Tending to Seeds and Soil

November 11th, 2012
mustard seed image © by Mouser NerdBot | Flickr | Used under Creative Commons license.

Silent retreat days allow space to consider what's going on "under our surface" and give us time to tend to the seeds God has planted in the soil of our hearts. The following is a guide used at silent retreats during the fall season but such reflection may be used anytime, anywhere. Autumn is a season of new beginnings as nature scatters seed, the evidence to be seen later on.

How might this speak to your life? How might you tend to your own seeds and soil?

Mark 4:1-20, 26-32


How can you tend to the "seeds" given to you? (ex. identity, calling, true self, words of encouragement, insights, etc.)


Ask God to show you scenes from your life, especially childhood, when you felt the greatest joy, when you felt "yourself." Or, look back over your life and recall when something that was "lost" or the "door closed" turned out to be seeds of new life to come.

Spend time with these seeds.

Relive them. Write them down, do a collage/drawing/sculpture based on a story or scenes from your life or take a walk, even gathering seeds you find along the way.

Ask God, "Is there a certain 'seed' you would like me to tend to at this time in my life?" Pay attention to what comes to mind.


How can you prepare the soil of your heart to receive these seeds?


Care for yourself in ways that God has created you to be renewed.
A nap, a walk, being still, listening to the sounds around you, noticing your surroundings, breathing deeply, gratitude, rubbing lotion into your hands, stretching, being with people, being by yourself, enjoying the smell and taste of food, creating somthing...


What seems to be your biggest challenge in allowing this "seed" to take root and grow?
Easily stolen (by unbelief/refusal to believe, opposing words of others, fear, etc.)
Withers (with trouble, persecution, personal loss, etc.)
Choked (by anxiety, envy, worry, stress, etc.)


Imagine yourself having a conversation with Jesus about this "seed" and your current "soil conditions."
Or talk with God while on a walk, through art or journaling.
Let Him know what you need for this seed to take root and grow. Listen. What is His response? Ask Him if there's anything else He'd like to show you in regard to the soil of your heart and the seeds of your life.

Imagine what your life may look like if/when this seed takes root and grows in you. And that's just the beginning. Read Mark 4:20, 26-32 in gratitude for what God is doing in you, for the seeds He plants and helps you grow (even when you're unaware of it).

To dig deeper into becoming a gardener of your own soul, read Parker Palmer's books: A Hidden Wholeness and Let Your Life Speak.

comments powered by Disqus