About those weeds
Dear kids – On your first day back to school, I missed y’all so much. Our house (although neater) was so quiet that I could hear the sadness echo in my heart. I had meant to write this letter to you long before today, but other blogs, responsibilities, and opportunities for fun took priority. I will never regret that last one, especially.
Although you probably wouldn’t want me to meet any of your friends on the street, none of you seem to mind when I don my old overalls, t-shirt, baseball cap, and garden shoes. You know my destination: the garden! What you didn’t know is it is one of the places on earth where I feel the closest to God. I know it’s hard to believe. I am out there crawling around on my hands and knees, looking like Ouiser Boudreaux, but it’s true! In every growing blossom, crawling bug, and whispering wind, I feel God is showing me how wonderful his creation truly is. When the sun shines down on my shoulders, I close my eyes and pretend he is smiling.
While digging in the dirt, I spend most of my time pulling weeds. Let me tell you I have learned quite a bit about the behavior of weeds over the years. One day this summer, those weeds reminded me of a few valuable lessons. Ones that I hope you learn much earlier than I did.
Some of those pesky plants are so invasive I still seem them after I close my eyes. There will be times that your real life struggles will feel the same way. No matter which way you look, your troubles will be looking right back at you. Times will come where you will only see darkness. I know that you have already experienced some of those times. I wish I could tell you that they were over, and now you have a free pass. But just as weeds pop up in my turnips; so, too will times of troubles come into your lives. Just know that God’s light shines the brightest in the darkest places. Cling. To. That. Truth.
and you will make it through.
When all the green little shoots poke out of the ground, it is really hard to discern weed from vegetable. Even though I have had a garden for years, I just don’t know which one is which. At times, the weeds resemble a produce plant. I will even admit some of them are beautiful in their own way. It isn’t until much later that the pesky thorns and thistles rear their ugliness. I have learned all too hard that the same is true of activities, idols, and sins in my own life. Things that often seem harmless enough in the beginning can spin out of control – fast. Don’t be seduced in life by the easy way out, the going with the crowd, or the just this one time mentalities. They will let you down – each and every time. We all fall short of God’s glory. Just don’t forget that faith is the first word in our family’s motto. If the way you spend your time puts that word last, then it is time to make some adjustments. It. Will. Take. Work.
but you will make it through.
Eventually, it is obvious what plants are keepers and which ones have to go. Then the real struggle begins. Many of the weeds send out deep roots and traversing tendrils that wrap around neighboring plants. When I go to remove them, some of the weeds have chokeholds so strong, good plants are ripped out of the ground. The ugly truth comes when we realize that there are people and obstacles in our lives that do the same thing to us. Sadly, you also know some friends are like gardens, they are meant for a season only. Our nature is to want to help when things are awry, yet God doesn’t call us to fix the world’s brokenness. Only he can do that. Just like my neglected garden can get, we can have influences and relationships – both good and bad – that bring us down. It is time to take a step back and realign our priorities. If we don’t, the very things we are called to do are left undone. It is a painful thing to walk away from a friendship, from a situation, or from a place of overwhelming suffocation. It. Will. Hurt.
but I promise, you will make it through.
Just like newly tilled soil is ripe with potential; so, too are new school years. This week was just the beginning. Stay strongly rooted in God’s and my love and be grounded in his Word. Try with all your might not to let the weeds of the world prevent you from growing and flourishing. I can’t wait to see what you produce!
I believe in you always –