The Weeds I Avoid

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My weed garden is swaying in the breeze, with cat tails and grass as tall as my shoulders. With every day that I avoid it, the whole plot gets thicket and taller and harder to weed. At this point we’re estimating it will take three hours to get the weeds out, and that just sounds like a good task to put off a little longer.

But with all of the gardening we’ve done this past week—potting herbs, planting flowers, trimming bushes and weeding the path—the grand mess of weeds in the backyard gardening plot is the eyesore that everyone sees.

“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:15, NASB).

This week God has been showing me the little thought patterns that can nearly derail the trajectory of my personal growth. Ungratefulness, self-pity, and judgement of others.  

My mom and sister sat me down and told me the attitudes and actions that they were seeing in me and concerned about. It was slightly mortifying to be confronted in such a way in my mid-thirties, in a time of transition that has been a huge challenge. But I walked away from the café where we met and knew they were right. And I thanked God that I have family who will say things because they really do love me.

And so I allowed myself to become aware of the little thoughts that seem small, but truly “ruin the vineyard”. Those pesky little weeds that end of growing deep and winding roots and choking out the life of the plant.

I struggle to accept the abundance and the ease with which we live here. I find myself not flushing toilets and making the kids share bath water because we’d never have this much water in India, we would have run out by noon every day. And it flows and flows through a sprinkler in the yard, through long showers, the dishwasher, the washing machine, the kids’ little sandbox filled up as a pool. There is this struggle with the disparity between so many in the world who don’t have, and our having these things in limitless abundance. The guilt for having “more than I need” (the space, all the food, the things, the central AC) has been leaching my joy and preventing me from receiving God’s gifts for this season.

And then I impose those judgments on others as well as myself and I’m miserable and so are they and it’s really just… awful.

What are the weeds in your life that are strangling your joy? The thoughts that keep you from living this season fully? The beliefs that bring unnecessary pain to you and others?

Today I’m going to attack the weeds in my garden, to leave it clean and spacious for all the pretty and life-giving things to grow. At first its just painful to look at, but when I start really seeing it, I begin to see the gifts that God has given me for right now.

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