Sometimes in life, we’re wise to take cues from the world around us; here are 3 life lessons I learned from weeding.
Hey! The month of July has me crisscrossing the country, from a road trip to Chicago to a plane ride “home” to Oregon. While I’m away, I’ve lined up some awesome guest posts for y’all. Today, Angela is sharing some wisdom she’s gained while working in her flower beds.
I love the Spring and early Summer. I’m not a very experienced gardener of flowers or vegetables, but I have tried to make the space around our house beautiful with flowers. We moved into our house 9 years ago and my husband and I worked patches of the hard clay soil with compost and a lot of sweat so that we could have a few flower beds.
With the beautiful budding flowers and Spring rain come weeds. Lots of them. Every time I weed the garden beds, I find myself meditating on how there are life lessons we can learn from weeding. Today I was weeding the garden beds for the second time this season and reflecting on 3 life lessons from weeding.
1. Pull weeds early and often. The first time I pulled weeds this season, there were a lot of them – but they were small and their roots were thin so they pulled up easily. This time – I had neglected the garden beds and some of the weeds took two hands and all my muscle to pull out. Some I couldn’t even pull out with just my hands – I needed a tool.
All of us have vices, negative habits or thoughts, sins – whatever you personally call them. There are things that we do in our personal lives that are unhealthy for us. These “weeds” can’t be neglected. We need to be vigilant about knowing what our triggers are and pulling out our “weeds” before they take root in our lives.
2. Know your flowers. Like I said, I’m not a very experienced gardner. It’s hard for me to tell some weeds from my flowers, especially if they aren’t blooming yet. When I’m weeding the garden bed I will sometimes have to stop myself and check if the green plant is also showing up in our lawn – if it is, that’s a pretty good sign it’s a weed! Some weeds are surprisingly pretty – until they start taking over the flower bed.
The “weeds” that we talked about in point #1 can sometimes seem like a good thing in our lives. It looks impressive. It feels right. Lots of people may have them. However, it takes reflection and clarity on our personal and our family goals and values to recognize when a weed is a weed in our life together.
One example of this in our family is the weed of video game systems. I’m starting to see that the Xbox causes my kids to want to stay inside and be sedentary. We’re trying to figure out how to moderate or extinguish screen time in order to make room for family goals of outdoor time and movement.
3. Mulch heavily – it keeps the weeds at bay. We usually make a trip out to our city wood dump for free mulch and compost every year. I haven’t gone this year and it’s showing in our garden beds! I’ve mulched in the past and it does slow the weed growth a great deal.
I’d like to venture to say that “mulching” in our lives will have some similar features. When we are trying to keep the “weeds” at bay, we need community, focusing on the good and healthy habits in our lives, and space to reflect.
I personally mulch with the spiritual disciplines of prayer and bible study, journaling, and the ways mentioned above.
How do you “mulch” your garden bed of life?
When not weeding her garden beds, Angela is a mom of three sons, wife, and works part-time outside the home. She loves to write, read, and run. Angela blogs at Setting My Intention where she shares how she is simplifying life – starting with decluttering her home. Please stop by!