Weeding the Gardens of Our Lives
I know I have readers who love to garden. I do not garden but I would like to grow roses someday. I know that will be a lot of work yet very rewarding. For those of you who garden, I know you find it rewarding as well. I can imagine you don’t like to have to weed your garden, yet it is necessary for good things to grow. I know it will be necessary to weed my future roses. Just as it is necessary to weed our natural gardens at home, it is necessary to weed the garden of our lives.
What are the weeds in life you ask? They can be a number of things; people, interests, hobbies, habits, activities, and thoughts to name a few. God has been doing a lot of weeding over the past year in my life. He is weeding friendships, acquaintances, habits and interests in my life. He is doing this so that only the best things grow in my heart and in my life. Weeds in our lives are as toxic and sapping as they are in a natural garden. Toxic people “weeds” can be the worst for the gardens of our lives – they sap our strength and they can poison our hearts. Pulling people weeds can be painful at times and even cause fear and uncertainty, yet in the end, it is always worth it. I’ve had several people weeds pulled over the last year and my life is better without those people. My hope for them is that one day, they will choose to be a growing life-giving plant instead of an energy and life-sucking weed. Until then, they are not welcome in the garden of my life.
Interests and activities in life can be other “weeds” that stunt our personal growth and distract us. What do I mean by this? We can have so many activities and interests that we don’t rest! Our interests and activities can even take the place of family and friends in our lives to the point we really don’t connect with anyone. To relate this to a garden scenario, we are planted very shallow and loosely in the soil and can easily be uprooted by another interest, hobby or activity we are using to keep us busy. When we are rooted so loosely in the soil of life and not connecting on a deeper level with others, it is usually because we have something we are ashamed of or something we don’t want to deal with. In order deal with our issues and step out of shame, we have to get rid of incessant activity and interest weeds in order to connect with others and to anchor our lives. A person or plant growing in shallow ground is easily uprooted and tossed around by any kind of whim which does not translate to stability.
Now for those pesky habit “weeds.” Habit weeds are the things we have done since we can remember – whether that be an action, a thought or a belief. Habits can be things we have learned from others or reactions to times of hurt. Habits can be self-protective or self-destructive. Habit weeds clutter our garden of life just as the interest and activity weeds can. Habit weeds can choke new things we are trying to learn or stunt personal growth we have started already. Habit weeds may even kill us if they are addictions. Habit weeds are hard to pull but they can be pulled. You have to get to the root of why you have the habit, then you can pull that weed. We have to plant a new habit in our lives so old habits don’t grow back. This will require soul searching, heart examination and allowing God to till the soil of your heart. From experience I can tell you, self-examination, soul searching, and God’s tilling will be worth it! He recently pulled a spending habit weed in my life that I will be writing about in another blog. I can see the difference even now!
And now for the last weed that grows in our lives – the thought “weed”, the negative/self-destructive thought weed. These weeds can, like our habits, be rooted deep in our heart soil. They can drive how we see life and how we live life. They can kill the good plants growing in our garden of life. Thought weeds like habit weeds can also be hard to pull but it can be done! And like habit weeds, we have to plant a different thought that will build us up in order for the old weed to not grow back. How do we do this? We meditate on good things. We meditate on how God sees us. We meditate on how much he loves us. We meditate on His Word. His Word and good things can help us grow good thought plants that choke the old thought weeds.
Does this make sense to you today? I hope the garden analogy throughout this blog was helpful in explaining how our hearts work and what is at stake if we don’t allow God and ourselves to weed them. Weed the gardens of your lives as you need to – what you plant there must have good soil to grow in and thrive so you can live the best and most abundant life God has for you. You won’t miss those weeds, and you will surprised by how light your heart feels once they are gone.
Keep weeding, Elizabeth