Cultivation- growing over [summer] time

To cultivate something by definition is:

1. to prepare and use soil for growing plants; to care for and grow plants

2. to try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill)

I planted a garden 10 days ago now. The weather has been pretty consistently inconsistent since the seeds and starters went into the ground. There was heavy rain, some humid mornings, and many cool days with night time lows around 50. I was gone for 4 days during which much of the soil dried out. So far, no seedlings have sprouted, but the starter plants remain green and lively looking.

I’m not sure if I should be discouraged- perhaps it has all already flopped, or if I simply need to wait. Drew said yesterday, “Maybe one of the hardest things about gardening is the waiting. Being patient as we wait and see.”photo 1 (11)

Indeed, growth takes time. Developing strength and health happens over time, with long, slow, and deliberate cultivation.

This summer, in the garden, I’m hoping we grow the following:


-green beans







What is buried and empty now, will hopefully blossom, bloom, mature, and produce real, consumable food. As the caretaker, I promise to provide attention, water, weeding, and pleads of “please grow.”photo 2 (12)

We are staying put this summer. No Castaway in July. This breaks a 5 year streak of getting to go serve, work, enjoy, and learn through ministry in Minnesota. Instead, we will stay home, settle into our new house and neighborhood, look for what God has for us here, and feel what Missouri feels like in mid-July! We hope to cultivate strong roots, healthy habits, and by the end, bear some quality, organic fruit in our selves and souls.

This summer, in our family, we hope to cultivate:

-fitness– summertime Crossfit for Drew and me, Oakley and his ball kicking and chasing games, and Eli and Andi swimming! They are on the Coves Crocs Swim Team which includes daily practices (starting tonight!) and weekly swim meets with kids from our neighborhood who will also be attenders of their new elementary school.

-community– around our new house, with our dear friends, and through deliberate attempts to host and have people over

-rhythm– I yearn for some sort of rest and connection time with just our family. Some 20 or so hours off of work, school, cleaning and chaos- a Sabbath type of movement where we are all together, paying attention, having fun.

-inner peace– where Andi feels defeated, overlooked or angry, where I feel overwhelmed, Drew feels overly responsible, Eli feels pressure to preform, and Oakley feels left out, I pray we replace it with peace that comes from knowing God sees us, knows us, and loves us just as we are.

-marital growth- Drew and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage July 10th. We have a trip planned to celebrate and feel so blessed to have been best friends for so long. We also know now better than ever, what trips us up, hurts our connection, and harms our heart. We hope to find some help and tools as we pay deliberate attention somehow over the summer.

As the caretaker, God surely offers us attention, weeding out what isn’t good, and watering with new energy and life through the bliss of summertime.

In pictures, we want to cultivate in our family whatever it is that brings this amount of joy and life to Oakley’s face- to all of us!

photo 5 (3)photo 4 (9)photo 3 (12)


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