Weeding Wisely to Increase Joy
I spent most of the day outside, tending my herb and flower garden while my 3 year old played nearby.
It’s warm enough now to plant, so I bought a few herbs to replace several that didn’t survive the winter: parsley, mint, and basil. I spent hours pulling weeds and showing Brayden how to find and eliminate them so we could replace them with something better.
Among the herbs, I also added pansies (a favorite of mine), freesia, pink flowering ornamental strawberries, and violets.
While I worked, I listened to my Bible App (Hebrews) and also enjoyed a podcast.
I also tried my hand this week at propagating roses for our yard. Though there are detailed YouTube videos on how to do this, you basically cut a piece of new growth under a leaf node off at a 45 degree angle, dip it in water for a minute, scrape the outer layer of the stem off with the side of scissors, dip it into rooting hormone, and place it in a cup full of potting soil or perlite. It is then misted with water until moistened and placed in a ziplock bag to make a small greenhouse environment for each plant. They’ll require misting every few days and in 6 weeks, roots should form. I’m very excited about the possibility of propagating some of my grandmother’s roses and bringing them to my yard. I have a bleeding heart bush from my husband’s childhood home that I propagated using root cuttings and it makes me smile whenever I see it. There’s something satisfying about connecting times and places and people through flowers and conservation.
Whenever I garden, I’m reminded of how much it parallels life. Jesus used gardening terms when he taught: branches connected to the Vine, sowing, reaping, various types of soil and ground, broadcasting seed, mustard seed sized faith, plants thriving near rivers of water, and the life of the godly being compared to watered garden.
Especially as I pull weeds, I’m reminded that so many areas of life need to be removed in order to make room for what is truly life-giving. Weeds easily overtake and crowd out those aspects of life that bring beauty, nourish your soul, and feed and heal your body.
Weeds will choke out your joy if you’re not alert. “The cares of this world.” It’s a slow creep, barely noticeable. Weeds crowd and steal space and use necessary oxygen.
We may need to weed out busyness where we’ve over-committed and run ahead of God. We may need to plant ourselves still before Him so we can worship.
We may need to weed out the hidden-in-plain-sight sin that has so entangled us that we believe it’s just part of our DNA –who we are. We may need to plant the Word before our eyeballs and meditate on Truth in order to get back on the righteous path.
We may need to weed out friendships that are mediocre or toxic, or worldly influences that are not honoring God nor helping us thrive spiritually. We may need to plant ourselves with godly friends, older women, and those who are doing right and acknowledging God in all their ways.
We may need to turn off the noise, the social media, the books, the TV, the hobbies, the chatter that steals our attention from the One who truly deserves our undivided devotion. We may need to rearrange our time so that God gets the first fruits.
Weeding is tedious, hard stuff, but it makes space for the crop that you want to harvest in the end.
Saying no to one is saying yes to another. Weeding wisely increases your success and your joy.
Summer is right around the corner, and I want to challenge you to do some weeding so your life can flourish and grow with grace.
Might you have a few weeds to pull? Ask:
- What is sinful, ungracious, and unlovely?
- What is hindering me from following God and pursuing His best?
- What is keeping me from loving others first and best?
- What is weighing me down?
- Where am I easily offended and where does Satan enjoy tripping me up time and time again?
- Where am I easily angered and frustrated? Again, where does Satan keep me defeated by pushing my buttons?
- What friendship leaves me depleted? Which one is not based on mutual respect and edification?
To purposefully plant, ask:
- Lord, what do you have for me in your Word today?
- Lord, where is my first circle of influence and what jobs have you assigned only to me? How can I be most influential there?
- Where is God burdening me to act?
- Who needs my kindness today?
- What is God teaching me through this thing?
- What virtue is the Holy Spirit asking me to put on?
- Which friendships refresh and encourage me? Which friendships are based on mutual respect? Whose life points me to Christ?
I hope these questions help you to navigate the maze of your own heart and encourage you to seek the important and eternal aspects of life that will bring you joy.
Have a lovely week tending the garden of your heart and hearth,