being prepared for life and what it inevitably brings.

  585. I will forever be in the process of releasing myself from the bondage of perfectionism. Only in surrendering control to God will I be truly successful….it’s a process.

  586. Shelly Brandt says:

    Thank you for your devotion today, which not only reminds me of wanting to start with my flowers in full bloom, but also of how God works in amazing ways: growing me into the woman he wants me to be by becoming good “dirt” for the seeds to take root. This sping my husband said, “Let’s put flowers along the south side of the house,” as he held up not one packet of seeds, but two, with an ear to ear grin. I’ve never grown any flowers from seeds, until this year. On a windy day (so windy we needed a wind break to keep the seeds from flying away), we planted a packet of zinnias and a packet of candytuft. As of today, after thinning, weeding, watering, and being patient, we have a beautiful wall full of zinnias and candytuft! God works in us much the same way…being patient with us while we grow, feeding into us His Word through His love and grace, pruning us as needed, while He patiently waits…so that we can become all He wants us to be…good dirt for Him to grow us in! 

  587. Jocelyn says:

    I am in a waiting period, with fear of the unknown. Like Lara described, it’s in the uncomfortable tension of pruning and growing through the dirt that I’m experiencing; in motherhood, in business, our home, in balancing everything. Lara is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram and I’m so happy she’s here on Proverbs 31! Would love to see more from her!

  588. Peter White says:

    Thank you, Lara, for your honest vulnerability. God had His hand in sending this to me, today. Blessings.

  589. Thank you for the reminder and encouragement to be present in the moment, sometimes easier said than done.

  590. Thank you for sharing!

  591. I’ve been struggling lately and this devotional really opened my eyes. I disappoint myself and so I feel like the girl in the white pants all dirty but I feel to dirty to spend time with God thinking He wants me to clean up first, so I don’t do it instead of enjoying and coming even in my mess. Thank you for sharing it encouraged my heart today.

  592. Jeanine Chavez Eden says:

    Hello! What a nice way to start a new week..I opened my email today and shared by GodVine was “Gardening in White Pants” and I have begun following you on Instagram and you blog…I garden all the time and sometimes in white pants or a white shirt…needless to say they are nice and spotchy and happy and brownish…I am so happy I found your teachings…I will share with all I meet and look for more to read and ingest. Enjoy your day, jeanine

  593. Mary Monsrud says:

    I loved the line “I preferred to skip the in-between part. The sometimes-awkward waiting, tending and growing part.” So true! Thanks for this devotional today. It reminds me to slow down and enjoy the messiness of the process.

  594. Jatae Winkey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your story. I’ll admit it was on time…right now my marriage feels like one of the biggest messes of my life infedity, verbal/emotional abuse, drug abuse, financially everything is on me and my husband is just care free…these last couple of days I honestly mentally and emotionally have had it and just want to give up because it seems hopeless. I even almost feel prayed out but reading this gave me a reminder that no matter how hopeless a situations looks God is able. Again thank you and I would love to win a copy of your book I know it would be very helpful to me in this season of my life and marriage. God bless everyone!

  595. Thanks for this article. Very timely and related to my personal life. And yea, we need to cultivate a leap of faith to have a blooming garden!
    I’d like to have copy of this book and want to start again planting in my life. Blessings everyone!

  596. Patti Baker says:

    I’ve always felt ” nearer to God in the garden than anywhere else on earth” just as my mother-in-law’s metal sign said! She was my gardening mentor, and her sign is now proudly displayed in my own garden, where I’ve stepped out in faith this summer to attempt to grow organic tomatoes! I related so much to this devotional, and I’d love to read the new book!

  597. Margaret says:

    I’ve always wanted to write a book, but have never gotten around to it. It seems I’ve always been too busy, and even in my free time, I’ve found other things to do. Maybe it’s that leap of faith that I’m lacking.

  598. Cristina Smith says:

    Timing is everything. This came at the perfect time.

  599. JESSICA FUGERE says:

    Thank you for obeying the Spirit. This is just what I needed this week! My husband & I have also recently redeemed our marriage, & our word of promise that we heard from God to grow ourselves (which in turn has been growing our marriage) back in April was: intentional. I shared with him tonight your analogy of being intentional while gardening in white pants! The smile on his face as he then prayed over me, because my struggle is to be right there in the moment, growing the potential God is nudging me towards, having eyes wide open & faith fully strong. So, thank you!

  600. Amanda Morrison says:

    Lara gets me. I made a garden last year when I was pregnant and was so sad that alot of things rotted when we had a super wet spring (I too wanted the FLAVOR that heirlooms have!). Its so challenging to remember that life isnt about doing things correctly but being teachable and moldable to Christ. We are the branches, not the vine. We need the gardener to prune and cultivate, sometimes things can look so FULL but make no fruit. I never want to be this kind of follower, that’s chilling.

  601. Heather says:

    I am a single mother who tries extremely hard daily to give my 2 children a perfect life like all the other families at church. By taking on every possible opportunity nd striving to do them perfectly, I miss so many simple joys of parenting. I have plenty of anxiety, stress and unfinished To Do lists instead of enjoying the imperfect chaos of raising little ones.

  602. Tricia Downard says:

    Great post! Would love to read your book!

  603. lisa bly says:

    Thank you so much. What a wonderful way to encourage us to keep moving forward even though we wont do it perfect. I have a long history of all kinds of abuse and rejection.. Hense i stuggle with issues like perfection. Thinking that if I had been better these things would not have happened in ny life. I am learning to not try to understsnd why my life went as it did. Mostly due to my poor choices or other peoples choices. So as our Lord has been moving me forward to serve him in new ways this encouragement or reminder that I dont have to do it perfect is special.

  604. Kim Read says:

    God always knows what we need and when we need it. Praise His name and thank you for being His vessel to give me the message I needed to hear!

  605. Thank you for the encouragement

  606. My mama sent me this in a link to read. She frequently does that when I have just poured my heart out to her about something. It’s like God sends a perfectly timed message to her to send to me in that moment. This was one of those times! Thank you for being such an encouragement to me!

  607. I so needed this reminder that I am part of God’s garden. I try to be there for everyone……..thank you for the encouragement. I do not have to be perfect.

  608. I have quite a few Proverbs 31 emails in my inbox waiting to be read. As I am struggling with self doubt and a lack of confidence in starting a new job I have been praying for the peace and confidence only God can bring. I am trying to allow myself to enter this job as a learner, starting from scratch and knowing I cannot be perfect and know everything. I was led to read this one out of all my emails and the part of risk imperfect progress or regret not growing struck me. I don’t want to look back and regret not stepping into my new role allowing the tending to happen as I grow in my job.

  609. Josephine Smith says:

    I was so blessed to read this devotional. I’m in a season of letting go of perfection and being different from everyone else. I’m embracing that it’s okay to fail and that being like other women is a joy.I’m excited to read your book.

  610. Jeri S. says:

    I too have put the seed back in the bag and not moved forward in many things over the years. I find that I still do and in trying to let go of perfection that we never reach is so detrimental to our lives. As a person who talks with others every day about ways to change their lives to make things better with resources, comfort and empathy- Mentally I am exhausted at the end of the day and have very little left to offer myself much less my husband or any other family. I would truly enjoy the opportunity to read your new book. Thank you for the devotion today.

  611. Oh how I desperately needed to hear and be reminded of this yoday. A wonderful yet hard thing to do , to let go and let God. I struggle with this I am weak and you have reminded me of his seeds of hope, for God can do anything. I neef to just trust him. As I look back I see so many times in my life where he did plan things for my good and how foolish I was to not trust from the beginning it just makes it so much more difficult to cross that bridge to get to the other side when you don’t know what is there waiting for you but your devotion has reminded me I do know that he is there waiting with his hand out and I have to just walk by faith that he will once again surprise me with things I could never have imagined in my life once again

  612. Linda Bowling says:

    Struggling in life to move out of fear into freedom so God can make beauty in my mess.

  613. Thank you for this message! I was sitting in a garden meeting wearing white pants when I read it…God’s timing!!!

  614. Great topic thank you for reminding me that God is in control!!

  615. Amen. Thank you for sharing! This so blessed my heart and encouraged me.

  616. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this reminder. The drive to always be perfect has held me in the chains of an obsession with weight for years. Somehow in my mind, having it all together and doing everything right includes eating perfectly, not too much and nothing too unhealthful. God is doing a work of growing me in trusting Him to be freed from this worry that has consumed me to focus more of myself on knowing and loving Him. May He cause my faith and love for Him to grow and block out all worries and hindrances to a faith-filled life!

  617. Mary zink says:

    I read your devotional a little later than it was sent but I am so grateful for it. I struggle with trying to get things perfect and used to become paralyzed by fear if I thought it was not and although I’ve made some progress it still a huge battle in my mind. I’m sure much of it has to do with acceptance and fearing rejection if I’m found to b less than perfect! And I am far less than perfect. Im trying to depend more on Gods acceptance and less on what people think. Thank u for this reminder to enjoy the present and the inbetween time.

  618. I would like to be more involved at my church and spend more time there . I’m waiting till I retire in March to do so . Thank you for your message it came at a wonderful time . We are waiting to see if my husband is going to loose his job . There are many opportunities and the water is cloudy. We pray he makes is clear as to where he wants us . God Bless

  619. Lisa Joy says:

    Thank you for the encouragement that I received from this article.
    I am a gardener and have thought dime of the same things about me garden. The way you related them to the spiritual also made sense to me.
    Lisa Joy

  620. Lisa Joy says:

    Thank you for the encouragement that I received from this article.
    I am also a gardener and have thought some of the same things about my garden. The way you related them to the spiritual also made sense to me.
    Lisa Joy

  621. Tracy Kreb says:

    What a great premise for a book! Hope to read it!

  622. Nicole Wilson says:

    This article spoke volumes to the very place that I am in my life! I’m often so afraid of not getting it right when demonstrating my role as a wife and a mother but this passage has helped me to realize that if I never step out on faith and use the wisdom that I have acquired over the years, I will never know what I’m capable of. It has also made me well aware that no matter what I’m not a failure and as long as God is by my side I can do all things through him who strengthens me and he will continue to polish my imperfections so that I can grow and become all that he has designed me to be!

  623. Yes!! I’ve spent decades choosing regret over risk, but that’s because I’ve also choosen fear over faith. Thanks for the important reminder that good things grow in the mess. Love the white pants analogy!

  624. Kaitlyn says:

    I’m not a gardener but I love this! Waiting has always been something I struggle with. I want results. I want to know what’s coming. The unknown doesn’t mesh with my type a personality. But I’m learning that taking time for myself and listening to Him is where I need to be at. The wait can bring some amazing things. Thank you for the encouragement!

  625. What an encouragement. I’m in an in between season of waiting and trusting God. Thank, Lara, for sharing this!

  626. Laura, I love following you on Instagram and hearing the day to day grace of the Lord in you and your family! Thank you for sharing!

  627. I am so excited to read this book! I’ve requested it at all our libraries. I’m new to the Cultivate community and have been loving it so far!

  628. Laura, I love following you on Instagram and hearing the day to day grace of the Lord in you and your family! Thank you for sharing!!

  629. Kimberly says:

    Such a great read!

  630. Martha Koepke says:

    I never gardened until about 3 years ago. I knew nothing, had never listened to others nor noticed plants AND THEN a wonderful friend said I don’t know much but let me show you how I do it. She took me to garden stores, helped me choose each plant and bag of dirt and then helped me prepare the pots, planted each plant just so and told me why and reminded me to water and care for my planters. This year, with all my experience and new found knowledge we did it together again. Every day I check my plants, water them with love and take photos of them every week. What happened? ” It’s not who plants or waters BUT GOD who makes everything grow!”

  631. Beth Boswell says:

    This was very poignant on so many levels. Thank you for sharing.

  632. C Jones says:

    Loved this devotional. Right on time❤️

  633. Kathryn says:

    My focus word for this month is FAITH, and this just reinforces it! Thanks for always sharing your thoughts. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy learning from you.

  634. Laura Tarsi says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  635. Michele says:

    Thankyou for your post. Would love a copy of your book

  636. My email is full and needs some weeding of a different kind. But for some reason I just happened to open up this devotional this morning and I know it was ordained by my Heavenly Father!!! Having recently faced a broken marriage I look forward to reading your book Cultivate. Thank you and keep doing His work!!!

  637. Melissa Bowyer says:

    I have been wanting to grow my new business but fear of doing it wrong and fear of what people will say even fear of succeeding has kept me from taking that leap of faith Good is calling me to do! I needed to hear this so very much!

  638. Cheri Czajkowski says:

    Beautiful devotion and every word spoke my thoughts and jogged memories from the many gardeners in my life! I see my daughter in law walking alongside this devotion and would love a copy of this book to give her! Thank you for sharing your story and more so for your love of Christ and your ability to teach His love through your words!

  639. Thank you great lesson!

  640. Heather Jeffers says:

    My word for the year is “growth”!

  641. Diane Maria says:

    Thank you! So thought provoking!

  642. Iesha Orona says:

    I really appreciate your insight and inspiration to allow my soul to be still and know that he is God. As much as my flesh urges me to control things, when I allow faith to control things, I am given lungs full of breath so to speak.

  643. Liz Livernois says:

    What a great message. Fear is crippling. I see how it truly strangles the life out of people and it’s so painful to watch. I feel I’m immune sometimes. But then I think about opportunities that come up and then I watch them go by because of the unknown and mainly because of the fear of failure. Gardening is the perfect comparison, thank you!

  644. Abigail w says:

    I’d love to win a copy. I’m in a season full of drought.

    • Tanis McNeil says:

      I know as we cry out God avenges His elect and will send someone to refresh you and help in ways beyond expectation. Learn even more with me and others, to praise & thank Him ahead, for how He will release all you need for your serving, while you wait in growing faith, sometimes so tempted to dispair. Keep declaring Him faithful, and seek only that, as Solomon did, and take courage, as becoming enables us to receive abundance, learning the supportive details of kingdim realities. ‘He makes everything beautiful in its time’ IS hard. We must have Him versus ‘it’ though. Peaceful power to you by people, angels and miraculous provision. Develop a self care strategy with new fuel formats. If He’s doing a new thing, seek Him for what those changes are to be in this season. I am in a time like this myself. Though the circumstances do shift as we wait expectantly, new unfamiliar ways are needed temporarily and ongoing as we change with it all. Take care! May clarity with new mercies bring joy in small & big ways! A verse I leave that just came to me for my own memory; ” Though there be no fruit on the vine or cattle in the stall, yet we will praise the Name of our God!” (Jeremiah?) Amen.

  645. Tanis McNeil says:

    One of the best for timing and content for me yet! I really identify in several ways and would be thrilled to win this book. Excellent writing with a great message makes for soul fertilizer I could really grow stronger with right now, facing incredible challenges in our family. I know I’m not alone and want to give away as much as I can of my soul harvest gleanings perspective too. Thanks for this devotional excerpt.

  646. Today started with a struggle- I didn’t ‘feel’ like reading…studying…learning…I just realized want life to cooperate & fall into place…no effort on my part. But as I hastily scrolled, clicked & deleted emails God opened yours…an accidental thumb pressed & your message was before me. Thank you…every word could have come from my heart, my journal, my life. God knows when I need to grow & this devotion was the sun, water & fertilizer for me this morning.

  647. Great post – love the analogy of gardening and the truths you pulled from it. Thank you!

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