A couple of garden boxes that line the fence, a few pots and whiskey barrels around the yard – they are my “green cathedral.” Call it strange if you like, but there is something about tending plants at dusk that will give you cause to meditate – to meditate on life, and where you are going in this “million-mile-race.” The thought that has gotten a grip on me out there this year: WEEDS.
There are so many things in my life that grow up where I don’t want them to. Weeds in my life pervade and take up valuable time and space, leaving for the things that I do want to do…the things that strengthen me spiritually and physically.
This wave has been slapping me in the face daily. I see the better choices, the ones that my higher senses would and should opt for, and I usually opt for the things that are easier and quicker and closer. The things that appeal to the lower senses always seem to have the upper hand.
TV vs. Exercise
Fast Food vs. the salad
social media vs. time with family
the list could go on for a long time…
I’ve spent some time contemplating WEEDS this year, amateur gardener that I am. As I pulled up the mint plant, it was heavy on my mind.
I bought the mint last year – as in paid money for it.
Can you pay money for weeds? You can when they take over your garden! My garden space was overrun by the stuff. So I pulled as much mint up as I could manage this spring.
…and then I put it in a pot.
Some things are only weeds when not properly contained. Things that grow too quickly and easily, things that can overrun your life: THEY NEED BARRIERS. (more on that later)
I also think about weeds as I pull young saplings out of our grass. Other people pay money for these young trees…but when they grow in the wrong place…when they can hinder your ability to enjoy or even use your yard, your life, you have to pull them.
I’m too lazy to look it up, but I think about it every day that I pull them. From observation, I’m thinking – weeds are:
- legitimate plants that grow where you don’t want them
- plants that grow easily and quickly
- plants that will TAKE over your garden space
- weeds are a fact of life, a constant THAT DOESN’T STOP
If you want to garden, I’m pretty sure that some time and energy HAS to go into weeds…preventing, pulling, containing etc.
In my life, weeds abound. A few months ago I began to see just how tangled in the weeds I can get. How do you balance? How do you keep weeds at bay? kids needs? facebook? responsibilities? admin work for special needs? the many challenges of being a special needs mother and balancing life with siblings? running a house? supporting a career? hours upon hours of volunteer work?
Too many weeds.
And when there are too many weeds, your life supply starts getting cut off.
Weeds can kill the good plants…the plants that you need to eat…to live.
In years past, I’ve read books on countless topics to solve problems. This time – I prayed, and kept praying and writing.
In this time I decided to trial different baby steps. Looking back, I realize that the most important step was to realize that change was needed.
Although I’m pretty sure that everyone on the planet deals with weeds of one sort or another, what works for one of us may not be the best solution for all weeds in all lives. All I can do is tell you what has helped me. You can take or leave whatever works for your life.
- Identify the weeds. Take time to write about the things that bring joy to your soul and those around you, and the things that subtract to your life
- Pray about these things
- How do you make the life-giving plants (those that bear fruit in your life) grow?
- How do you put boundaries around the herbs that can enhance your life, (perhaps things on your phone: social media or email or whatever those things are for you)?
- How can you eliminate the weeds?
- How can you maintain your garden? What is your plan to KEEP weeds at bay?
On the practical side, for me, when I prayed about these things, I realized that the first thing I did in the morning was – grab my phone, skim emails, dabble in volunteer work, social media, emails, admin duties for my son’s medical needs…and those things over-ran my day. I gave first dibs to my weeds,
…and I gave them last dibs too. I charged my phone by my bed, and so before bed, I would repeat that cycle.
If I couldn’t sleep…repeat cycle.
These things had TOO much real estate in my mind.
They took me from the present constantly. They entered my thoughts even when my phone wasn’t in hand.
For a while I put good apps on my phone, and gave them precedence. I would read my bible and devotionals on my phone.
…but the barriers were too thin, and the weeds began to take over again.
So, in my prayer, in becoming dependent, I found the barrier I needed: I now charge my phone in the kitchen.
I don’t look at it first.
I don’t look at it last,
and if I can, I don’t look at it for the first hour of the day.
The first hour of the day is a precious one, and we set patterns for our mind in that hour. If I check my phone in the spare seconds of the morning, I pave the road to keep up that same route for the rest of the day.
So for me, keeping my phone at a distance, dusting off the old alarm clock, and avoiding my phone during breakfast…these were the barriers I needed to keep my very helpful but pervasive weeds at bay…and this all came through the illumination that comes in prayer, reading scripture, and meditating (I do this with a pen, really).
And even since writing this I am reminded that ANYTHING can become a weed, or just about. Any love, any passion, any necessity can grow out of proportion without proper barriers, and the barriers for each are unique. Writing, reading, snapping pictures, things I love, they can easily become weeds too, if I let them over-run the day, and seeing how to prevent that…not always simple. But I am convinced that living dependent…in prayer will illuminate the needed barriers.