So for the first time in my life as a stay-at-home mother, I have my very own yard to maintain. Well I had a yard at my last house but it was barely a yard with nothing but grass to cut. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I made the choice to take on the yard I have now.
When it's in full bloom its GORGEOUS! The soil is rich (in fact the cucumber I planted in my yard were by far the biggest cucumbers I have ever seen), the flowers are brilliantly colored, and its so green and pleasant. (Below are just a few of my many backyard pictures)
Well I had my first big season of my yard in full bloom. What an AMAZING thing it was to witness such beauty and life in one little (relatively little) backyard. But then as Summer ended and the majesty of the green and life were beginning to wear off and Fall was approaching. I went outside to survey the yard and I realized there was sooooo much work to be done. Now mind you by this time baby #2 had just arrived and I was not prepared for the undertaking I was about to embark on. I had never truly maintained a yard as complex as this one before! I had no idea about the vines and the pruning and the maintenance that I should have been maintaining during the summer. I was so afraid of killing the beauty that I didn't touch ANYTHING... well except cutting the grass and trimming the hedges because that was what I knew how to do. I quickly learned that those 2 things were not nearly enough to properly maintain a yard! There was weeding and pruning and trimming and so much more than I even imagined! Needless to say, I have failed in the past with my yard work.
Well this year, I have vowed to be better! Because God gave us this house, he gave me this yard and I need to glorify Him through it. Now I have been preparing for the summer by cutting back the vines, laying mulch and pine straw, and I'm one step away from taking out stock in Round Up because let me tell you the cheap weedkillers DON'T WORK! (I'm convinced its a conspiracy... but that's a topic for another day). I have my gas hedge trimmer/weed whacker ready for action, I got my gardening gloves and trimming scissors, my last step is to either get a new lawn mower or fix the one I got because I have been very disappointed recently. (I promise I'm not crazy... yard work soothes me... there is just something about holding powerful machinery and taking on some bushes, no therapy session in the world compares!)
Well I was outside today putting some finishing touches on some nasty George of the Jungle vines that are trying to destroy the fence from the other side and it dawned on me! It was one of those "AHA" moment! Gardening is a smaller picture of life! We are constantly planning, preparing, fighting weeds, and getting ourselves ready for that season of growth... the season of beauty! And if we don't prepare, those weeds and vines will kill that beauty, it will stunt your growth. Just like the evil vines on the other side of the fence are trying to keep the Mulberry tree from producing fruit, sin is trying to keep us from the same thing! But the best part of the Mulberry tree is not only does it produce fruit and shade but it attracts all kinds of birds and other life, to feed off of it and sustain themselves by it. As when we are able to flourish the way God intended; others can gain shade, shelter, and fruit from us. What an amazing picture it was as I was fighting to get the stupid vine from destroying that tree. I want to be like a Mulberry Tree! I want to be a beautiful flourishing, life sustaining place of rest for others in need, but to become that I must first work to prepare so that those weeds and vines don't destroy me first!