Planting Happiness


Last year, I placed a flower pot on my patio.

It was only half-filled with potting soil. There wasn't any sign of life. There were no seeds to grow. So as you can imagine the flowerpot remained barren.

Last week, I decided that the neglected flower pot needed a little lift. I went to a garden shop and checked out the blooming plants. While trying to decide which flowers to purchase, I went to another store and ran across some flower seeds. I picked up one of the packages and read the instructions for planting.

"I am up for the challenge," I thought. Many people have green thumbs, but I have always insisted that I don't. Either I water my plants too often or not enough. I either bake the plant in the sunshine or place it in areas that are too shady. I know some plants like it hot and wet, while others like it dry and shady. But for the life of me, I cannot remember which are which.

As I stood holding the envelope of seeds, I felt the urge to see if for the first time I could actually make something grow. I purchased several packages and returned home with a gardener's determination and drive. I immediately planted the seeds in the almost forgotten flower pot. For a couple of days nothing happened. But I continued to water the soil.

On the fourth day, I actually saw green sprouts as they had just broken through the soil. I was so excited. The tiny shoots brought a smile to my face. I called Roy to come to look at them. Maybe my thumb wasn't completely off-colored after all! Maybe I could make something grow!

I thought about how growing flowers are much like growing happiness. Our lives are sometimes like the empty pot. Our days are filled with worldly tasks and possessions. But because worldly things are of such little importance, we lack a feeling of completeness. We sense there is something missing.

The missing ingredients in my flower pot were the things that created life itself -- seeds. The things that we may be missing in life are seeds of hope, love, faith, and determination. When we accept the fact that our life gardens will produce exactly what we plant, we become more concerned as to what we plant. I planted a variety of flower seeds that day. I understand that the zinnia seeds will produce zinnias. The morning glory seeds will produce morning glories.

Likewise, if I plant happiness in my daily life, low and behold, I will find joy in everything I do. If I plant negative thoughts inside my heart, I will only grow more discontented with each passing day. Whatever is planted inside my heart will grow.

If we plant seeds of hope, we can expect miracles.

When we plant seeds of passion, love will come back to us.

The Bible tells us that without faith we cannot possibly please God. Shouldn't we all plant seeds of faith? And if we plant seeds of determination, there is absolutely nothing that can stop us from being the persons God created us to be. When God is pleased with us, our blessings multiply much like the blooms produced from a tiny seed.

In the next few days and weeks, I am expecting the tiny sprouts to grow taller. Then I am expecting a flowerpot filled with blossoms. The once neglected pot will hold beautiful flowers of assorted colors, simply because I planted faith along with those few seeds.

This past weekend, our granddaughters Hannah and Katie came for a visit. Three-year-old Katie wasn't initially fond of the idea of returning home. When her Daddy told her that he had missed her, she looked up at him and whispered, "But Daddy, I was just so happy at Nana and Pa's."

We laughed together. We played together. We blew bubbles in the backyard. We watched television together. We went to the zoo. And we went on a picnic. The weekend was ours to do nothing but to plant seeds of happiness in the hearts of our granddaughters.

Are you planting seeds of happiness in the hearts of those you love?

Nancy B. Gibbs gibbs.nancy@yahoo.com

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