And begin tending to the flowers.
Each of us has a list of things that are life giving and a list of things that are life draining. Both are contending for a spot in our garden of life. If we are not mindful, we find our self watering those things which are life draining and before we know it, we have a garden full of weeds that have choked out our beautiful flowers. Our weeds can be a myriad of things: negative self talk, draining habits, over scheduling and busyness, draining relationships, lack of boundaries, each of us has our own list of “weeds”.
And, we also have a beautiful garden to grow. People, relationships, talents, and gifts, and ways to spend our time that produce a delightful, rainbow of fresh flowers. There are people we can spend an afternoon next to, and leave feeling more alive and rejuvenated than earlier that day. There are talents and gifts that we have just waiting to bloom if just given the right nutrients and a little sunshine.
Yet, we feed those weeds. Time and time and time again we cycle back to tending weeds and leaving our flowers parched.
How can we break the cycle?
I think with any type of self growth, the first step is awareness. Awareness that one is tending to a few weeds and neglecting their flowers.
Think about the people, places, situations, and desires that bring you life. That make you feel refreshed, fulfilled, and flooded with peace.
Then, think about the people, places, situations, and desires that bring you pain, disappointment, and heartache.
Before we can water flowers and pull weeds, we have to be aware which is a flower and which is a weed. And sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
A painful habit may feel like a flower temporarily because it’s filling a need, but it’s how you feel afterwards that is the true test of whether it is life giving or life stealing. A relationship may mask itself as a flower, but if it hurts you in any way, it may be masquerading as life giving while really standing in the way of your true destiny.
After you start to become aware of what brings peace and what leaves you feeling empty, the hard work begins… to water the peace and starve the lies of the weeds.
The weeds can also be lies whispered in our ear… a thousand you cants, you’ll never, you wouldn’t dream of actually….., you’ll never succeed at….., what will people think when……..
Those are all lies that must be fought with I can, I will, and I am worthy of…..
We have a responsibility to be in charge of our lives. We have been given life and destiny by God and it is His desire that we live a life of peace, gentleness, joy, and love. He desires us to find and fulfill our God given destinies and it is those destinies that lead to life.
If something is draining you, hurting you, worrying you, or leaving you feeling unworthy, unloved, or not enough. It may be a job, a person, a habit, negative thoughts, it may be a reminder that that thing is a weed and needs to be pulled so that it can be replaced by something that brings you peace, life, and joy.
Ultimately, Jesus is our gardener. If you are struggling to even identify the difference between your weeds and your flowers, it may seem wild and crazy, but you can pray and ask Jesus to begin to garden your life. He can reveal to you truth you have been seeking and show you what is life giving and what is not. Then He is even faithful to give you courage and strength to choose that which brings you peace. He will also dress and bandage wounds, heal hurts, and give you a peace the world just cannot offer.
Lord, I pray that you would become our master gardener. That I can give you my whole life and allow you to tend my garden. That You in your infinite wisdom would take out that which doesn’t belong and plant that which is supposed to grow. Lord, help to water my friendships, my family, my gifts and talents, and gently remove anything that is hurting me or hurting those close to me. Remove old harmful thought patterns and replace them with eternal truths. Help me Lord to walk in Your ways and grow a garden full of color, rare beauty, and peace, joy, and love.
In Jesus name, Amen.