Stories that Matter

And So We Plant

It’s been a hard season. A scary few months. We began May with much joy, still celebrating the birth of our first granddaughter, Annabel Rose, born at the end of April. And she is everything we and her parents prayed for. She is beautiful. Perfect. All amazing baby cuddles and snuggles and sleepy smiles and lately, all the giggles I will never get enough of.

View More:

But she has a heart condition.

And nobody saw that coming.

Annabel has something called Supra Ventricular Tachycardia, which means she has episodes where her heart will suddenly start beating very quickly, abnormally fast, and this can be extremely dangerous. Her first episode happened at her 2-week check-up. Since that day, my daughter and her husband have been in and out of hospital with their precious baby girl, as well as having to make a trip by air-ambulance up to Boston Children’s Hospital, where Annabel was seen and very well-cared for by the specialists there. I’m happy to say that she is now doing very well, on two medications which have to be given 5 times a day, but she hasn’t had an episode in a couple months now. And we continue to pray this is something she will simply outgrow.

Her parents have been completely amazing during this unexpected hard season. We have had our share of tears and questions, and yes, even anger, but through it all, God has showered us all with grace and mercy, and we know without doubt He has had Annabel in the palm of His hand the entire time.

View More: a grandma? What can I tell you? It’s so much more amazing and wonderful than I ever anticipated. And so hard at the same time. Because you want to fix it all and you can’t. But you can pray and you can hug your daughter and rock her sweet baby to sleep as many times as she needs you to, all the while wondering if you’re strong enough to handle this . . . oh, I have asked. And I remember moments with my own two children when fear crept in for one reason or another, and I remember now what I did then … I can do all things. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even when it’s hard. Even when it seems impossible.

We just do it. And He provides all the strength we need.


I’m currently spending some time up at our place in Northern Ontario. Fall brings cooler air and some much needed times before the fire, reading, talking and making plans. Visiting with friends and family. And planting.


I saw the bulbs at the gardening center. I usually pass them by because we’re rarely here in spring, so what would be the point. This year I paused. I looked at those pretty flowers on the labels, and I thought about the cleared garden my husband worked hard on over the summer, and I thought, yes. Yes. This year. Whether I see the results or not, this year I will plant. Because once they take root, those bulbs will bring a colorful array of blooms hopefully every year. It will be worth the investment of time. One day I will enjoy the display, and I’ll be glad I decided to plant.

When we decide to plant, to sow seeds, to invest . . . it’s often unintentional, isn’t it? So often we have no idea what we’re planting. Time spent with a friend in need. Hours in a hospital, exchanging a weary but grateful smile with an equally weary nurse who just wants to go home, but asks if there’s anything else she can do for you before she does. Laughter and sharing of stories with family and friends. The simple giving of yourself. Of your time. Even on the days when all you want to do is stay in bed and hide from the world.

You plant. You sow. You invest.

And perhaps not today or tomorrow or the day after that, but one day, one day we might be rewarded with a thank you, a hey remember that time you . . . or a hug, and an I love you.

I’m glad I planted those bulbs. I’m glad I spent that time in that hospital. I’m glad for the good and the bad and the very scary . . . because they allow us to grow. To trust. To believe.

And so we plant.

Posted in ,


  1. Emily Conrad on October 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

    My husband and I just planted a bunch of bulbs, too! I’m so excited to see them come up and watch them bloom in the spring. I know now what they are, but I’ll probably forget by the time they push up through the dirt. I like your point that in life, so often, we don’t know what we’re planting. Seeds of hope don’t come in neat packages with pictures on the front, but God is good. Great post, and I’m glad your granddaughter’s condition is under control!

    • Cathy West on October 2, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thanks Emily! I think we’ll have to plan a trip up here in the spring so I can see whether those bulbs came up!!

  2. Winnie Thomas on October 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Cathy, your posts never cease to inspire me. I love hearing your author’s heart, also your grandma’s heart, mother’s heart, etc. You always have such thoughtful messages. Hugs, my friend!

    • Cathy West on October 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Oh, thanks so much, Winnie! I love hearing from you!

Leave a Comment