Weeds in Your Own Backyard

True confessions time. I am NOT a fan of weeds (like them less than squirrels). Last summer, I once again put down double layers of weed barrier under my landscaping rocks. And the pesky weeds have found a way to grow on top of dirt wedged in the rocks. Grrrrr…. I just looked online to identify some of the dreaded vegetation in my yard.

IMG_3619Carpetweed. Are we supposed to walk on it? Large crabgrass. That one does make me crabby. Prickly lettuce. Yep, that one has fine little barbs that hurt. Oh, the organic gardening site advises: Wear gloves. Common ragweed. Redroot pigweed. I’m certainly not hog wild about the pigweed, which is a stubborn botanical nemesis of mine.

Years ago my friend Renee shared the phrase, “I’ve got enough weeds in my own backyard.” Her meaning? Don’t go pointing out the flaws and mistakes of others around you, notice and work on your own your imperfections.

So let me put names to some of the weeds in my own life. Grumbling. Impatience. Fear. Gossip. Criticism. Gulp. . . . I trust I’m not alone in these noxious behaviors. Brave and resilient people are aware of invasive weeds in their own lives and are reticent to pull up and toss the pesky attitudes and actions that creep in. And, a note from the weed website: Pulled plants can reroot.

Pulled plants can reroot. Now that’s a phrase worth pondering. We need to dig down to the root of our own weeds and deal with the underlying problems, forsaking excuses or ignoring the need to change. Gulp.

The good news with our weeds? God knows all about them and reminds us that He’s the Master Gardener. We don’t have chop, spray, and pull our problem weeds ourselves.

Galatians 6:7-9 addresses our nettlesome vegetation. “. . . What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”

So be quick to get rid of weeds of grumbling, impatience, criticism, and all the rest. And go deep to the roots. If you need any weeds to practice on, I’ll meet you in my backyard.

Brave and Resilient Tip #79: Focus on the weeds in your own backyard.



Flowers or Weeds?

This past weekend, my friends’ 3-year-old daughter found it enthralling to pick the yellow “flowers” in their backyard as a bouquet for Mommy. The darling cherub was so giggly eager to preserve her handpicked dainty flowers in a sippy cup of water just for her mother. Last year her 5-year-old sister plucked the yellow beauties at the park and we also kept them well watered in a sippy cup just
for Mommy.

DanielDandelionsTo me the “yellow flowers” are annoying dandelions that I dig up and spray every spring before I can get my lawn sufficiently safeguarded with weed ‘n feed fertilizer. I’ve come to detest dandelions messing up my green grass. But do I need to become like a child in my middle-age thinking? What is there about a child’s perspective that nudges you to examine your own?

Yellow flowers or weeds? It all depends on your point of view. To exuberant children who know nothing of pesky weeds and toxic chemicals, dandelions are bright and beautiful. To me, who ran my own lawn service as a teen and who studied weeds (not “Weed”) in college, dandelions are an annual landscaping evil. But what if I paused to consider a child’s view of the pointy little buttercup florals?

Life is like a yard sprinkled with dandelions. Part of our resiliency is learning to acknowledge other people’s dandelions, er, viewpoints. Some of us need a little practice at accepting truth that may not fit our preconceived grid. Others of us need to put down our weed killer spray and rethink our perspective.

As my pastor is known for saying when mentioning two different perspectives that are both true: “Which one is right? . . . Both.” A dandelion (meaning “lion’s tooth” because of its shape) is both a perennial plant with florets and it is a weed. But it’s also a medicinal herb used for upset stomach, joint pain, and much more.

Oh, for the patience not to jump to conclusions about facts or people and the wisdom to stretch our viewpoint or soften our stance. Perhaps today you’re facing a particular situation or problem. Is it a dandelion or weed? Perhaps it’s both.

And if you’re like me, you can choose to view dandelions as cheery flowers when you’re with children and annoying weeds in your own yard. This morning I noticed some of those golden floral, medicinal weeds cropping up in my landscaping rocks. Now where I put the Roundup®?

Brave and Resilient Tip #27: Learn to consider and respect other people’s viewpoint.