Wednesday, August 18

Frontyard Confessional: Part I

Photo courtesy of
Back in April, I planted a little garden in the front yard.  All my favorites were added to that little patch of geraniums, alyssum, pansies, sweet potato vine, dusty miller.  I planted some morning glory seeds at the corner of the bed and wound twine around the porch post, in hopes that by the end of the summer, I'd have something that looked like this.  Isn't that just gorgeous?  Absolutely breathtaking. 

Instead, I ended up with this (below).  Hmmm...not exactly what I was going for.  And it looked worse!  This is about halfway through the tearing out process.  By the end, I was itching head to toe from numerous mosquito bites and the green ooze coming out of those morning glory vines.  Obviously, I am NOT a master gardener.

The problem with my little garden patch didn't start a few weeks ago when I quit watering because I didn't want to stand out in the triple digit temps.  Nor did the problem start when I kept procrastinating and didn't go out to weed and deadhead.  The problem started before I even dug up that earth and put those little plants in the ground.  Why?  Because I thought it would be easy.  I thought I could dig a hole, pop those plant babies out of their plastic homes and drop them in the soil, sprinkle with some water and walk away.  I thought (hoped, really) I could get the look of a carefree garden (like the one from by actually being carefree.

But it doesn't work that way.  My neighbor is prime example of this.  His yard is gorgeous.  There are perfect rows of yellow and orange marigolds lining his driveway, beautiful roses climb over the timber fence and the grass is a brilliant shade of green.  Do you know why?  Because he works at it.  I see him every few days out in the yard, mowing.  Deadheading those marigolds.  Watering and fertilizing.  So, it really wasn't a surprise when I saw the little sign in his yard saying he'd won the Yard of the Month.  He has earned it through hours and hours of sweat and toil.  I have earned this hot mess through hours and hours of sitting in the A/C instead of weeding.

It would be easy to say that my neighbor has a beautiful yard because he's simply a "gifted" gardener.  And we do the same when we think about others.  We say, "Well, of course she can do that...she's gifted!"  "Of course, God can use him...he's so anointed."  And I don't want to downplay the giftings and callings of God.  But we can't assume that we're not being used simply because we're not gifted. 

Maybe we're just being lazy, like I have been with my garden.  It didn't always look this bad, but I neglected it.  And maybe that's what we do when we don't step out of our front door to the patch of earth God's placed there for us and work the soil.  Maybe we're ignoring the needs right in front of us, in favor of being comfortable. If there's one thing I know, it's that following God can be uncomfortable.  It requires something of requires us to come out of hiding and work with our hands and hearts, get dirty and sweaty while beautifying and bringing love to the world.  This evening, I thought I was just tearing dead vines out of my garden, but in the end Holy Spirit was weeding my heart, revealing a little more of Himself and showing me how to live in this world.  So tell me, am I the only one that's been a lazy gardener?

1 comment:

Rick Smith said...

I love your honesty April. I can relate to this..... we all need to step out and let God change us.....