I wish I had a green thumb. It seems that I can kill a plant pretty fast! I do enjoy beautiful plants and flowers, but maybe the secret is in just knowing how to actually take care of each plant according to its needs. Maybe if I really cared, I would read books and find research on how much water and sunlight is required, when to fertilize and how much to prune my plants. This leads my mind to Matthew 13:3-24 – it’s the parable of the Sower or Farmer. This passage tells us about what can happen when we plant seeds in various conditions. I want us to take a look at this through the lenses of a blended-family mom. You are the Farmer. The seeds you are planting are your words and actions towards your children and step children and even your spouse. Verse 4 says that seed was scattered along a path and then birds came and ate up the seeds. This makes me think of the many times that I flippantly made comments that were not very sincere. The result was that it didn’t impact the kids – they still felt miles away as far as our relationships were concerned. Verse 5 says that some seed fell on rocky places where there was not much soil so they grew quickly but then withered from the heat of the sun. I’m sure you can think of some hard and rocky things that have happened in your blended family. If there was not solution and forgiveness, then, just like the small delicate plants, their hearts withered up. Verse 7 tells us about seed growing among thorns which eventually were choked by the thorns. I see this as the hurtful verbal daggers that can be so easily thrusted into our families hearts – and, as the old saying goes, “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out!” Once you have said something that pierces the heart and soul, it can be forgiven – the problem is that it is never forgotten. Verse 8 is our victory verse – telling us about the seeds that were planted in good soil. In other words, your step children have found a fertile, lush, well watered and tended place to grow! Your home is a place of sanctuary and your voice speaks positively over all in your home and also your husband. You carefully seek out each plant and check to see if it has enough water, and nutrients. You are on guard for the weeds that seem to creep out of nowhere and you are quick to pull them up by the roots. You make sure they have enough sunshine to be able to go in turn and shine on others. Now we come to the part of God’s multiplication – verse 8 goes on to say that the seed that grows in good soil can produce a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. I want a bumper crop from my family. I want all of them to know that they can grow up and have wonderful, godly families. I’ve been researching, learning and praying — and I think I just might have a green thumb for planting a blended family!