TALES FROM THE GARDEN 2 – The Earthworm Company

TALES FROM THE GARDEN 2 - The Earthworm Company

By Elizabeth Adekanmi

Spring is fast giving way to summer! Avid gardeners would have been at work in their gardens for some time now. Just about now, the evidence of their weeks of careful planning and planting will be peeping out of the soil.  So many things work together to make this possible. There are also unseen or not so obvious contributors or workers involved in the process.  For example, rain, sunlight, microorganisms, decomposing agents and the seed itself. One of such not so obvious contributor is the earthworm. It’s this organism we’ll be looking at in this write up.

Our Lord Jesus is in the habit of using what people are familiar with to pass across what He wants to teach them. He chooses as His object lesson or teaching aid what people are already seeing and engaging with to bring them to the understanding of eternal truth. Scriptures in places will call our attention to observe God’s creation for specified lessons:

         Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:                          Pro 6:6

              Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and             the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord. 

                                                                                                                                                Jere 8:7

Likewise, following this example, let’s take a trip to the garden and pay attention to the humble earthworm.  Earthworms are not glamorous creatures that are especially loved by humans, infact, many us pay them no attention. Yet they play an important role in our ecosystem. Without going into too much scientific jargon, this organism break down dead and decaying leaves helping to release their nutrient back to the soil. Their activities improve soil structure, aerating the soil and improving drainage.  What is then the lesson to pick up from them?   

The first lesson is the fact that they are silent labourers. They silently carry on their God given roles without drawing attention to themselves or asking for reward.  How much we need this attribute! How we need the Lord to take away the restlessness within, the attention seeking, praise craving thing within us.  This problem is the reason we feel offended when our effort is not rewarded or recognised.  You will notice that even in our churches, there will be more people willing to be ushers or serve in the choir than those volunteering to be sanctuary cleaners. It is the same reason why someone barely commune with God privately; no quite time but she is present in every prayer room there is.  Let’s consider these words of Jesus:

     And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

                                                                                                                          Matt 6:5-6

   Is this to say the Lord Jesus is against corporate prayers?  Not at all, reading the entire chapter and taking it in context, we will see how He laid before us the need  for and how to cultivate the virtues of the Christian life. He instructed us to do so without public announcement or away from public view. Why? So we don’t miss the reward He gives.

     Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matt 6: 2

 To overcome this restless, we must be willing to lay our actions before the Lord and allow Him examine our hearts for the real reasons behind them. He calls us to consciously question our motive. Once revealed to us, we must not excuse or explain them away. We must respond with repentance whether the next door neighbour feels it’s necessary or not.  If we are sincere with the Lord, He will arise with healing on His wings for our internal woes.

Secondly, unlike the slug, they are not destructive. The slug not only eats into your vegetable but will also leave a trail of shining slime behind.  Earthworms don’t attack living plants. Even their waste which is called Worm casting not only nourish the plants but also sustain other beneficial microorganism. May our presence bring life to everywhere God will have us be. When we walk through the produce aisle at the supermarket and see those leafy greens and salad leaves, none of us think of the earthworm. We select the best ones in the basket and that’s as much thought as we give to the item.  These humble creatures seek no reward yet enriching others.  This we must seek the Lord to make out of our lives. It must be an on-going request because the battle within and the temptation without are ongoing.

I commend us to God as we seek Him for grace to live an overcoming Christian life.



By Elizabeth Adekanmi

During the spring/summer of 2020, as we were all in the middle of lock down with only essential services open and children activities at a standstill, I was desperate for creative ways of engaging the children. One of the things we did was to try our hands at container gardening. Off I went to the shop to buy seedlings and seed packet. We got some strawberry plants that were beginning to flower, compost and suitable containers.  After transplanting the seedlings, being eager to eat our very own strawberries, we added some plant food we had at home. We tried to attract pollinators to get the job done. With daily watering and care, we were convinced nature will take its course and we’ll soon be having health dessert to accompany our dinner.

 After a while, instead of the flowers turning into fruits, they all withered and fell off.  The plant began to grow leaves wildly, sprawling everywhere.  Surprised by the turn of events, we doubled our watering schedule in order to combat the heat, we wanted to do our best hoping the plant will come round and bear the desired fruit before the season come to an end. To our disappointment, nothing of such happened. All other things we planted; Spinach, tomatoes and potatoes grew and were harvested but not the strawberry. 

 So, that planting season came to an end, and all the annual plants were spent. Some bugs began boring holes in the leaves just then. In came the frost and winter. Often am saddened when I see these strawberry plants that had failed to bring the much-expected fruits. One morning, as I looked them over, I was somewhat infuriated by how much space they have taken and decided to pulled them off. As I yanked at the first plant, a thought came to me to leave them and see what becomes of them. This brought to mind the biblical story of the gardener who pleaded with the land owner to allow him dig round the fig tree and manure it one more year.

But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Luke 13:8NKJV

Fast forward this spring/summer, the plants blossomed and flourished. Before we knew it, they were fruit laden. Honestly, you have never eaten a more delicious strawberry! The fruits were not only tasty, but also kept well. They did not rot quickly like we know commercial strawberries to do.  

As mundane as the situation narrated above may be, it is a picture of many situations we find ourselves in life. It got me seriously thinking. If in our disappointment and frustration we had uprooted the poor plants, we would not have had the privilege of seeing the plants’ turnaround, let alone enjoy the sweet fruits they produced. The plants were victims of my weight of expectation. When they did not perform as expected, my initial reaction was to uproot them.

 Likewise, is there anything in your life that you have invested time and effort into but have not yielded the desired result? Have you nursed great expectations that have been met with disappointments? Could it be your children or does it relate to your marriage? Extended family situations or relationships you have built over time?   It might be true that like us, you applied the wrong fertilizer. Or you killed it with too much love as it was with our watering schedule.  Whatever the case may be, may I counsel you not to uproot it yet? Stop your comparison.  That child is an individual sent here by God with a specific purpose attached to a predetermined time.  Other children that age might have achieved this and that, he or she will get to that milestone at God’s appointed time.  Late blooming roses bring the most delight in my opinion. 

If it relates to a difficult marriage, our Lord’s first miracle in Cana was at a wedding. There was no need for a miracle until the wine ran out!  Nagging your spouse to compliance is a poor strategy; it’s not only tiring but might only result into hardening them. It’s solely the voice of the Maker that a creature cannot refuse!  Filing for divorce? Hear the master say: “Fill the water pots with water”.

The best we can do is to hand it over to God and trust Him with the situation. A change of approach or method might be what is required. But how do we know how best to go about it when we ourselves are disconnected from the source- Jesus Christ?  Has the ‘flowers’ of salvation and consecration withered from our lives? Are we just sprouting the leaves of religion?  Or we are being fed upon by the bugs of anxiety and worry? The first step towards recovery is to retrace our steps back to the cross, be reconciled with God and surrender our lives and our living. The Lord Jesus testified of Himself in John 15 Vs 1 as the true vine and God the Father, the Vinedresser. The job of pruning and purging are His. The more we abide in Him, the better we are able to know and tell the difference between what should be cut off and what needs tending for fruitfulness. In fact, He Himself will see to it.

Our request should not merely be to eat fruit from the ‘plant’ but we must be prepared for whatever outcome He brings us in His sovereignty. That His will be done in every situation must be our resolve.     

In some instances, the ‘seed’ we were given to ‘sow’ by nature will take long to mature. The temptation to dig it off, and go for a quick fix then is great especially if others around us are celebrating their harvest.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.   Proverbs 13:12 NKJV            

 The beauty and potential of the expected harvest when it eventually comes is well worth the pain of waiting. The admonition God gave us through Apostle Paul is:


And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Galatians 6:9NKJV

 And don’t allow yourselves to be weary in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!       Galatians 6:9 TPT       

I commend us to God as we consider these things, that He will help us to make corrections and seek His strength as it relates to us.  Amen.                                    


Keeping your Home Environment

The home is the place where we are all real with each other, it is the place where we relax and enjoy being ourselves.  Your home is to be a place of peace and rest both for the Lord and for everyone in your home. There are homes where conflicts arise between husbands and wives over cleanliness.  As the woman of the house, you are responsible for the cleanliness of your home, I am not saying your husband should not and cannot help, but primarily it is your responsibility, and you are the one to mobilise those in your home in the art of cleaning the home.
The cleanliness of your home will play a huge role in the life and wellbeing of those who live within it.
One well-known saying is “cleanliness is next to godliness”. God Himself is a holy God, and when you look through Leviticus for example, you will see the many instructions for cleanliness that He introduced to the Israelites.   If God takes the matter of cleanliness seriously, how can we, His children not make our home environment a clean place?
Why keep a clean home?
  1. To honour the Lord: Our home environment speaks a lot about us, and if God the Maker of the universe dwells in your home, you want to make sure that your home is clean for Him, it is a service to render first to Him who is holy.
  2. To honour everyone within your home: Keeping your home clean must not be something done because you will be having a visitor, but it is for each and everyone in your home to enjoy first, and that includes you. When you see the cleanliness of your home in this manner, you will not feel stressed to keep your home in order because a visitor is coming, rather, your home is first what it is because of those who live here, and as result, visitors come in to enjoy what you and your household are already enjoying, as it becomes a matter of lifestyle and not just practice.
To keep you in good health: When a home environment is clean, it keeps germs and bacteria away as much as possible, and this helps to improve the well-being of those in your home environment.
To beautify your home: With no shadow of a doubt, the cleanliness of your home has a way of adding beauty to it, and so also is the opposite, a house unkempt makes the house look ugly.
If the cleanliness of your home is of high importance as discussed above, the matter we want to look at now is how do you do this?
Sweeping: Sweep your home daily or two to three days intervals, this is because your home automatically accumulates dirt.
Dusting: Dust accumulates every now and then within your home, therefore, make effort to dust surfaces like the T.V, lintels, banisters etc.
Fresh air: Leave your room window open for some minutes daily, and particularly during winter months.
Empty your bin: Make sure you empty your bin regularly and dispose of rotten and expired items that cause bad odour in your home.
As you make effort to keep your home in clean order, bring your children in too, so that they can assist you. If possible discuss chores with your husband and see if he is willing to take on any of them after both of you sit and pray about what needs to be done around the house and agree on a plan.
Let’s be real, women live as busy lives now as men, what happens when you both work full time and you have responsibility for the children and all the meals as the mummy, even when you do not work full time, the responsibility of running the home can be quite overwhelming. If you struggle to find time to keep on top of your cleaning then here are some options.  Employ someone, formal or informal, ask friends and loved ones to help out, have prompts e.g. no breakfast until the kitchen is clean! Etc
There are online self-help guides on how to keep a clean house, one of them includes having a 15 mins declutter daily regime. Do some research and pray to the Lord for His wisdom as you seek to make your home a haven. Don’t be condemned if you are doing your best and it’s not good enough. Keep pressing in, do not be discouraged.

The danger of making other homes your standard

As women, we are very good at comparing and contrasting things. And if we are not careful, you will find yourself comparing your family standard with another family, and before you know it you are engaged in competition and a restless pursuit.  The goal of Christ’s women must never be to make another home their standard, even though there may be things to emulate from them, Christ ought to be the standard a woman pursues her home.
What standards do women compare in their homes?
1. Finance: One of the things women compare with themselves is the financial capacity of their families. They look at their family earnings and what they could do to earn more or to be up to the standard of the other family. As good as this may be, you should not aim to achieve or accomplish the financial status of another family. This may put pressure on your husband, on your children and your relationship with them.  Christian married women often pressurise their husbands to find extra work in order for them to have the financial status that matches that of their friends. This is not acceptable as Christians, you must not push your husband to such extreme, you are to appreciate him for the little he manages to bring in, and help him to see how that little can be well spent to the glory of God. And sometimes, some women take up additional work and put a further strain upon their health, the health of their marriage and children and relationship in their homes, as for you, you must beware of this.
2. Husband’s ability and treatment: Another thing married women compare amongst themselves is their husband’s ability. Maybe it is the sexual ability, social ability, ability to talk and socialise. Again, if you take your husband to friends to measure in line with their husbands, you will only find yourself frustrated and ungrateful. And you will end up building “envy blocks” between you and your friend.
3. Children’s ability: This is another killer in family life, the comparing of your children with the children of your friends. Sometimes, you may look at the academic performance of your friend’s children and become frustrated with that of your children, and with the help of technology and social media, women have been able to post their children’s achievement for many others to see, and this is a practice that I am totally against. Mary, the mother of Jesus kept many things about her Son in her heart and not in the public domain. So, if you have friends that share details of their children’s success on social media, or events and happenings in their homes, you have to equip your heart with the truth of God’s word concerning your children. And the truth is whether you like it or not children will never be at the same level of abilities whether spiritually, physically, academically etc.
If there are areas you desire growth or improvement in your children, why not turn to God? There is a huge danger in seeking to make other people’s home the standard of your home, God is the One with the blueprint for every home and that includes yours, why not turn to Him?
If there be any standard of comparison, Christ gave us one in Matthew 7 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock Mt 7 24-25