Thursday, April 14, 2022

Writers, How Does Your Garden Grow?

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Every evening recently, my nature-loving hubby, a biologist by trade, spends hours in the backyard turning soil, mulching leaves, spreading seeds, potting plants, and weeding. David carefully chose plants and packets designed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 

For the sake of our favorite surname, David picked three varieties of lavender and gingerly placed them in the soil. He chose butterfly weed in shades of amber, tangerine, and marmalade, which according to the package will display a “fiery floral sunset” in my yard. 

David planted a creeping vine, cardinal climber, that promises shades of scarlet and vermilion. Blue carpet lobelia offers splashes of cobalt and azure. Three colors of salvia add additional shades of red, blue, and lavender. 

David tucked dill and parsley in the soil because both are the host plants for black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, and stuck a paw paw tree seedling in the ground because it is the host plant for zebra swallowtail caterpillars. 

For good measure, my biologist planted pink bee balm and sprinkled seeds from packets labeled “bird and butterfly mix” and “hummingbird mix.” 

When God adds warm days and April showers to David’s hard work, my backyard will be a plethora of pretty, an array of colors to attract a myriad of winged creatures my husband loves.

But I think the ultimate purpose of my floral garden is to bring glory to its Creator, my Heavenly Father. Though the leaves diverge into different shapes on each plant, and the blossoms vary in shape and hue, and the scents differ from bush to plant to flower, each one displays God’s magnificent handiwork. Crafted by His own hand, the flora point back to Him and sway in praise when His breath sends gentle breezes. 

In just a few weeks, my backyard landscape will fulfill the promise in Psalm 66:4, Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.

As a writer who plants seeds with my words, words that I truly believe are crafted by His own hand and His breath, I believe my garden of stories and articles and devotionals offers heartfelt worship and joyous praise to their Creator. Each one of my projects differs from another in size and shape and hue and fragrance, but their ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God. 

Some of my written offerings may wither or shrivel before sharing their beauty with the world, but perhaps that creation wasn’t meant to launch into the world or maybe the bloom and benefit was meant for me alone. Many of my fragrant words—my Jerusalem blossoms—will entice my family to look to the Holy One. Some of the seeds I plant will take flight and disperse to a neighbor’s yard or even across the creek to another county, my Judaea, so to speak. Like pollen carried on hummingbird beaks and butterfly wings and bumblebee legs, my words could travel to Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And my garden won’t resemble another writer’s landscape. Which is a good thing, because who wants the boredom of every garden looking exactly the same? 

Writer friend, how is your garden growing this spring? Are your words worshiping Him? Do your projects praise the Heavenly Father? Are your submissions singing glorious songs? 

Offer a spectacular landscape to the Lord this spring. 

Ask God what He wants you to write this season. 

Do the work to accomplish God’s purposes in your writing life. That might involve reading, researching, attending conferences, learning more about the craft from others, and a lot of writing and editing. 

Send out those writing seeds, through submissions, podcasts, blogs, speaking engagements, or deadline accomplishments for signed contracts.

Worship God with your words; praise Him with every project you pen. 

Tell me about the seeds you’re planting this spring—floral ones in your backyard or figurative ones on your computer. I can’t wait to hear what colors your backyard will boast, especially if plan to grow lavender this season! And I’m even more excited to know how your words will witness in Jerusalem, all of Judaea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.


Julie Lavender can’t wait for the smell of lavender to punctuate her backyard and attract a variety of hummingbirds and butterflies for regular visits. She hopes her writings offer the pleasing aroma of Christ to God, first and foremost, and then to the saved and unsaved in the world around her. She is the author of Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime—that she thinks would make a wonderful Easter basket treat—and 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories. Connect with her on social media and


  1. What an encouraging, motivating word picture you painted for us today, Julie. Thank you. It's almost time for the hummingbirds to return to CO, which means they'll be visiting the small hummingbird garden my family planted for me two years ago for my birthday. Meanwhile, I'm planting words in my latest WIP.

    1. We LOVE the hummingbirds that we attract each year to our yard! They also love the bottlebrush bush that David planted a long time ago. Hummingbirds and butterflies are just fascinating to watch, and we love them! Many blessings for the word pictures you'll plant in your latest WIP! I'll look forward to it's release!

  2. Beautiful, Julie. Your words take me there.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'm so excited for everything to start blooming and growing in my backyard, and especially for all of the visitors that will be attracted to their beauty!!

  3. I love how you give such a beautiful analogy to our writing. Gardening takes lots of planning and does writing. Thank you for such a beautiful article.

    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words!!! I appreciate them very much. You are so right, that gardening and writing takes much planning and work, and I'm always in love with the beauty God creates through both!!! Thanks for reading!

  4. This is absolutely beautiful, Julie. What a great analogy. Thank you for sharing! And by the way--I've always been a bit jealous of your beautiful name. LOL

  5. Thank you for your sweet words, Crystal!! And, have I ever told you the "funny" about my name? My maiden name was "Bland." I was Julie Bland. It wasn't until about fourth grade, when we had a vocabulary list, that I found out that the word "bland" meant dull, boring, lacking color .... So, when I fell in love with a Lavender boy in high school and college, I absolutely loved taking on the name Lavender!!! (And, I'd LOVED any shade of purple ever since I was a child, too!)

    1. What a great story!!! Thanks for sharing!

    2. Yep! My husband loves to hear me say, "I went from dull to colorful when I got married."

  6. Julie, your detailed description brought back wonderful memories of my mother's gardens. She graduated from UCONN in the 1940's with a horticulture degree, and our backyard was always full of the best and most various flowers and colors. God's amazing creations definitely all point to Him with joy and praise.

    What a fun point to think of our words as different types of seeds that will each grow up and impact people as God intends.
    Some people grow vegetables, some get to grow flowers. ;)

    1. I'll bet your backyard was wonderful, Chris!!! I can just imagine! We had a vegetable garden when I was growing up, but I didn't have the blessing of floral gardens, so I enjoy them extra-special now!!! I love this thought - "Some people grow vegetables, some get to grow flowers"!!!! That's a beautiful way to think about all the different things we write! Blessings, and thanks for reading!!

  7. I love Spring, Julie, and your message is filled with the reasons why. It's wonderful that David is planting all those possibilities in your backyard. I hope you will share pictures. Thank you for the wisdom you shared, too. Spring is the perfect season for us to Pray, Prepare, Plant, and Praise in service to our Lord and Savior. Wishing you a blessed Easter!