Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Weeds in my Garden - Part 2

My friend, David who gardens in Zambia wanted to see photos of my garden. I have to confess that my first thought was: "I don't want anyone to see my garden - it is not a showcase, it is not "neat & tidy." Several things made me change my mind. I HAVE worked at weeding my garden. Trust me, without weeding, the entire garden would filled with three or four feet tall Johnson grass. A busy schedule resulted in my first real weeding happening after the Johnson grass had staked its claim on my garden. Over several days, I weeded separate sections and used the hoe to further break up the soil. This gave my garden plants the opportunity to get ahead of the Johnson grass. There were a few areas around the peppers and onions that did not get well weeded and are still somewhat choked, but I worked around the peppers this week. And while I planted onions, spring is not the best time to grow onions in Central Texas. I've harvested a few and I need to check better and get whatever ones actually made onions.

Make no mistake, even though my garden is productive weeds and all, weeds are not a good thing for a garden. Weeds can choke out or shade your valuable vegetables and fruits. Weeds steal water from the ground that your good plants need. Weeds are easier to pull when they are small and the ground is still soft from tilling.

Practical things that I am not good at:

My friend, Debbie Rivas, had a life motto: Do a task while it is still "little." In the best of all worlds, one should spend 30 minutes a day weeding parts of the garden. I confess I get busy doing other things and don't allocate that daily time. And, you have to realize, I have the "hare personality." I work very, very hard at one time on a project and then I rest or go on to another project. "Tortoise personalities" are better at doing a little bit of work every day and keeping tasks small on all their projects. But I've learned that there are advantages to being both the tortoise or the hare. I have learned to accept that I am a hare and to work to make the most of my personality type.

Weeding regularly also helps keep the ground around your valuable plants cultivated and loose so that weeds are easier to pull.

The Spiritual Lesson:

I talked in my last blog about how my life was productive even with the weeds that are part of my life. I also believe that because I am human that my life will always have some weeds in it. My garden can survive with some weeds, but it can't survive if it becomes overrun with weeds. Likewise, I can function in life with some of the weeds, but I must actively pull weeds from my life to keep both my spiritual life and my daily life from being taken over by unprofitable habits and weaknesses. The weeds in my life can fill my time and prevent me from getting the important tasks done. The weeds in my spiritual life can choke out the positive things in life, steal the living water from my heart, and shade me from the Creator's light.

Each era of life has a different set of weeds to deal with. When I was raising my kids, there was the weed of activity. We all want our kids to be involved - church, scouts, sports, music, drama, etc. The needs for each of these good activities are great and the volunteers are few. So one of the weeds for me was saying yes to too many volunteer responsibilities. Possibly, my kids should have been involved in fewer activities, but that is SUCH a hard call when you want them exposed to so many of the good organizations and a positive things for kids.

Another weed in today's society is video games. In and of themselves, they are not bad. Taking time for relaxation and recreation is important. Video games can provide an outlet from our mundane and tiresome tasks. But many games have addictive elements and many people find themselves or their children spending far too much time playing video games instead of exercising their minds, bodies and souls. Time spent on video games robs time from productive daily tasks, time spent growing spiritually, and time doing godly work. If you are a game player, keep a time log for a week. I think you'll be surprised. Or do a video game "fast."

The internet is a wonderful thing. We can keep up with our far away friends, read the latest news, pursue hobbies, educate ourselves or read/write uplifting blogs. There is so much good information to be found on the internet, it is a very useful tool. But . . . we can become news junkies, Facebook junkies, Facebook game junkies, etc. Going through the book, "The Artist's Way," I recently did a week where I did a reading "fast." While I didn't completely abandon the internet, I limited the surfing I usually do each day - news reading, forum reading, blog reading, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It was amazing how much time that freed up to do other creative and productive things.


I want my life to be productive. I don't want to become a "perfectionist" in any part of my life. I want to accept my own weaknesses and human limitations. But, I also do not want weeds to take over my life and to choke out the good things I can do and should be doing.

Here are some of the products that came from my "weedy" garden. They can survive some of the weeds, but without weeding I would not have:

Yellow Squash:

Bell Pepper



Green canteloups

Almost ripe canteloup

What are the "weeds" in your life? What are the productive and spiritual things that you want to cultivate?

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