Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

"Rain, rain, go away!!!"...but as the rain goes away and the sun dries us out a bit, I venture outside only to find my gardens filled with WEEDS!!  Those stinky plants that creep in alongside the flowers and become eye-sores in the soil.  Grrr...I hate weeding!!  Probably because it feels like a never ending battle....and maybe a little because I promised myself I would take care of them little by little this year (every year!) so I wouldn't have this problem.  But here I stand - trowel and bucket in gloved hands - needing to weed.

It reminds me a lot of my life actually.  After a season of inattention in an area, I return to find "weeds".  (Heck, even if I am paying attention the weeds pop up.)  You know...weeds - those bad habits that we pick up along the way.  Little things that seem like they are no big deal until they start to choke out life.  (Still don't get it?  Let me list a few of the weeds I see in my life....spending too much time on the computer, saying "yes" too many times, eating poorly, sitting around when I should get out and move, get the picture.)

I stand on the edge of the garden of my life and sigh.  I know I need to dig out the weeds, but it all seems a little overwhelming.  This is where my real yard becomes my teacher...

1.  Start with a small space.  Maybe it is just me, but if I can focus on a small plot of dirt and get it weeded, I gain energy to move to the next little piece, then the next and so on.  The same is true in my life....I need to focus on one little piece at a time and remove the weeds from that space.  Only then can I look at the next area.

2.  Kneel.  It is hard to weed without getting on your knees or at least bending low.  How else will you identify a weed from a keeper?  The weeding posture teaches me about how to approach my life.  I think we need to have an attitude of humility to look at our lives, identify, name our weeds, and do something with them.  Perhaps kneeling to weed also reminds up that getting rid of unwanted habits also requires a little praying too!

3.  Get the root.  I used to let my kids help weed the garden, but realized they loved to pull up what they could see but didn't know to dig deep and get the root out.  Sometimes I am like that.  I just want to take care of the surface because digging out the root of a bad habit is really, really, really (did I mention really?) tough.  However, as every good gardener knows (or anyone who has taken biology) if you don't get the root out, the weed will return over and over and over again.  

4.  Mulch it or plant something.  Once the weeds are gone, the best thing to do is replace their ground cover presence with something actually beneficial like mulch....or I guess you could add flowers or veggies in their stead.  Either way, it doesn't keep them from ever returning, but the space the weeds could take up is now used for something else.  Maybe the same is true in our lives.  We need to replace bad-habit-weeds with good habits or we will be left with a void which only becomes new real estate for new weeds!

{Bonus Observation....Get the weeds before they go to seed!  Once you let your weeds scatter and travel, they create way more work for you (and your neighbors)!!  In everyday language...once you see your bad habits in your kids or affecting those around you, there is a lot of work to be done!  And it involves a lot more humble kneeling!!!}

May your April showers bring May flowers...not weeds!!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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