I realize how behind I am to be writing about my word for 2017 in April. It’s not even that it’s taken me this long to decide on my word. I had it picked up by New Year’s Eve. I think my struggle has more so been in knowing how much this word truly fits, and wishing it didn’t. My word for 2017 is cultivate.

It fits with my gardening theme since last year’s word was rooted. But I guess if I’m being honest, then I wanted this year’s word to be something like ‘growth’ or “flourish” or something that meant that the goals and dreams I’ve been working toward were bearing fruit and flourishing as opposed to the fact, that I am still in the hard work and waiting phase.

My husband and I have been tending a vegetable garden at our parsonage, and I’m really enjoying the process. It’s easier for me to say this because I am not strong enough to use the giant tiller we borrow. Last year we started with a patch of yard and Trent tilled up the grass and everything. I left t go to a doctor’s appointment, and I came back and he was still tilling. (In case you were wondering, no we are not making our garden any bigger this year). I don’t really participate in that hard part of cultivating. I help plant seeds and water and weed as needed — though we really aren’t the greatest at weeding our garden either. And then the fun part — we harvest!

Truth be told I want a plant then harvest year. If I planted last year can’t I just harvest this year? Also, why do we have to keep tilling? Can’t the ground just stay soft? I don’t want a year of cultivating – I want a year of fruit. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am not a patient person if you’re over the age of ten. And since I am over the age of ten, I am not patient with myself either. I’m truly thankful Jesus is more patient with me than I am.

So cultivate is my word – fair and square. And no matter how hard I fight it, it comes back to this: There is no planting without tilling and cultivating, there is no further growth or fruit without more cultivating, and unless you’re a Bradford pear tree (which I mentioned last year I had no desire to be) true growth is not fast.

So here I am — not so much inviting my life to be tilled and cultivated as I am trying not to fight it as much. Trying to make time for stillness so that I don’t undo the work the Spirit is doing. Until this season changes you will find me organizing the universe, for there is no future where being more organized is not helpful, celebrating the tulips in the front flower bed, watching Trent till the garden, and waiting on harvest season knowing that “endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.” Maybe I’ll cheat and have two words and cultivate hope this year, care to join me? 


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