Seedling to Sequoia – Small Beginnings

Johnny was a Revolutionary War veteran.

What to do after the war in a new land? Travel west and throw out seeds. Apple seeds.

Yes, John Chapman will forever be remembered as “Johnny Appleseed” who planted apple nurseries and orchards throughout Ohio and Indiana. These apple trees helped transform the pioneer land into homesteads, and thus built a new nation.

Imagine what a few little seeds can do.

I used to live near Muir Woods in northern California. I will never forget my first visit to see those amazingly huge Redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens), many of which were almost 2000 years old. Often measuring 20 feet wide and 300 feet tall, they are some of God’s most majestic creations. Their root system goes down about 12 feet and spreads an 80-foot diameter underground.

Once each of these giant trees was only a small seed. But a single seed can produce phenomenal results. And one Sequoia, when it matures, often produces 400,000 seeds of its own every year. Think of the potential!

We sow seeds every day as well.

“We either sow to please our sinful nature, or we sow to please the Spirit. We can’t do both. Sowing to please the sinful nature means I cultivate those impulses that indulge myself and mock God. But God is not mocked. We reap what we sow, and then we store what we reap.” – Mark Buchanan

Planting a seed always involves elements of risk. It must fall into the ground and die. It must be trusted to the elements and allowed to break open and change in order to become what it was meant to be.

Will my actions and my words plant seeds of goodness and faith?

The one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.2 Corinthians 9.6

One of the parables Jesus taught about planting was the farmer sowing seeds which landed on several different kinds of soil– well-traveled path, rocky, thorny, and good. The consequence from each was different — and life-changing.

Do not despise the small beginnings in your life today.

What is the soil of your heart today? Tend it well so that God’s seed will grow.

Benediction:  My child, the seed planted in your heart, whether recently or long ago, is now deep in soil. Though you cannot see it, it is growing. Your job is to receive this seed with the healthiest atmosphere possible – open to a new mind and new heart. Taking your time to discover My will and My way. As the blossoms appear, you will then scatter seed far and wide for others. I am confident of this.

Lucinda Secrest McDowell in “Dwelling Places”

May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at


  1. Meadow Merrill on June 30, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Love this, Cindy. I was thinking of you this week and wanted to write you a note saying how much I admire all of your leadership and writing. Thank you for sharing this encouraging word.

  2. Maggie+Rowe on June 30, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Praying for you as you speak and teach at Camp of the Woods, inspiring others to sow good seeds and dwell deep!

  3. Lisa Larsen Hill on June 30, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    Lucinda, I also lived near Muir Woods and appreciated with awe God’s creation. Thanks for reminding us of having the patience and perseverance to grow.

  4. Susan Harris on June 30, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you long time friend. Just what I needed to hear and be reminded the Lord is at work. Love to you all, Susan

  5. Georgan Reitmeier on June 30, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Such an important message! Thank you for pricking my heart with His Word.

  6. Jeannie+Waters on June 30, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for reminding us we sow seeds wherever go. I appreciate the Mark Buchanan quote and your wise words.

  7. Carol billings on July 2, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Sorry to have missed you at Camp-of-the Woods. For sure, you were a blessing. (have a granddaughter on staff this summer) Thought similarly to your beautiful story after noticing a wayward beech seed pod on the steps — no soil there…Also, congrats on your wedding anniversary. Carol Billings

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