Apple Seeds - Day #1

I like to eat apples - generally, I eat the whole apple, core and all. Well, not all. I don't eat the seeds. After doing a little research, I discovered that the seeds have low levels of arsenic in them and if you eat too many they can yield digestive woes. Beyond that, they aren't terribly tasty.

Nonetheless, I always pause and feel a little bummed as I throw away my apple seeds. Nearly every time I think to myself, 'I should plant these.' (I usually eat an apple each day, so this thought occurs pretty regularly - and I have kept the doctor away for quite some time, ha!)

Its exciting to think on the potential of a seed. To think that such a small thing can become a large tree that bears fruit year after year is pretty amazing. Its no wonder that Jesus describes the Gospel as a seed (Matt. 13), and James describes God's word as a seed that has been planted in believers (James 1:21). There is something mysterious and wonderful about how seeds seem so inert, yet when planted and cared for yield amazing life.

All this to say, today as I ate an apple I reached a tipping point. Usually, I toss my seeds away under the rationale that even if I did plant them and begin to grow a fledgling tree, I would not have a place to plant it once it was time to put it in the ground. This afternoon that thought hit a nerve. I'll be honest, most days I long for a sense of home. I've been a nomadic apartment dweller for the past 6 years since college, never living in one place for more than 2 years. Something about reaching the late 20's has stirred in me the desire for a sense of permanency. I desire to stay in one place and 'throw down roots.' I regularly ask God about this - is this something I selfishly want or something he is stirring in me?

So, today I did it. I saved those little seeds and resolved to plant them. I did a little internet research, and as it turns out you don't just stick them in some soil and hope for the best - I was slightly disenchanted considering the ease of all the Johnny Appleseed myths that make it seem like he just dropped them around like breadcrumbs. Currently, my wonderful, potential-filled seeds are chilling (figuratively and literally) in the refrigerator in a damp napkin and ziploc bag. They'll need to stay there for approximately 6 weeks until they begin to sprout. I'm hoping they will be overachievers and not take so long.

I'll keep you all posted on their progress - mostly because its fun to track progress, but maybe also partially to poke fun at the ever-so-prevalent 'baby bump' pictures that all my pregnant friends post, ha! The progress shall certainly be slower and less life changing than a pregnancy. Nonetheless, I find myself hopeful that when the time comes for this fledgling tree to find a permanent place in the ground, that perhaps we will be able to throw down our roots together.



Reading a friend's writing recently got me thinking about what it means to surrender.

I love hanging out with my nephew, Miles - I assure you, he's the coolest 4-year-old around. Nonetheless, around lunchtime just before his nap, he can be a bit of a handful. He gets crabby and is so overtly in need of rest that its almost laughable how strongly he resists. The longer he puts off the dreaded nap time the more whiney he becomes. He struggles and strives to stay awake and keep going, much to his own detriment. And then in what seems like a moment, he lets go. He gives in. His little body thankfully receives rest - the last thing he wanted but the fulfillment of his most urgent need.

At 27 (nearly 28!) I too often find myself in the same predicament as my sweet little nephew. I struggle; I strive; I plead with the Lord for what I want. I try to keep going, confident that I know what I need, what will make me happy. All the while, I'm exhausted - so gripped by what I want, yet oblivious to what I need. I hope the Lord lets out a good natured laugh as He invites me to rest. And so I wonder if this is what it means to surrender - to let go of my hopes and dreams and enter into rest, confident that what the Lord gives is far better than what I can grasp for myself.

Letting go. Giving in. Surrendering. For Miles that decision comes just after lunch each day - I wish I had it that easy. In this season, it seems to be a moment-by-moment need - though a challenge, I'm grateful for all that I'm learning about trust and dependency upon the Father. It helps me understand Jesus' admonition that we come to him as little children - aware of our weakness and need; not ashamed to be dependent. I'm hopeful that this weakness might serve as a window to put on display the surpassing strength, power, and beauty of our loving Father.

Psalm 131
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.