There are lots of gardening plans out there for your garden – you can find them in magazines and How To books at libraries.
Even Home Improvement stores have Do It Yourself guides for wherever you live organized by climate, growing season, water and sunlight needs, how much space you have, or what kind of plants you want – vegetable, blooming or ornamental.
I just came across one of the many Spiritual Garden Guides – perhaps this looks familiar:
three rows of peas
. . . Peace of mind
. . . Peace of heart
. . . Peace of soul
four rows of squash
. . . Squash gossip
. . . Squash criticism
. . . Squash grumbling
. . . .Squash selfishness
three rows of lettuce
. . . Let us be faithful
. . . Let us be thankful
. . . Let us love one another
and no garden is complete without turnips
. . . Turn up for church
. . . Turn up with a smile
. . . Turn up ready to serve
It reminded me that we need to be planting purposefully in our lives as well as our gardens. That we need to be weeding intentionally and regularly to avoid our beautiful blossoms being choked out by the weeds of the world. So here are some fun weeds and seeds to consider!
You reap what you sow, so sow acts of kindness, encouraging words, and supportive attitudes.
Recognize that when you smile at someone, you are planting kindness and acceptance. When you play with them, you are cultivating fun and joy. When you give them a hug, you are fertilizing with love and security.
When you help a friend or child learn a task, you are planting patience and success into their future. When you give them encouragement, you are growing confidence. When you share, you are seeding goodness and selflessness.
When you pray with someone, or let them see you pray, you are sowing faithful fellowship with God.
Everything you do is a seed of some kind. Be intentional about what you plant.
And weeding! There are many things that will choke the joy out of your life like weeds do to a garden.
If they’re not forcibly removed these weeds will use up all your resources – time, energy, enthusiasm.
So roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Start with something simple: weed out your family’s wardrobe. Children grow, so every year box up clothes that don’t fit to store if you have younger children who will wear them later. Or sell them, donate, or give them away. Maybe you know a friend who has a younger child to pass them to. Then pass them back if you can use them again!
That goes for your personal wardrobe too. Box up nostalgic items you want to keep but clear out the rest that are out of style or no longer fit well. And while you’re at it, get rid of any guilt or stress too, over bygone sizes. Find the style and size you feel most comfortable in. You will look more confident and attractive when you feel comfortable in your clothes.
Weed out parenting strategies you think you should be doing, but that don’t work for you. Parent from your strengths! Know who you are and what things energize you so your children can see you parenting from joy, not guilt, fear or obligation.
Same for relationships. Examine the ones that are thriving, then check the conditions of the others. Some may be in need of TLC to keep them growing and others may need to be weeded out.
Weed out negative talk and self-condemnation. We all make mistakes from time to time. Some of us tend to dwell on those; constantly reminding ourselves of past failures and possible future ones. Stop those inner voices with a “You wouldn’t talk to a friend that way!”
Instead, plant kindness to yourself – say positive things to yourself every day. Rephrase “Well, you blew that!” to ”From what I just learned, I’ll do better next time.”
Ask God to show you where weeds of sin, rebellion, or unforgiveness may be hiding. Sometimes the roots grow deep before the leaves can be seen above ground. Confess those routinely to keep your soil healthy.
Planting and weeding. It’s a process we go thru every year. And not just in the garden!
Every day, by your actions and choices, you are planting things into and weeding things out of your life and the lives your family and friends.
The key is to recognize it and be intentional.
Happy Gardening! Happy Spring!