What weed are you into?

My dream grass...photo courtesy of Florida Home Magazine

My dream grass…photo credit Fl Home Magazine

I love green grass. I love the way it looks, feels, and smells when it’s cut. Several years ago, we decided to replace the Bahia grass in our yard and invested a small fortune in changing it to what we thought was a hardier, St. Augustine grass. Little did we know at the time, but sure found out in short order, that they gave us half a yard full of our requested treasure and half of some brand that I see used in pastures (and we don’t live on a farm). Since that time, we’ve struggled with not only maintaining the grass, but it also being infused with every seasonal kind of weed you can imagine.

The Executive (my husband) being who he is did some research, talked with friends who have beautiful yards as well as some local landscapers to see how best to revitalize our green space. From all of this talk came the advice to put a chemical on the ground that would kill the weeds in 7-10 days. The grass would then rejuvenate itself and fill in the empty spots. Uh, not so much!

Needless to say, we have been an eyesore on our block for quite a while now. Honestly, it was not only flat-out ugly, but embarrassing every time I came and went from the house. My excuse that “we’re busy people and grass maintenance is not at the top of the list” no longer would suffice. Enough was enough. It was a beautiful December afternoon here in Florida yesterday, the kids on the block were playing football in the street, and I went to town pulling the weeds from my hedges and yard.

As I sat in my scruffy clothes on the ground, I pulled and tugged at an aggressive viney set that had infiltrated my Orange Jasmine hedge. I soon found that these beasts were well rooted and weren’t giving up without a fight. Apparently, I’d let them have the lay of the land too long and they were not only killing the grass, but the Jasmine.

Look at the roots on these! I wish my hair had roots like these.

Look at the roots on these! I wish my hair had roots like these.

Doesn’t that sound a lot like sin? We have little weeds that we allow to creep into our lives and without stopping them before they take root will destroy everything we’ve worked hard for or hold dear. Little weeds like: pornography, gossiping, a slight flirt, a pill/drink now and again, judging, a lie, and skimming from the finances can damage our friendships, families, marriage, business, and in the long haul our relationship with God.

While tugging and pulling at the ground, I heard one of the kids yell “Hey, over here, I’m open!” as he was hoping someone would throw him the ball. Yep. How many times have our actions yelled out the same while leaving a door open for the devil to come in and plant the seeds in conjunction with the wrong kind of “water”, fester into a life of weeds, heartache, and disappointment? (Matthew 12:43) On many occasions, we don’t even see them as harmful because they feel good, comfortable, justified, or even fun. All of which are lies that the enemy pours on as a fertilizer.

So what’s our best defense for combating these weeds? First, you’ll need the right tools and guidance. I didn’t go about my yard task without a good pair of gloves, long pants, old sneakers, and some newly sharpened clippers. I had to reach deep into the bushes to pull up the weeds, which caused my arms to be scratched. In the past I’ve been bitten by fire ants and stung by wasps, and let’s face it, it’s just plain dirty. Using the right tools to get rid of your ‘life weeds’ is equally necessary and unfortunately, messy when left unattended for too long. Your tool kit should include a strong prayer life which will keep your mental door closed to the things displeasing to God. (Matthew 6:6) He understands what you’re going through—nothing is unknown to Him. When the enemy knocks and tries to slip thoughts into the mail slot, remove yourself from the situation and pray specifically for protection, strength, and courage.

While pulling my weeds, I was caught off guard by a grass snake that slithered quickly around my feet. Apparently I had disturbed its home. I imagine the devil does the same—wringing his hands in frustration when you disrupt his stronghold in our lives. (John 10:10)

Um, this is just from the front yard.

Um, this is just from the front yard.

Second, seek guidance. Ask for help. While I was out front turning my eyesore into a dirt lot, the football was thrown for a beautiful pass. The girl who caught it (you go girl!) did the celebratory slam dunk onto the road. The ball then bounced into our yard. Everyone ran up and stopped at the edge of our yard. I guess I scared them because I was a hot mess—dirty, sweaty with my hair stuck to my head. I probably looked like an old Capuchin monkey. I laughingly said, “The one who retrieves it has to help pull weeds.” Obviously they weren’t into gardening. One creative soul managed to step in the neighbor’s yard and stretch to pick up the ball. Shucks, I really needed help! By then the Executive had joined me in my stressful plight to remedy the invasion. (He’s been my rock through so many of my struggles, even when he was one of my struggles.)

When I need help, I’ve learned to ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct my path. Sometimes, I’m just too dumb to hear His voice, so He sends a kaleidoscope of butterflies to my stomach to get my attention. Ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you, guide you, and point you to Godly counsel whether it’s professional or not. You may also opt for an accountability partner (Mom used to say there’s safety in numbers)—someone who will hold your trust, lift you up when you stumble, and celebrate with you when you get to victory. (James 5:16)

Victory is the end result. It comes when we are firmly rooted in Jesus Christ, because through Him we can accomplish all things. The threat of weeds will always be a constant in the garden of life. It’s up to you to either destroy them before they are planted or tackle the problem after they’ve been firmly rooted. Remember, “It’s easier to lift an acorn than an oak tree at the trunk.”

Until next time, stay chic

Vicki

Matthew 12:43-45 (NIV) Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. “Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. “Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Matthew 6:6 (NIV) But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

James 5:16 (NIV) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

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