If you've been following my blog, you might remember a recent post entitled 'To do or not to do?' The basic theme was giving myself (and you!) permission to not do certain things, things that are driven by guilt or an overriding feeling that we should be doing them - kind of like the opposite of a 'to do' list. If you're still unclear, just read the post here! It would seem that many people had been yearning for a bit of freedom in their lives, as this was my fourth most popular post ever....well, in the 5 months that I have been blogging anyway!
One of the items on my 'To Don't' list is gardening. I know that the green-fingered, creative people amongst you, will not understand my dislike of all things horticultural but there are many reasons behind these feelings, the number one reason being 'dirt' - I am just not a fan of getting the stuff under my fingernails and with gardening, there seems to be an abundance of it!
You will therefore be as surprised as I was to find myself gardening one Saturday, just a few weeks back. What was going on?!! It was the weekend before our holiday and I had been moaning to the OH about the state of the garden - full of unfinished projects, overgrown flowerbeds, bald patches on the lawn etc etc. You know, the usual moans that us wives inflict upon our poor long-suffering husbands from time to time. The ones that readily fall on deaf ears but make us feel sooo much better for having a good rant...or is that just me? Anyway, after said rant, I actually felt a tad guilty for layering it on with a trowl (pardon the pun) and so thought I would don my shorts (the sun was shining on that particular day) and give him a hand with the weeding. I also managed to persuade DD2 to assist me in the task, double-whammy on the surprise front! I can't believe that I am letting myself down here by admitting that I was doing something through guilt....failed at the first hurdle on my 'to don't' list! But guess what? I actually enjoyed it.
the entire morning about 2 hours weeding one particular flower bed, which had been left to get rather out of hand and wild over the last year. As DD2 and I quietly went about our business - her pulling out the smaller weeds and me digging up the bigger ones - I got to thinking (it was a great opportunity to think in the stillness and peacefulness of the garden). Although from a distance our flowerbed looked ok (hence it not being
tended to for at least a year), on closer inspection it was actually ugly and incredibly overgrown.
WARNING: This is where it gets deep and meaningful....
I think that our lives can very easily become a little like this over-grown, weed-ridden flower bed, if we don't tend to it often enough. Let me explain....
First of all, there were the weeds - DD2 and I were sometimes confused as to what was a weed and what wasn't (told you we weren't natural gardeners!) A weed can look so pretty sometimes, but if left to grow, will run amock and ruin anything else that has been purposefully planted. I think that 'weeds' can also take root in our lives and detract from the healthy aspects. Oh yes, they might seduce us at the start, due to their attractive appearance (perhaps a person or a new job opportunity offering more money), but by letting them take over, the affect on our life and inevitably our family, might not be a good one.
Whilst weeding, we also came across many other things in this flower bed....mugs, dog toys, plastic bags - how on earth did they get there?! These things are all very useful in their rightful place but in a flower bed? Not so much! I think that random things can appear in our lives that were never intended to be there in the first place - perhaps someone asked us to get involved in a project or we began a hobby that really isn't suited to our personality and before we know it, we are wondering how that thing (or maybe person), got there in the first place! I am a big believer in God having a destiny for our lives and therefore these 'things' just distract us from His purpose.
What am I saying? Basically, I think it's important to have a good old 'weed' of our lives every now and again, regardless of our thoughts on God or Christianity. Like a garden, it might mean that our life looks a bit bare for a while but by replanting new things (healthy relationships or good habits) it will soon be full of freshly grown 'shrubs' that are not only meant to be there, they look beautiful and compliment the other 'plants'.
This year I decided to stop doing a couple of things that I knew needed to be uprooted from my life - I stood back from a few relationships that weren't all that healthy, I reduced time spent on facebook and rather bravely, resigned from the school PTA after 4 years! I am someone who likes to be busy so although cutting things out of my life makes me feel a little nervous, it also gives me the opportunity to 'plant' good things: I enrolled on a course to further my writing interests, started up this blog, went on a parenting course (where I learnt loads and wrote some posts about here) and committed to regularly attending a book group with some of my church friends (now such a vital part of my week with friends who have become very precious to me).
If you've reached the end of this post
you deserve a medal, I am hoping that it will also make you think - has anything taken 'root' in your life that perhaps needs to be removed? Or maybe your life is looking a bit bare and it's time to plant some 'new seeds' that may well look fairly unspectacular to start with but when in the right 'season', will become something very beautiful. Happy gardening!
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