Wednesday, October 3, 2018

How does your garden grow?

During a conversation with a dear friend the other day, she mentioned that pulling weeds was on her to-do list. Somehow her comment made me think of the weeds in our lives. And that thought led me back to our pastor's sermon last Sunday when he urged us to start each day in thankfulness and gratitude for all our blessings.

Just a few years ago, I kept a Gratitude Journal in which I recorded at least four to six items each morning for which I was grateful. Sometimes I filled most of the journal page. Other times, I might have had only four items. But the net effect always was positive. When my day began by focusing on the gifts I have in my life—and feeling grateful for them—I was far more focused on seeing the blessings than the negatives or the weeds. I was happier and more content. It wasn't so easy to look at the negatives and get dragged down by all that's wrong with the world! It was easier to be forgiving and loving. I could overlook the foibles of others more easily.

For some reason, I got away from using that journal, though. But thanks to our pastor's encouragement, I'm reviving the practice.

And that brings me back to the weeds. Whatever in our lives crowds out the blessings and the good things, might those not be considered weeds? In a flower garden, it matters not if a weed also has flowers—if it crowds out and kills the flowers you planted there, you consider it a weed and pull it out, right? So what about the weeds in your life? What things are crowding out the good in your life? What thoughts or events are pulling you away from the positive and kind things you want to be doing? It's far too easy to latch on to the "shiny thing on the path," often the worst news of the day, and see the glass half empty or the world going to hell in a hand basket. However, if we keep the weeds under control and notice all the beautiful flowers in life's garden, how much happier we will be. How much easier it will be to be kind, loving and forgiving to those whose paths cross ours in any given day.

Be attentive to removing the weeds in your beautiful garden of life. Start—and end—your days in gratitude and notice all the beautiful bouquets of blessings that are there instead.

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