On the backside of my house sits a little patio garden. It is one of my favorite places. It is a place where, in the fall, we sat and watched the hummingbirds feed. Where at night, I can sit and listen to the owls talk. Where, when the weather permits, I start my day with coffee and the Word.
After having tenants in the house for two years, the little garden needed some love though. Flower beds were overgrown with weeds, and the flowers, well, they weren’t there at all anymore. My first order of business was to pull up all the weeds, but in doing so I noticed a few things. Like, some of the weeds that grow in Houston are actually very beautiful ground cover with delicate little flowers. And that somehow a cute tiny little flower called Mazus (thanks plant id apps) had made it’s way into my garden.
Since we live in a more forested neighborhood I decided I would let the garden beds naturalize a bit more and let the floor of my beds fill with groundcover plants instead of mulching. Not only because our budget is tight, but I also love the tiny flowers. And since pollinator friendly is a goal of mine, the more tiny flowers, the happier I am.
I had one plant in particular that I was letting grow for its gorgeous bright green leaves. And it was making such cushy mounds of foliage that I started pulling it out and placing it between my stepping stones. I thought, if this fills in we will have pillows of green to walk on between the stones. I had tried identifying it as a small plant and came back with wild celery. This is Houston, I know that’s not possible. After a couple months growth I snapped a picture and tried again. Only to find out this wonderful mound of softness was burrweed. Noooooooo!! Why?!?!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of running through a yard barefoot in Texas summer and stepping on a tiny little cockleburr from burrweed, you should just take a minute and thank the Lord for that mercy in your life. They are worse than legos. They are so sneaky and painful and they attach themselves to your clothes. They’ve taken me down on more than one occasion. So I spent the next several days pulling out all the ones I had intentionally planted, and all the ones that volunteered their beautiful green selves up all over my garden.
And as I spent all this time ripping up plants I had cultivated with visions of green pathways I heard the Lord asking me to ponder how these weeds were like my life right now. I recognized that sometimes what we see as beneficial and allow to grow, is secretly a weed. That sometimes that weed disguises itself in beauty only to sneak up and stab you, attach itself to you, cause pain. Because of that, sometimes we have to remove beautiful things from our lives. Sometimes the dreams we are dreaming are not the dreams the Lord gave us to dream, and when we remove them, we make room in the soil for better things to grow.
So I’m taking the time to surrender to the pulling. Allowing the Lord to remove the things that are not best for me so that I can be the woman, do the work, and live the life He created for me. Because at the end of it all, I want my life to be the beautiful garden that He cultivated, in the fullness of all its splendor.