I have come a long way in my horticultural skills. While in nursing school, my good friend, Kate, had to claim custody of one of my indoor spider plants. The poor thing was withering from lack of water and sunlight. Under Kate and JR’s care, that plant was born again and thrived. Fast forward 13 years and I have two raised beds in my backyard that have produced a variety of veggies which are actually edible. I have green onions sprouting on my kitchen windowsill and a Pinterest inspired herb garden made from an old pallet out back.  I’ve come a long way ….honestly, it’s pretty impressive.

While scrolling through Pinterest for garden tips, I came across this article on how to grow sweet potatoes. Over the past few years of transforming our eating habits, I have grown to really love a good sweet potato. So I found my organic, locally sourced sweet potato, meticulously prepped it according to the directions and set the Ball jar on my countertop. In the first week, white stringy roots began to develop. I”m telling you- horticultural ninja. But then that was it. I waited for a shoot. None. Waited another week with the same result. Not one shoot to be found. Discouraged,  I threw that potato into our compost bin

. My second sweet potato was even “more organic”, “more local” and I knew this time I was going to get more shoots than I could handle. Maybe I would donate my extra pounds of homegrown sweet potatoes to our food pantry! But instead….same process, wait, no shoots, frustration. My ninja horticultural skills were failing…..


We’ve all been there right? Waiting, hoping, checking, refreshing. Wondering what decision is the right decision. What decision is going to be the least regretful? When were the cosmos going to fall in line with YOUR plan?

For years, my husband and I have talked about buying a little getaway house. Maybe lakefront with a small boat? Close enough that spur of the moment trips wouldn’t be out of the question. Far enough away from suburbia that we could have space for the kids to run, swim, escape electronics. Over the last month or so that dream has changed slightly. Replacing the lake with some wide open Indiana countryside. When we first stepped foot on the property, I felt that wind blow, heard the birds calling and felt myself exhale. It was the same feeling I had when I stepped into the foyer of our current house. “I am home”.

The process of turning this dream into reality is proving to be a lesson in patience. My mind is racing with scenarios, possibilities, questions. That crystal ball would be super helpful right about now. Throughout the day I think of quotes we teach our kids

“Patience is a virtue”

“Best things come to those who wait”

Things we say over and over again when they are waiting in line at the grocery or fidgeting while their siblings finish dinner and homemade brownies call from the countertop. It’s a lesson much easier taught than learned. I am impatient and just want to know!

One afternoon this week, I was standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes and looking at my very sad sweet potato starter. Poor thing was completely “shootless”. As I picked up the Ball Jar to bring it out to the compost I noticed something. A shoot!! Lots of shoots!! But they were on the other side of the potato. Never had I thought to turn the jar around. But there, on the side of the potato that had been facing the window, were several perfect baby shoots. Growing from their mama and reaching toward the sun. Honestly, I cried.


I cried not because of the shoots (although they have reignited my dreams of a barrel full of sweet potatoes) but because I realized I was being taught the lesson this time. Instead of waiting, wishing, checking, I needed a change of perspective. I needed to turn myself towards the Son. Remember that there is a Plan in place. One that will lead myself and my family to where we will not only grow but thrive. One where we will be able to bear good fruit.

Now I will spend my time researching what to do with these baby starters instead of land values, real estate comps and building plans. I will focus on creating the best environment to allow these potatoes to thrive while I have faith that the Lord is creating the same for us. I will nurture instead of worry. I will let go of what I cannot control and focus on faith, family and honing my ninja horticultural skills.

Anyone know what to do with a shoot??

I would love to hear from you!!