On Wednesdays in my Meeting God in the Garden series, I host guest interviews with other Christian gardeners. Today I want to introduce you to writer, blogger, and speaker Sarah Koontz.
Sarah Koontz invites Christians of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design through her blog at SarahKoontz.com. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of 30 chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life.
Q: Tell us about your own garden. What is your favorite kind of gardening (flower, vegetable, container, etc.) and why?
My husband and I built our dream home out on 13 acres in the country in the spring of 2013. We moved in at the end of May after a whirlwind 3-month building project. One of my requests (and all of you women know, it was more of an ultimatum) was that hubby build me a garden ASAP so I didn’t miss the growing season. By June 1, I was planting my very first vegetable garden.
I now tend a 5,000 square foot vegetable and flower garden each summer and I just love preparing garden fresh meals and cutting bouquets of flowers for my kitchen.
My favorite thing about having such a large food garden is all the time my family spends together working on garden projects. My kids have learned how to pull weeds, pick rocks, and water plants. We often make up stories or sing songs with one another, and our time together in the garden leaves our hands dirty and our hearts full. It isn’t always easy to get your kids involved in garden work, but it is well worth the effort!
Q: What spiritual lessons has God taught you through gardening?
I used to be fearful when late February arrived and it was time to start seeds in my basement. I worried that they wouldn’t sprout, or that they would mysteriously die without any cause or correction. Time and experience has taught me that plants require very little to grow and flourish. A base of nutritious soil, consistent watering, lots of light and a little love is all it takes to nurture a seed into a healthy plant. All I must do is supply these things, and growth is all but guaranteed.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
In the very same way that I provide for the needs of my plants, God has supplied each of us with all that we need to grow. The difference between a person who sprouts and one who remains dormant is whether or not there is any life within the seed. The only way to guarantee life is to trust completely in the Author of all life. This is the first, and most crucial step in our journey towards fruitfulness.
Just like my plants, I am coming out of a difficult season of life. A season where I was beat down and unable to produce fruit. I am grateful to the Master Gardener who patiently tended to my needs during that time. He did not give up on me; He continued to believe that I was capable of producing a harvest. I have been restored and I am ready to bear fruit!
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1
I am learning to accept the fact that there are seasons in life; seasons of restoration, seasons of fruitfulness, seasons of trial and tribulation. We are not capable of producing fruit in each season, but we must always be conscious of the purpose of our existence.
We were created to produce fruit. When we are not, we need to stop and ask ourselves some challenging questions.
~Do I have a relationship with the Master Gardener?
~When was the last time I produced fruit?
~Am I in a season of restoration or tribulation where fruitlessness is acceptable?
~What can I do to move towards fruitfulness in my life?
Q: In this year’s gardening season, what challenges do you face? How do they correlate with your faith?
I enjoy working with my hands, tenderly caring for my plants and nurturing their growth. Each time I step foot in my garden I witness both vulnerability and strength. I see the beauty of the emerging seedling, so much life contained in such a small package. I see the daises, zinnias, and calendula and am amazed by the intricacy of their design.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27
When we built our home in the country, we decided to live a different kind of life. We chose peace and tranquility over the hustle and bustle of the city. It took time, but slowly I discovered a new purpose. Encouraging growth in my children, my friends and my garden taught me that I was created to nurture others.
With my words, my actions, and my hands, I help things grow. I will never forget the hard times that lead up to our decision to move to the country. Each moment I spend in my garden brings me one step closer to the life that I envision for myself. A fruitful life, a different life.
In our gardens, as in life, storms are an undeniable reality. We get hit by some pretty powerful storms where I live, and I used to be so upset when I watched those clouds roll in. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve run out to my garden with buckets, blankets, and rocks to try to protect what I could from the impending storm.
We are hoping to build some structures to protect my garden from damaging winds and hailstones, but in the meantime…I’ve just got to learn to love the process, storms and all. Even when I’ve lost plants to the elements, I have never regretted the time spent in my garden. I have faith that you won’t either because there is always great joy to be found in the journey.
Thank you Sarah for this wonderful interview!
Are you coming out of a difficult season? How is God still bearing fruit through you?
How is God protecting you from the storms in your heart’s garden?
Join me tomorrow for my final post in my Meeting God in the Garden series! In the meantime, read my previous gardener interviews with Barb Bailey, Michele Morin, Leslie Newman, Christie Purifoy, Dawn Boyer, and Susan Shipe.
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