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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

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selfgrowth

When the Ground is Soft

I have a love hate affair with weeding. In fact, I love to hate weeding but alas, it is a necessary confliction.

So all week I have been hauling wheelbarrows of weeds to my burn pile. An hour here and an hour here and this morning after the morning rain, I ventured outside because I had the time. By the end of the hour, my back was sore and the mulch’s dark coloring bled through my gloves and stained my skin. It was time to have lunch and I was done. The rest can wait for another day.

One thing I noticed while my knees were in the dirt was how easy it was to pull the roots out. The ground was wet after a whole week of rain had softened it and the soft dirt made the weeds easy to pull out…and not just the appearance of but the actuality of.

There is a difference.

It made me think about my heart and how much easier it is to pull out the junk when my heart is soft and how hard and cumbersome it is when it’s not. Sometimes my heart gets so stubborn and clenches tight to the roots stem so even when I try to tidy up the appearance of things, all that really happens is I chop the top off while leaving a tightly clasped root lying low beneath the surface, stealthily growing.

And they always grow back and most times with vengeance.

My mind goes to Pharaoh and his hardened heart and his ultimate demise, swallowed whole by the sea. How many times has that been me? Too many to count. Refusing to listen, stubbornly holding tight to my perspective, refusing to let go of my people and my pride.

My mind scans around my home for weeds, weeds IN me. I don’t want the clutter that ultimately becomes a distraction, but all I keep seeing is uncovered roots. Jesus whispers, “You can keep looking for weeds but I want to show you the root” and I agree. I think there’s wisdom in that. Most of the weeds that sprawled across my mulch shared the same root. They were entangled.

So my mind scans my home for roots, roots in me, because I don’t want the clutter that ultimately becomes a distraction.

I know if I keep on working on having a softly guarded heart, an honest one, I’ll be able to pull out those weeds and their roots when spotted.

Say No to Say Yes

I’m kind of sensing a theme in my life lately. Maybe it’s the fact that last weekend I was on crutches and had to wipe my calendar clean to rest or that Friday night our son ran over his little sister with the four-wheeler (she is A-OK) and we had to call it a night and cancel plans. I am not positive, but there has been a definite knocking taking place on the door of my brain that’s saying, “Hey McFly?!?!”

Slow the hell down.”

Recently I bought a PAPER PLANNER for many reasons, one being that I actually LOVE crossing things off my list (don’t judge me, it actually boost my productivity). Yesterday I took it out and opened it to March and actually X’d out most of my weekends with a highlighter. I am finding that my weeks are often busy with work and other events that when the weekend comes and I don’t have at least ONE day that is S-L-O-W, as in H-O-M-E, I easily lose my shit.

So think this through with me people. If one knows that they cannot do ALL things and that they are wired for reprieve, as in a BREAK, you would suspect that they would be proactive in making time for that to happen, right? Right, but wrong. I HAVEN’T been proactive. I just thought it would HAPPEN, as in osmosis. Like buying and carrying a planner would help me become more productive and organized, right? Bawawawa…

I was given a white, silk ribbon years a go at a woman’s conference. It had these words written on it, “Proverbs 4:23” I looked up the verse and this is what it said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do in life flows from it.”

Now I have a tendency to be sort of gray, not so much black and white, so I try to keep in context content, but the long and short of this is THIS verse pretty much is black and white. If you can give me another perspective, I am all ears, but to me it literally means, “This is incredibly important, so pay attention. Before you do anything, do this FIRST. Rank this as your highest priority. Your heart is your prize. It is the core of WHO you are. Watch carefully everything that goes INTO it and watch carefully everything that comes OUT of it, every thought, every emotion… because everything, AS IN ALL, will filter through your heart. You will not be able to compartmentalize. It will ALL be attached. Attach it well.”

That’s my synopsis, my cliff-notes of Proverbs 4:23. Perhaps someday I will add another tattoo and THIS will be the verse. I say it out loud multiple times a day, no lie. It feeds and nourishes my soul and reminds my spirit the importance of walking in my identity.

Guard. Be intentional and diligent. Be mindful. Make your word count; your yes be yes and your no be no. Ask yourself the hard questions and then have the guts to honestly answer and assess so you KNOW how to say NO so you can say YES.

Part of guarding for me is being mindful of my time. Why have a home and a family if you don’t actually take the time to enjoy them? Appreciation leads to gratitude and it’s hard to be offended, jealous or defeated when your heart is full of gratitude. If you need practical, THIS  is it. You can actually put feet to this little nugget. Say no more. You may have to give up good things, but my friend Roni reminded me that there are a lot of good things, but we all have our quota for the day or for the week.

Know yours.

Much Love-

August

 

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