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Tomato Plant Children

We can tend the soil, nurture the shoots, but we can't always see the storms looming in the distance. Tomato Plant Children - Heaven Not Harvard(Last Updated On: November 2, 2015)

We eat a lot of tomatoes. I think my husband lives on pico de gallo. I can’t tell you the number of last-minute shopping trips that involve needing a tomato. So, in my infinite wisdom, I, who cannot keep any potted plants alive and do only marginally better with a flower garden, decided we should buy a trellised potted tomato plant last summer so we would have at least a small supply on hand.

We carefully picked just the right place for it, watered it diligently, watched excitedly as it bloomed. When the first tomatoes began to grow, my daughter stood over them everyday waiting to pick the first one. In fact, she couldn’t wait and picked a tiny green one. Of course, we fried it. We do live in the South now. It was adorable. Just about three bites worth, but she was so excited to eat something we grew.

We couldn’t wait for red, ripe luscious tomatoes to grow.

We can tend the soil, nurture the shoots, but we can't always see the storms looming in the distance. Tomato Plant Children - Heaven Not Harvard

We never got to eat any of those tomatoes. As soon as each tomato got nearly ripe, it either got a disease or got eaten by the birds. We were so disappointed. I was frustrated. I had nurtured the plant and soil, watered carefully and lost every tomato. I’m sure better gardeners would have ideas, but with my lack of knowledge, we were helpless. I thought keeping the plant by the front door would help us remember to water it, protect it from the dogs, and give it a good amount of sunshine. I didn’t count on the birds.

I think there is a lesson in my tomato plant children.

We can nurture soil, tend a seed, grow a healthy plant, then watch the birds tear it apart. Watching our poor tomatoes get almost big enough to eat and then be destroyed by forces we couldn’t prevent, made me think about raising my daughter and her brothers.

I’m doing my best to raise them with good solid roots in a loving family, knowing God’s love and grace, but I can’t see every eventuality that might befall them. I see the boys sliding headfirst into adulthood and have no idea how to best prepare them for it, how to protect them from the world and themselves.

1 Corinthians 3:7 ESV “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

But maybe that isn’t my job. I can’t protect them from everything that might ever come their way. I just can’t. We’re still working on getting them to remember their chores. 🙂 So what IS my responsibility as a mom?

Proverbs 22:6 ESV “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

1 Corinthians says my job is to plant and water, but hope in the Lord for the growth. I have to point them to God and pray for them. Because we will all do our earthly parts to give them tools for the future, but it won’t be enough to stave off every disaster or poor choice they can make. Even if they listened to every word and completely obeyed (ha ha, yeah, right), they will still face hurts, tragedies, pain, sickness and life changing decisions.

I can’t tell you the hours I’ve spent agonizing over parenting decisions. Some days, it feels like it is all on my shoulders how these children turn out, and honestly, I’m still working on how I’m turning out.

But I can’t hold onto that any longer. These are my tomato plant children and I’m taking responsibility for my part. How they turn out is between them and God. Each day, I just have to choose to do my job in obedience, water those plants, tend to those roots, and know that worrying about the results is up to Him.



See similar posts about living and parenting intentionally for the Lord here.


13 thoughts on “Tomato Plant Children

  1. Love this, especially the analogy of planing and watering their little souls to turn them to love God with their hearts. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Victoria. Always trying to share my heart.

  2. Beautiful post and so so true! Reassuring and amazing at the same time 🙂

  3. So good! Love how we see God in vegetables (I just shared a similar post about the same topic on instagram).

    Our tomatoes are growing crazy right now and I too just made pico 😉

  4. Prov. 22:6 – “train up a child in the way”….and you get it – and you are… 😀

  5. Very true points for parenting and laying a Godly foundation for our children is so important. Even if they stray, they know God loves them and they will return. But as a practical point, I can tell you if you want to offer just as much protection to your tomatoes as your children you can purchase bird netting to drape over your tomatoes. From a bit away from them you can’t see it, but it sure keeps the birds and deer off your plants.

    1. Thank you! We needed the gardening tip!

  6. This is the perfect analogy for parenting. We plant the seeds of faith and nourish our children’s hearts and minds but what our children do with them is up to them and God. We can no be everywhere and everything for them but we can give them the knowledge to (hopefully) make the right decisions when the time comes.

  7. Great post! It can be difficult seeing your children grow up and make their poor choices. But they are theirs to make.

  8. Yes, we can only plant seeds and provide what we can to give an environment that could best grow hearts inclining towards the true Light. It takes some pressure off… and it produces a need for strong trust in our Lord. Love this.

    Thanks for sharing it – I’d love for you to share it with the Cozy Reading Spot, you can share anything that is on your heart, mind or bookshelf. It’s open now!


    Reading List

  9. Jennifer,
    Found you through the Christian Bloggers FB page.
    I like your analogy…it IS hard as a parent sometimes to strike the balance between being responsible and taking on too MUCH responsibility. Obedience and trust – two things we try to teach our kids, and 2 essentials for us to help us be the parents He created us to be!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Absolutely! I have learned more about being a disciple by trying to raise them than I ever did before.

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