Gardener Needed - Part 3
What is a perfect Saturday morning for you?
If you're a hairstylist or realtor or doctor or another occupation where Saturday's are more like your Monday's, think of your day off.)
Maybe it involves sleeping in or brunch with your friends. And if you have kids, you're thinking, "Brunch? Sleeping in? What is that?"
Give it some time. You'll experience this again one day.
If you're like me, an efficiency enthusiast, 8:30 will usually qualify as sleeping in. And even when I wake early to go for a run or play volleyball with friends, there's something beautiful about a Saturday morning.
You know one thing I didn't hear in that list of perfect Saturday activities?
I worked so hard last Spring building new flower beds. I prepared the soil, planted the trees, rose bushes, plants and flowers, even laid the mulch. And ya know what?
I never fully understood my grandparents' comment, "You're growing like a weed, my dear" until I started gardening.
It's my nemesis. I hate 'em. Loathe them entirely.
I give my flowers plenty of water and even Miracle-Gro, yet the weeds grow even faster. They seem to pop up over night. If I leave them unattended, they'll take over the once beautiful flower beds.
Gosh, it's work! Leaves you asking, "Whyyyy?"
Why Do Weeds Grow?
Weeds are considered opportunistic and grow when conditions are favorable. It has to do with the temperature, moisture levels, and density of the turf, but they can even be found in cracks in roads, sidewalks, or driveways.
In short, weeds can grow anywhere there's room.
My flower beds are nothing too special to brag about but it's a humble start, and it thrills my heart to see new blooms.
My Momma had given me a hydrangea when I first moved into my home. Now it's grown, and, to quote Agnes from Despicable Me, "It's so fluffy, I want to die!"
It's exactly how I feel. Like a kid at the fair with a great, big, new toy.
My heart explodes!
I'm a wannabe gardener with no green thumb, but I do what I can.
Sticks, Weeds, Someone Else Please
A leader I admire once shared insight on the importance of initiative. He shared a story about a stick, and it's always stuck with me.
It's simple - almost too simple - but it's true.
After being outside with his kids, he was about to go in when he noticed a stick laying in his yard. Initially, he tried to dismiss it. After all, it's just a stick.
Living in Oklahoma, I'm sure he thought the wind might blow it away. Ya know, blow into a neighbor's yard and let them deal with it...
He took another step toward the house, then paused.
His next thought stopped him in his tracks.
"If I don't pick up the stick, who will? This is my house. No one else is responsible for this stick. I can't just leave this and let my yard pile up with sticks or push it off on my neighbor."
Like I said, this simple story has stuck with me. I think of this when I come to seemingly small things I'd rather not do.
The thing is, all big things start as small things.
It's a lot easier to take care of them when they're small - like pick up a stick here and there rather than when it piles up and becomes a full blown Saturday chore.
I feel this way about the weeds, too. I make time every weekend to pull weeds and nurture my flower beds, getting on my hands and knees to pull out the weed with the root.
It's hot. It's dirty. It's sweaty work.
As the sweat beads start pouring down my neck and back, I begin to think, "This is not fun. Is this even worth it?"
Tending the Garden of Our Souls
As I was pullin' weeds this time, a thought came to me. A very convicting thought. When things get quiet and I get away from the noise and busyness, God speaks. Or actually I think He's always speaking to us.
Rather, I hear.
I began to think how I give an hour to pulling weeds and tending the flower beds each week, but do I give the same time to pulling weeds in my heart and tending the garden of my soul?
Forget an hour and a half, do I even give it five minutes? Less than a minute a day?
Why is this?
Same reasons. It's hot. It's dirty. It's sweaty work. I begin to think, "This is not fun. Is this even worth it?"
Cleaning out the ugly parts in us is not fun. It's incredibly humbling as we acknowledge we are sinners. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans,
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
All. That's me. That's you.
A yardstick of grace. Gosh, we need it. We need to come before our heavenly Father in prayer and ask Him to come into our hearts. Transform us into His likeness.
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. - Psalm 139:23-24
Search me. Try me. Lead me. These action words when prayed invite God to draw near and have full access to us.
Because He knows our hearts and thoughts better than we know ourselves, He is able to lead us better than we could ever lead ourselves.
Search me. Try me. Lead me. Powerful words of surrender.
We find strength on our knees, with hands in the dirt, asking God to come pull the weeds. Cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Restore us and use us for His glory.
We find joy in the forgiveness and peace in the restoration.
It's not a once and done type of thing. Remember the weeds? They grow anywhere there's room. We can't give them room. We choke the weeds by spending time with the Lord, in His Word. We let truth change us from the inside out.
So now, it's time for the hard question. One moment of honesty - one moment of bravery - could set you free. Here it is.
What are the weeds in your heart? What is the stick you want to ignore and let someone else deal with?
Here's the thing. No one else can deal with it. You have to do this. And you can. Get away from the noise and the distractions. Offer a simple prayer to your heavenly Father. Repent and turn from this to His loving arms and ask for forgiveness.
And, find rest in forgiveness.
He's faithful and can be trusted.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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