May 142014

Visions of family BBQ’s for summer danced in my head.  I had been gifted a patio table and chairs for my birthday/Mother’s day.  I was giddy.  We set it up (who am I kidding, my husband assembled and put it up) on our postage stamp slab of cement and it literally took up the whole thing.  But I am okay with that.

The only reality which kept me from living in summer bliss was our eye sore backyard.  No, I am not one of those women who live for, love, and find therapy in doing yard work.  I absolutely wish I had this gift.  Unfortunately most of my passion goes out the window when what I invest in dies immediately.

So I have come to detest even the thought of working in the yard.  But I have come to grips with the fact that I must get it done.  Our backyard weeds (more like large bushes/trees) had reached an all time crazy.  Today was the day.  To cut them out.  Cut them out so only what was supposed to be would remain.

I had my weeding gloves, large shovel, small shovel, bottle of water, grubby clothes, the girls in their “quiet times” and a willing spirit.  I was ready for the daunting ahead of me.  I decided to start in the middle and work my way to the right side.  As much as I cannot stand working and not finishing a project I recognized my non super woman status.  Finishing half today would be more than an accomplishment.

As I weeded my little heart out, christian music blasting, sun shining, dirt flowing, I heard a rustling inside.  At my house, when you hear a rustling it definitely involves the girls.  I couldn’t stop my productivity jive I had goin so I yelled loudly, “Girls, what are you doing?”  (Some of the scariest words I say on a regular basis.)  Silence.  (The scariest response I could have gotten.)

Of course the good mother thing to do would be to go in at this point.  But seriously, If I could only push through, cut through a foot more of weeds I would be done!  And being done trumps all.  (I recognize I have a disorder and I am working through this “inability to stop”/embrace interruptions with the Lord.)

So I finished my final patch of pain and hardwork.  And it felt good.  Real good.  I had found absolute freedom and joy in cutting out the ugly.

Next order of business was to check on the girls.  All seemed well inside.  No colored furniture.  Check.  Couch forts passed safety codes.  Check.  No food or drinks spilled all over the living room.  Check.  No candy to be seen.  Check.  My girls smiled at me as if to say, “But you are missing something Mom.”  It is a smile I have come to know well.

As I looked at these sweet, seemingly innocent toddlers I was struck out of the corner of my eye by what looked like doll hair on the kitchen floor.  I picked it up.  With a little combination of common sense, mother’s intuition, and God’s grace I asked, “Is this from a dolls head or your head?”  My oldest looked down, then up, then down again and replied, “Our hair.”

I kept my cool, so God was gracious to me again, and said, “Do you think cutting out your sister’s hair is an ok thing to do?”  Both responded with a quiet “No”.  We proceeded with the repenting for wrong process and time outs.

As I thought through this day of “cutting out weeds” mixed with “cutting out hair” I recognized an interesting distinction.  I didn’t want to cut out weeds, yet it was the right, necessary choice in order to have enjoyment of our yard.  My girls on the other hand, wanted to cut out each others’ hair, and yet it a wrong choice which only ended poorly.

Spiritually speaking, I believe I can be like my girls at times.  I want to “cut out” many things in my life like waking up early to be with the Lord and read His Word when I am tired.  Or playing dolls with my girls.  Or helping my parents clean their garage.  Or exercising.  But just as “cutting out” the hair ended poorly for the girls, so cutting out what God is calling me to in service, obedience and love for Him will end poorly.

God at times asks us to “cut out” the weeds in our life of addictions, and disobedience to His Voice and Word in order for us to experience a beautiful “yard”.  A life of enjoyment and freedom is found in cutting out the areas of sin in our life.  Let’s trust God today with our “weeds” and even though we don’t want to, allow His gentle Spirit to prune and weed us to be more like His Son.  And it will be good.  Real good.

What keeps you from doing yardwork?  What keeps you from cutting out sin in your life?

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.'”  John 15:1-5 (NIV)





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