Time to Weed the Garden

If you were to search on Pinterest, you could find quite a number of inspirational and funny quotes about life with garden themes.

  • Welcome to the garden of weedin’!
  • We got so excited, we wet our plants!
  • Let’s root for each other and watch each other grow.
  • A friend is one who looks over your broken fence and admires your flowers.
  • Trespassers will be composted!
  • If a plant is sad, do other plants photosympathise with it?
  • A garden is not a place. It is a journey.
  • Ring bell. If no one answers, pull weeds.
  • Gardener wanted. Must look good bending over.
  • Mother Nature has the best box of crayons.
  • To weed or not to weed. That is the garden.
  • Leave room in your garden for the angels to dance

Some of my favourites are the puns!

This past winter I attended a women’s conference where a young woman shared her powerful and moving testimony. At one point she talked about dealing with struggles in life. We get so overwhelmed with everything going on and we feel like we will never survive. When you feel like that, she said, remember you are not being buried, you are being planted, and seeds need to break in order to grow.

I found that to be such an amazing analogy. Sometimes we need to hit that low, reach our breaking point in order to put our life back together; to be the person God intended us to be.

This is our first summer in our new house. In the spring, I was really excited. The previous owners had maintained some really nice gardens all around the house. My last house was a semi-detached and I had just two small gardens.

The thing is, when you move into a house in the winter (and shop around in the fall), you have no idea what is in the garden. Are there any spring bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, irises?Are there many perennial plants? I am a big fan of perennials as it means less work and less money every year. But I had no idea what was in my gardens. My neighbour was helpful as she had some recollection. I had to wait to see what grew.

It turned out there are only a couple spring bulbs in the front garden. The rest are at the back of the yard where the squirrels dropped them. (Note to self: plant spring bulbs deep enough so the squirrels don’t get them.) One of my neighbours has crocuses growing in the middle of her lawn because of the little rodents. I laugh because she won’t dig them up or mow over them. There is a patch of lawn that is quite high now because she mows around them.

As spring progressed, I also realized there were no prenneials except hostas in my garden. I ended up buying and planting some annuals and perennials for my gardens. I also bought some herbs to help keep the bugs away from the sitting area.

At one point, one of my gardens at least, looked very pretty. Unfortunately, it is now mid-summer and it does not look as pretty. There are a few reasons for this.

  • The hostas are beautiful but they are so big you can’t really see anything else.
  • The hostas are so big my dog decided it is a great cooling spot. (There is lots of other places she could lay to cool off other than in my garden.)
  • This is ironic one – I am allergic to all the weeds and grass in my yard. I break out in hives as soon as I touch anything.
  • I have chronic lower back pain which does not handle bending over or being on all fours very well.

Primarily due to the last two reasons, I do not maintain my gardens very well. As a result, some of the weeds have started to overtake the gardens. I know I need to get out there soon and get rid of them. It is on my to do list.

At Celebrate Recovery (or CR as we like to call it) the goal is to find recovery over our hurts, habits and hangups. We actually use an analogy of a tree to help convey the definitions and differences of these three.

  • The roots of the tree are the hurts. It is what caused the pain and resentment.
  • The trunk and branches of the tree are the hangups . These are the lies we tell ourselves in order to protect ourselves from the pain. They often look like procrastination, anger, manipulation, depression, etc.
  • The fruit are the habits. These are the other behaviours that we use to deal with or hide the hurts and hangups. They often look like addictions, self-harm, gambling, eating disorders, etc.

As one who is going through recovery for various reasons, I compare the tree analogy to my garden. Basically, the flowers and vegetables in my gardens are the growth in my life. They are positive ad healthy. The weeds are the hurts, habits and hangups.

If I let them, the weeds will over-run my life. They will stifle any growth or progress I am trying to make. Like one of the quotes above said, if you’re life is not awesome, you are watering the weeds.

There are some areas in my life that I am not happy or content with how they are progressing. What I am doing to correct them? Am I pulling the weeds or just letting them grow wild. Unfortunately, sometimes I pull them but they grow back – very quickly.

Some days, I get so tired I just let those babies grow. I get exhausted from fighting with them all the time. Other days, instead of focusing on the whole garden, I will focus on just one area of it. Sometimes that is the best thing to do; otherwise, it can get overwhelming, trying to fix everything at the same time. And often times, it ends in failure, the weeds grow and I are back to where I started.

In Matthew 13, Jesus shares multiple parables about gardens, weeds and sowing seeds.

First there is The Parable of the Sower. Do your seeds fall on the path where they will be eaten by the birds? Do they fall on the rocks where they grow but do not really take root and get scorched by the sun? Do they land among the thorns where they get devoured by the weeds? Or do they fall on good soil where it produces a healthy crop?

The Parable of the Weeds is about heaven. The farmer planted healthy wheat then the enemy went out after dark and planted weeds. They both grew together. The farmer decided to wait to separate them at the time of the harvest.

The next parable is of the mustard seed. Jesus talks about the mustard seed, one of the smallest seeds, but it grows into one of the largest plants in the garden, which grows large enough to become a rest for the birds.

Here is a question I would like you to ponder as go go on with your day. What are you doing about the weeds in your life? It could be the hurts, habits or hangups you can’t let go of. It could be the negative people surrounding you. It could be the situation you feel you can’t get out of. These are all weeds. Are you letting them grow rampant in your garden or do you want to get rid of them for good?

Surrender them all to God today. It may not happen overnight, but with God’s help you can do it. Tell me what you are doing to get rid of the weeds in your life.

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