Lessons Learned from God’s Plant Helpers ~ plus a $100 giveaway

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Plants have always played a big role in my life. From the time I was little into my adult years, the forest and fields were dear to my heart. And, when I had children, I made sure to encourage this same love in them through outdoor learning adventures. We trekked through the woods on hiking expeditions, sometimes following letterboxing clues.

Lessons Learned from God’s Plant Helpers plus $100 Giveaway.

We visited nature centers, preserves, and caves. And, whenever possible, I encouraged them to see—really see—the trees and plants surrounding us. If God speaks to us through his creation, he speaks to us through his plant helpers, too. What secrets does God wish to share with us through them?

Invasive species, if left unchecked, take over.

An invasive species is one that is not native to the area, but brought in artificially. Very often, human activity is the root cause, but not always. Whatever way it happens, trees and plants that aren’t supposed to be there take up residence. Because they tend to be aggressive, adaptable, and hardy, they crowd out the native plants. Soon, the landscape is full of the invasive species and the whole habitat changes. It is no longer able to sustain the native wildlife. All the beauty and diversity leaves. Sometimes, a controlled burn is necessary to eliminate the problem.

Think about what happens when an “invasive species” (or new bad habit) enters our lives. If we don’t address it right away, it can spread like a weed. It becomes harder and harder to get rid of it and pretty soon, we succumb. We end up needing a “controlled burn” from God to get rid of the entrenched bad habit. Then, we need to cultivate good habits again and be on our guard.

Deep roots allow us to stand when a storm hits.

When hurricane winds hit or a tornado, are the trees uprooted? Almost never. Sometimes they crack or branches are broken off, but very seldom is a tree pulled out of the ground and blown about. The root system of a tree is as extensive underground as it is above ground. Not only is it able to stand in the worst storm, but it also lives through harsh winters. Why? Because of its deep roots!

Jesus tells us to build our houses on the rock so that when the wind and rain comes, we aren’t blown over (Matt. 7:24). We cannot minister to others, providing protection and shade, if we have shallow roots.

Even in a desert, if there is a little bit of soil mixed in the sand, life blossoms.

Did you know that the only deserts that have plants and animals are in the Americas and Australia? African and Asian deserts cannot support life, but these can. The reason is that the American and Australian deserts have a small amount of soil in them and they tend to get a little more rain. Not a lot. Just a bit more. But, this small difference makes all the difference. And, because plants can grow with this small amount of soil mixed into the sand, animals can flourish, too.

God can do amazing things with that little bit of faith you hold on to in the midst of life’s deserts. He can bring blessing in your life and use you to bless others.

Beware the pretty flowers.

Some of the prettiest flowers bring pain and suffering. Think of the beautiful rose, so fragrant and silky. But, hidden beneath its blossoms lie painful thorns. The delicate lily-of-the-valley, with its nodding bells and inviting aroma, delivers death to anyone who ingests it. These flowers—and many more—remind us to exercise caution when confronted with attractive options. Sometimes that opportunity that sounds so perfect ends up ruining us.

Nothing is ever wasted.

When plants die, they become part of the soil or forest floor. Insects, fungi, and microorganisms reduce the plant to dust and thus, the dead becomes part of the living. From acorn to leaf and from pollen to root, God doesn’t waste anything. He is the great recycler. And in our lives, he takes what was once dead and breathes life into it. And we are reborn into His Kingdom.

The next time you are running through the forest or prairie, exploring the dunes, or driving through an American desert, try to really see the plants. God is teaching. Always.

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Crunchy Christian Podcast, Master Herbalist and veteran Christian unschooler, Julie Polanco, shares hope, how-to’s, and a bit of humor from her unschooling family’s adventures as city homesteaders pursuing God’s best naturally. Visit her website, Julie Naturally, for more information about how she can equip you in four areas of natural Christian living.