I’m always on the lookout for fun new projects to try and inexpensive ways to do them. Case in point: Planting vegetable seeds in egg shells. With the help of many little hands, we got to work planting tomato seeds, cabbage seeds, carrots, and spinach. We also had a few flower seeds to try. We got everything all planted and set up in front of a sunny window.

Sprouts of Hope

Then we waited.

And waited.

And, you guessed it, we waited some more.

I was beginning to think the whole project was a bust.

I began doubting anything would ever sprout.

It was taking too long.

Maybe we didn’t water them enough?

Maybe we planted the seeds too deep? Not deep enough?

Maybe they weren’t in a spot to get enough sunlight.

Was it still too cold, even inside the house?

I was second-guessing everything.

And then…

Sprouts of Hope

 This tiny little shoot breaks forth, ushering hope back into my heart for the rest of them.

Sprouts of Hope


It’s a parable, really. How many times in my own life have I labored and waited and lost hope?

This business of raising kids comes to mind. As parents we pour into our children, we tend their hearts, we stake them up with truth and encouragement. But so much of what we do is a waiting game. We watch and we pray. I sometimes fear I’m messing them up completely. Some days it’s hard to remember that what I am doing matters at all because all I see at the time is a clump of wet dirt that is their heart. Yet even through the doubts, I continue to plant seeds of truth. I continue to water them with encouragement and discipline. I continue to watch and hope. 

And if I’m patient, God reveals little shoots of hope:

An almost 12 year old who decides on her own to read through the bible.

A 10 year old whose heart breaks for those without parents and prays for them.

An almost 8 year old who is beginning to fight against his selfishness.

A 5 year old who takes his little sister by the hand to gently guide her toward chickens so she can overcome her fear.

And a tiny three year old who answers “Jesus!” to every question asked during family devotions.

I still long for a productive and abundant harvest.

But I am so grateful that in the meantime, God gives me these little sprouts of hope in the hearts of my children.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant and a time to harvest.”

During the in-between I will continue to labor and pray and hope.

Dusty Reed

Dusty is a wife, a mother and a friend. Having grown up in a big city, she is now raising her family of seven on a farmstead in rural Nebraska. During weekdays Dusty can be found teaching her children at the dining room table. Or napping; it can be exhausting raising five kids! Dusty is always on the lookout for ways to avoid housework. Her favorite ways are meeting friends for coffee, preparing meals to take to others, or simply laying in a hammock with a good book. Often feeling like an inadequate mess, Dusty is allowing God to enter into those fragile parts of her heart to heal it. Anything she learns along this tangled path of life, she longs to share with others.