When There Are Weeds

Gardening isn’t something that I’ve ever enjoyed.  I blame Sundays.

Growing up, I could count on the following four things happening every. single. Sunday.

First, church.  Next, change into swimsuits as soon as you get home and head outside to begin an hour or two of grueling yard work in the sizzling balmy South Florida sun. Thirdly, end the agony by jumping into the swimming pool; and finally, follow it all up with soup and sandwiches on the patio.

Every Sunday.

Like clockwork.

Only, yard-work.

As you can imagine, I learned a few lessons.

The first one left scars.

If we didn’t get out there and start all the weeding and what-not before the scorching Florida sunshine was fully ablaze, we’d find ourselves turning into crispy critters.  And I did – on far too many occasions. As my handful of burnt off pre-melanomas proclaim. Putting sunscreen on, before heading out, always seemed like such a waste of time.

I’ll tell you what was wasted – my youth!  Ol’ Georgie Bernard Shaw had it right.

I also learned that Sandwiches taste better after hard work. That was an easy one.

But, the lesson that has really grown a life of its own, has to do with weeds.

If you’ve ever pulled weeds, you can probably agree that weeding is not for the weak.  There are some that require more than a short quick yank, to remove. Some weeds require a full-on excavation! They’ve got to be worked over with a spade, cajoled and wiggled,  and maybe even wrung out with an extra pair of hands.

Sometimes, though, when time is tight and hands are scarce, those weeds start growing like crazy cakes. I say things like, “Oh, I’ll get to them next week,” and “Two weeks off isn’t gonna hurt much.” As long as those weeds aren’t eye-level and I can tamp them down with each footfall toward what I’d rather be doing, it’s no problem. Excuses pile up and before I know it, the weeds take over.

There are weeds in my life that have grown far too tall for me not to notice anymore.  And some of them have become downright thorny!


Self-discipline may indeed be a Spirit that we’re promised to be given, but I was starting to wonder if a little less was sprinkled on me.  Maybe the Self-discipline dispensary was near to empty?  I don’t know.

What I do know, is that sometimes, I really have to dig deep to force myself to do things that I know I should be doing. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that I need to call on that self-discipline that I’ve been promised.

Exercise. Wiggle, cajole.

Ordering the egg-white wrap instead of the donut. Extra pair of lips to talk me down.

Spending daily time, quietly meditating on God’s Word – or even just thinking on all that I have to be thankful for! Get that spade – I need to dig!

Looking back, I think Ahab had it exactly right. Put God first, family time next (even if it was in the form of torture yard work), and play to follow.  I’m even thinking that the eating had its proper place right there at the end, too.

So, if you’ll excuse me, there is some weeding that must be done around here.

But first, please pass the sunscreen?

11 thoughts on “When There Are Weeds

  1. I am currently facing a plot of knee high weeds begging for my attention after more neglect than I care to admit. And God continues to teach me, too, through the kneeling and pulling and toiling in the garden. Beautiful words, my friend. May I borrow some sunscreen?

  2. That self discipline thing? I told myself that I would eat ONE of the ten little salted caramel pretzel pecan chocolate bars my sister-in-law gave us to take home on Sunday. How many did I eat? I lost track, but I just ate the last one a couple of minutes ago… Thank goodness they are gone!!!

  3. It’s funny because living in the country, you are surrounded by weeds. And some actually produce some pretty flowers that I don’t want to pull them. And maybe that’s because I know that I too am still among the weeds and not planted firmly yet in good soil. I’m looking at the falseness of the soil and thinking that because the weed is producing a pretty flower that I must be ok! I too really need to look past it all and focus more on my time with God. Love your post, as always. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • I can’t even tell you how much I love that analogy. Can’t. Even. Tell you! Sometimes, those “pretty flowers” just distract us from the ugly weeds hiding in their shadows, don’t they?

  4. We lived in an apartment when I was growing up and so, we didn’t have a garden. I kinda feel like I missed out on some good lessons growing up.

    Now, I’m terrible at gardening. My daughter wants a garden though, so we may try it (again) this year.

    And, dang, the whole self-discipline thing…not easy. I may be the worst. (not a good thing)

    • I, a sinner, and chief among them, couldn’t agree more, my friend. I think it’s pretty great that your daughter wants to try a garden. I’ll send sunscreen.

  5. I, too, had to pull weeds as a child. Not from a garden, but dandelions from the lawn. And there were lots of ’em!

    I enjoy gardening, and call me weird, but I also enjoy weeding. As I weed, I notice all the amazing things going on in the garden — baby praying mantis, flowers budding, hummingbirds that will hover around my face, etc. Not only do I have a healthy batch of dandelions growing in my flower beds that need to be pulled, but there’s lots of weeding that I need to do in my own life. Thank you for this much needed reminder today. ❤

    • What a fantastic perspective, Pat! Seeing all of the life going on around that weed… I’ll be weeding in the patch right next to you my friend. For a good long while.

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