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I know those little green shoots look like grass, but don’t be fooled. We’re growing kindness.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galations 6:7-10

We plant a large garden every year and the kiddos each get to pick something to grow. So they know that if you want spinach, you plant spinach seeds. And they know that you won’t get a carrot from a tomato seed.

So when I asked them what would grow from seeds of kindness, they answered, of course, “Kindness.” Because you don’t get kindness by sowing selfishness.

I know that every household goes through different seasons, some peaceful, some not. Lately, I’ve observed our children behaving somewhat selfishly towards each other. This is to be expected, of course, for it’s what we all do naturally–hold tightly to the things we consider precious. But I am a mama who wants to point her children (and herself) to something higher and better. Though selfish behavior can be expected, it shouldn’t be tolerated.

This Advent we are sowing seeds of kindness. Every time one of us does something selfless, we sow a seed. Each of these green shoots is an offering of sacrifice–a dessert shared, a chore done for someone else, a toy given, a kind word spoken. In each of these moments, instead of choosing to be selfish, these children chose to be selfless. Each choice is a gift they offer to God, and a the offering of it is preparation for His birth.

The choice to be selfless is what makes room for Jesus’s coming.

Mary herself shows us how this is done. The angel, Gabriel, has just told her that God will put a baby in her womb. She must have had some thought of what this would mean to her life, her reputation, her integrity. She must have at least considered how this situation would be perceived by her neighbors, her friends, her family, most of all her fiancee. But her choice is not selfish. She chooses to make room for the Son of God.

And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’

Luke  1:38

And so, in our house, we continue to sow seeds. We make choices that open our hearts and our hands to others–opening them wide to make as much room as possible. And on Christmas morning we’ll harvest all those green shoots of kindness and place them in the manger, a bed of love and kindness prepared to welcome the baby Jesus.

** By the way, we totally snagged this idea from Ann’s blog. Read about how to sow seeds of kindness with your kids here.