Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Welcome to my new subscribers. I'm so happy you are here!
Several years ago I wrote this post on Facebook. I was going through a hard time and frequently found peace from my problems while outside gardening:
"While I was outside gardening today, I was pulling copious amounts of weeds. Weeds that shouldn't be up already, but are thanks to our warm winter. And I was thinking of how my garden is like life. This yard was left non-maintained, which led it to grow out of control with grass and weeds. Once, someone had taken great care to put in landscaping and it must have looked so good when it was new. It was weed free and clean looking, but they let the bad weeds take over and grow. Now I have the task of pulling more weeds than humanly possible. It will take me many seasons to get this property under control. Once I have the weeds and grass under control, all I have to do is maintain by plucking the weeds out early, before they go to seed and make more weeds. It's laborious work to get the garden back to that maintenance state, my hands hurt, and I don't want to weed anymore but I keep going because I know it will be worth it someday."
The garden I was referring to was our actual yard. We had bought almost an acre of land in the middle of the city. The previous owners had let the whole property go wild with weeds and drought. It was a huge undertaking, bringing the grass back to life, pruning the trees, maintaining the flower beds and planting new trees and flowers.
What an amazing and profound insight I was given that day. I was likening my actual garden specifically to our spiritual garden, but it works for a lot of other things; our weight, our fitness, our mental health, our education, bad habits, our relationships-- All of these things can get weeded over if we do not maintain them, and clearing a whole garden of weeds is a lot harder than the occasional pulling of a stray weed or two.
And weeds have seeds. One weed can grow hundreds of other troublesome weeds. We must snuff them out before they seed the rest of the garden or even our neighbors garden. Our actions or lack of actions always affects other people, even if we don't see it right away, it does. That is the nature of the fallen world in which we live.
Digging our way out of the weeds we've allowed to grow in our lives can seem like an insurmountable task. It can be so much work and take longer than we expected or hoped. But once we clear away our "weeds" all we have to do is maintain the garden.
I used to work out several times a week, lifting weights and running. I was doing great with my goals, but I had a bout of depression, followed by a difficult pregnancy that left me unable to work out. Years later, still not back on the workout wagon, I looked back and thought, if only I had been working out this whole time, where would I be now? It wasn't my fault that I couldn't workout through my pregnancy, and unforeseeable circumstances happen in everyone's life, but it's a great example of how our gardens can get out of control. I am now more out of shape than I've ever been and will have to work harder than ever to get back into shape. But this is life. We can't always control our external influences and they can interrupt our lives, and then we have to work hard to get back to where we were. It's OK. Let's focus on what we can control. Learning that our gardens are subject to natures storms and our neighbor's influences is important.
We can only really control our spiritual garden. We can keep it pruned and weeded by reading our scriptures and continually praying to our Father in Heaven. We can keep our testimonies of Christ in top shape simply by maintaining them. When the neighbors weed seeds blow in, we can pluck them out quickly before they can take root in our garden. When our own weeds take root, we can catch them before they go to seed, by repenting and being humble.
I could probably write a book about the garden of life, and it's probably already been done! It's such a perfect metaphor.
Last week was my Blog Tour. It was great to see so many interested and joining the giveaway. If you missed it you can catch up on the whole thing HERE. Each blog featured different content like interviews, excerpts, and guest blog posts by me.
See you next week!
Books of note this week:
Emma Foster has been in love with William Morton since they were children, but she could never imagine him reciprocating, especially not when he returns from the war a decorated captain, having earned both wealth and distinction by his own skill and determination.
Captain William Morton is home again, nursing the injury that brought a speedy end to his career. He cannot imagine a future now so altered from what he expected, until fate chances to reunite him with Emma and the pair are thrust together at a Valentine’s Ball thrown by her friend. He is determined his old friend will not be the only young lady not to receive a valentine, but when his efforts are mistaken for the work of a meddling friend will he confess the truth and win Emma for his own?
See you next week!