Lessons in Gardening

Weeds & Life

Let me start off by saying I absolutely love seeing peoples beautiful gardens. I know a lot of hard work went into them, I just didn’t realize how much hard work!  My husband and I purchased a home that was in foreclosure last year. Yeah us! (Let’s be real for a moment, the housing market is insane in Oregon! Who can really afford these prices without spending every penny that they make??? Not us! So foreclosure it was!)  I should have realized what I was getting into when we got the keys. For this post, I’m only going to focus on the yard. That will be enough for one evening!

The yard – weedville – was SCARY! The backyard had grass that was taller than my waste. A small child could get lost out there! Neighborhood cats loved it though as it was prime hunting ground for I don’t even want to know what. (shudder) The front yard, well, the bank had it mowed so it looked “better” but it was awful. The previous owners most have really enjoyed roses. There were so many of them! I would say they were gorgeous but they were out of control! My husband is close to 6’4″ and some of the bushes were taller than he was!  We chopped everything down just to make it through the summer and I figured I’d deal with it come next spring.

Well…spring is here. So are the weeds! Seriously, how can there be so many of them??? Where on earth are they coming from? Didn’t I kill that exact same weed last weekend? sigh I’m discovering that in order to have a beautiful garden I have to do a lot of hard work first!

My first weekend weeding I lasted roughly 1 hour. My aches and pains lasted 4 days! Whew! I am out of shape when it comes to this type of workout. I have some wonderfully annoying blackberries that are attempting to grow right through the middle of my flowers. Not cool blackberries, not cool. There is also this utterly annoying type of weed that is literally everywhere in the garden bed. So I started working on one end. Two feet. That is all the space I was able to clear in an hour. (Hindsight, I should have taken a picture to include in this post…I’ll get a few this weekend, promise!)

As I’m working on what I have decided is the worst weed on earth, I realized it is coming intertwined intricately with my flowers. I’m not 100% sure if the flowers it was intertwined with are the day lilies, coneflowers, or some other flower that I’m not even aware is in that spot. All I know was that in order to get the weeds, some of the starts of the flowers had to be sacrificed. This got me thinking.

I didn’t want to destroy what would be a beautiful flower. However, if I didn’t sacrifice a few, would more be destroyed due to the menace of the weeds? My thought was yes.  Some of the roots of the weeds were so deep that they were wrapped around the flower. I didn’t have a choice but to loose a few to protect the many. And let’s talk about those roots. Some of the weeds had roots that were about 12″ long! That is some serious depth to that seemingly small weed! This got me going deep – not in the dirt – but in the depth of my soul.

What weeds to I have in my life? What looks small on the surface yet has a root that goes deep into my being? How often do I pull the weed at the top and feel satisfied that I got several of the roots, even if I didn’t get the main one because it was just simply too much work?  And how often do I avoid dealing with the weed because in order to get rid of it I might have to sacrifice something beautiful in my life? So if I ignore that weed am I putting the rest of myself in danger?

I ended up having a nice long talk with God about this. What exactly was the lesson I was supposed to be learning? Where did I need to be paying attention/pruning in my life? Was I willing to do what needed to be done to get to the root of the issue?  Or was I going to hope for the best and only deal with the surface issues and small roots that were easy to attack? Honest moment? I had no desire to go deep. Surface is where I wanted to focus. However, my heart kept telling me that I needed to face the truth – to go wherever God led me and actually deal with the weeds in my life.

I’m slowing moving in the direction I’m supposed to go. It’s not comfortable. Part of it is painful. Most of it is scary.  I feel vulnerable.  I don’t know what all I’m doing. I do know that God is in control. There will be many lessons along the way. The end result will be worth it. And if the root is completely dealt with, I will most likely have a different life in many aspects. And you know what, it will be worth it. So one step at a time, sometimes fast, sometimes slow – never giving up. From caterpillar to butterfly – let’s see where the journey goes!