I find that caring for my seedling garden is proving to be a refreshing diversion for me. I am checking soil, sun and shade multiple times throughout the day. Sadly, my herbs are wasting away and I have yet to diagnose the cause: not enough water? Too much? Not enough sunlight? Too much? Adequate drainage? As I fuss over and tend to my plants, my knowledge of them is increasing and my care for them is becoming more specialized. If it was merely a buy and bloom process, I would have little attachment to these earthy blessings. The fragile balance between withering and flourishing requires the tending. This past week was one of those three steps forward, two steps back kind of weeks. It was a week when serenity seemed to avoid me while throwing itself into the embrace of others. It was seven days of intense spirit versus flesh battles. I fought hard to retain my joy and maintain a positive outlook on life, even embracing the mountain of laundry that was two weeks in the making and viewing the piles of dirty dishes as an adventure. But there are times when a soul gets tired and one must choose to allot that last bit of energy to either pushing one foot in front of the other or grasping for one more positive thought. In a week like this one, I often cope by pondering the human experience in light of God’s Word. I note my human situation and my human responses to said situation and compare them to those around me. I especially like to do this because I want to have a more informed approach when relating to others, particularly my children as they grow older. This week I reached out to my closest friends and discovered that they too were having trying weeks as well. Their hardships were all different from mine, but our emotions were quite similar. It seems to me that in this journey called life the trials will be as frequent as the triumphs, if not more so. What is a human to do? Just as the desire for my fragile plants to flourish prompts me to nurture and cultivate them, so it is in my relationship with Jesus. A trial-laden week like this one has most certainly not escaped His notice. He wants for me to flourish in everything that He has designed me to be. If life were all roses and no thorns, I most certainly would not be as aware of and dependent on His careful tending of my body, mind and spirit. What is a human to do then? Look to the Gardener and allow Him to bloom you where you are planted.