I like it when things are growing in my house.

Well, I don’t like all of the things that grow in my house: mold on the cheese, spiders in the corner, frost on the windows. But there are other things that grow, like house plants on the shelf or the bacteria in the compost bucket, that mean my household is contributing, not just consuming, in this world. And I like that.

Just before Christmas, I bought a rosemary bush and a pink poinsettia to bring a little more life and growth into my life. And last week, as I was pining over the seed catalog from Henry Fields, I decided to plant some lettuce and basil in pots. Just to see if this little home in the suburbs could grow more. 
The basil is still iffy; like most herbs, it likes pretty warm soil for germination. And though my home is certainly a warm haven from the great outdoors, it never gets above 68 degrees.
Perhaps the basil should put on a sweater, like I do.
But the lettuce thrives in cool weather, and it germinated quickly sitting next to my living room window. It’s now enjoying a sunny spot in the laundry room, just over the washer and dryer. If the seed pack is correct, I’ll be eating salad grown in my own home by the end of February.
It’s not really the salad I am excited about, though. It’s the growth. With snow covering the ground, and the leaves and bushes standing stark naked in the yard, some days it seems nothing will ever grow again. And some days, when the winter outside seems to find a way to blow biting breezes into my insides, deep in my heart, I wonder if anything will ever grow again in there, either.
So, lettuce is not the only thing I am planting in this house. I sow quiet prayers of gratitude and fertilize with rich truths from His word, and I trust that the Lord who makes a tiny lettuce seed die unto life will also continue to produce growth in me.
Another thing that is growing in my house this winter is my new puppy, Tilly, who just came to live with me last night and is napping like a little angel on the floor behind me as I type.
When my black Lab, Precious, died last fall, she left a big hole in my life and heart. Until she was gone, I didn’t realize just how much a part of my life she had become. In those early days after, I didn’t know if I could ever get another dog. Then, when I begin to dream of a pet again, I decided I just couldn’t get another Lab. When I dog sat for another Lab over Christmas, I decided maybe I should get another Lab, but not a black one. And not a puppy.
However, when I found out about Tilly, one of eight black Lab puppies, my heart melted, and here we are. Maybe this is also growth.
Meet Tilly, my new black Lab puppy.