What Are You Planting?

Nicolet Bell

What Are You Planting?

April 26, 2024
Nicolet Bell

A few years ago, my husband and I traveled to Montana in April. We were so excited for our trip to fly fish, horseback ride, and hiking- all the great things you do at a ranch. We kept watching the weather thinking it was going to be great weather. The forecast was showing around 70 degrees during the day and in the 50’s at night. We were imagining sitting out by the fire at night, enjoying fishing in the creek with fresh green grass all around us.

A week before we left, we figured out we were looking at the weather in Philipsburg, Missouri instead of Philipsburg, Montana. Turns out, there was a winter weather advisory forecast during our trip. I’m from the South, so this weather in April was a shock. It was FREEZING (like 5 degrees one day)! Our first day was the warmest. We fished – wading in the creek – at about 15 degrees, breaking ice off our fly lines all morning long. Much to our surprise, we did catch some fish! After our fishing adventure, the rest of our family decided not to go hiking, but not my husband. Nope. He was determined to hike; and being the great, adventurous wife that I am… I went with him. So there we were… It’s 11 degrees at this point and our guide took us to the base of a trail. I looked up, waaay up to the top of the mountain and thought, “there is no way I am going to make it!” But we get started, one step at a time, following our guide. Then he said, let’s go off trail. In my head, I’m panicking, but I hear myself say out loud, “okay, cool!”

I was intimidated at first, but once I got going, I was glad I went. I only fell one time, and I actually ended up sweating and having to take off some of my layers. It was truly beautiful. What amazed me the most was the plants. Trees, tall and strong rising up out of the frigid, rocky ground. There were smaller plants that I was using as stepping stones (per our guide’s instructions) to get my grip under my feet in the snow and ice. After some time, our guide pointed out that these were sage plants. He picked some and held it out for me to smell. They are short little bushes but even in the below freezing temperatures and with snow still on the ground, they had their beautiful fragrance and were thriving. It amazed me! I was struck with how God created all different types of plants to grow and succeed in all different types of climates. Plants from my home in South Mississippi wouldn’t make it up on the frozen mountains of Montana. The same way the Montana foliage wouldn’t survive the Mississippi heat. What you plant and where you plant it matters.

So I ask you today – What are you planting? What are you investing in? Where are you putting in the time and work? What are you working on that will last after you are gone?

To be sure you are investing in what matters, think about what you plant and where you plant it. To do this, it may be helpful to:

  • Evaluate where you are spending your time.

If you are continually pouring into something that is not growing or thriving, re-evaluate. You know that screen time report that pops up on our iPhones on Sundays? It convicts me every week on how I am spending my time.

  • Engage and invest in meaningful relationships.

With both things and with people. We like control, don’t we? We like for things to go our way. Sometimes this causes us to force things, or to try to force things. We like to make things happen, but most of the time when we are forceful or grasping for control, it doesn’t work out the way we plan. If you are trying to plant a daylily on a mountainside, Stop. Re-evaluate. Ask yourself- Do I need to change my plant? Do I need to change my soil?

The beautiful thing about trees and plants is that most of them can//will outlive us. Even the plants that die produce seeds that will produce new plants that will keep growing for years to come. How you spend your time and what you invest in will matter after you are gone. This is part of being JourneyWise- believing that every step means something along our way. On that mountainside in Montana, I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in the Bible that comes from Galatians chapter 6. Galatians 6 verse 7 says – whatever one sows, that he will also reap. And verse 9 encourages us – “and let us not grow weary in doing what is good, for in due season, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” What we plant and where we plant it matters. What we plant and where we plant it will determine if we reap a harvest of joy and peace or anxiety and turmoil.

I believe God wants us to reap the harvest of the fruits of his Spirit. He desires for us to have good things that come from him.

So I ask you – What are you planting?

Check out my Servant School Course: Choosing Cheer.