How to Prep the Soil of your Heart

My little garden is in the back end of our yard. It’s tiny but inviting. As I stroll towards it in the morning, I feel the release of the noise falling away and the draw of peace as I near it. The little bench remains on one end, inviting us both, Jesus and I.

I sense the same invitation as I open my small leather Bible in the morning with my hot coffee in hand. The chair next to me must be where He joins me. Does He prefer coffee black?

As I sit down to pour out and then be filled afresh, I continually return to the idea of tending my soul as I tend the garden. It is little by little. Different seasons require various actions but over all it continues consistently.

The acronym I use for how to unpack God’s Word had to be TEND. The image of a stooped gardener, plucking and caring and prodding in the dirt in order to encourage the most fruitful yield. I sense the Lord doing the same in the soil of my heart.

T stands for taking the time to pray.

I have to be intentional to seek His face before I dig into His Word. I spent many years plowing in and left feeling scattered rather than filled. I have come to realize the difference is not in the seed of the Word planted but in my recognizing His nearness.

These days I light a candle to remember He is here. Then I sit, pause, close my eyes and take deep breathes. It feels similar to my stroll to the back of the yard towards the garden. Noise falls away and His nearness begins to envelope me, reminding my soul of real perspective.

More than the popcorn prayer of, “here I am, God, speak.” I am still. I am quiet. I am noticing Him. In that, my heart is prepared, the soil is loosened and prepared to receive His Word.

How do you begin your time with the Lord?

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About Me

I’m Mariel & I invite you to greater intimacy with God through His Word for yourself, using my TEND method of Bible study.

16 thoughts on “How to Prep the Soil of your Heart”

  1. Mariel,
    As a sister gardener, I can relate to your TEND acronym. Like you I need to pray and still my heart to be able to even begin to digest His word. Love the pondering of how God likes HIS coffee (I’m a fellow java junkie).
    Bev xx

  2. I struggle with being still, not physically (no problem there), but mentally and spiritually. My mind whirls and twirls and I’m ashamed to say, become easily distracted. I love your idea of lighting a candle as a reminder of His presence. I just may try having something to remind me to, to bring my focus back to Where it needs to be. My garden definitely needs to be tended! Thank you Mariel!

    • Lighting the candle has been so helpful for me and I hope it serves you well as you remember to pause and notice His presence too. Tending the garden of our own soul is eternally fruitful, sweet Cindy. praying for you!

  3. Mariel, a few years ago, a family friend built me a box garden of 4′ x 8′. It’s not large, but I LOVE planting vegetables in it. And I plant flowers in planters on our back deck. Having plants growing nearby makes my heart happy. I marvel at how God makes things grow, and He allows me a small part in that. 🙂

    I love the idea of TEND for Bible study. And this here: “I have come to realize the difference is not in the seed of the Word planted but in my recognizing His nearness.” Really spoke to me.

    • Yes, growing even in small places is so sweet to participate with God! Which veggies are you growing this year?
      Thank you for reading, so grateful to have encouraged you, Jeanne! ❤

  4. Mariel, I was reading your post while you were reading mine! I love your words and “tending” theme to this post. Looks like we both enjoy hearing God in the garden!! Saved to Pinterest and tweeted!


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