Neglecting the Weeds

weeds header picture

We don’t water the lawn in our back yard. It is a cost saving measure that The Husband and I have chosen for our family. We haven’t watered it in years.

Normally, it stays somewhat green, getting the baby drinks from the occasional storm. This year there hasn’t been any rain. The grass is bone dry and completely dead.

I am responsible for mowing and watering the lawn this year.

In the past it has been The Husband’s job, but since he developed tendinitis in his arms, I took it over.

The front lawn has never looked better. I am watering twice a week, and mowing it when it needs. It is green and the weeds are somewhat under control.

I am supposed to mow the back weeds ever 2 weeks to keep them under control. I didn’t mow a couple weeks ago so it has been a month. And some of those places I missed a month ago, and perhaps the time before that.

I’ve been living in blissful ignorance. The girls have been on vacation and I’ve been leaving all the back blinds closed. What I can’t see must not be there.

Until I opened the back blinds yesterday.

The back yard was overgrown with weeds, some of them knee high or taller.

Knowing I couldn’t put it off any longer, I put on my hat, sunscreen, and shoes and headed out to mow.

At first it was easy, I started where the weeds were low and spotty. It was like I was mowing the front lawn.

And then I came to the pear tree. I didn’t mow under the tree last month either. The weeds were touching the tree branches. As I labored to push the lawn mower through the weeds, I heard it start to complain. This job was not going to be easy.

Slowly, I was able to push it through the weeds, leaving nice clipped green behind me, and I set my sights on the next section.

I hadn’t mowed behind the pear tree last month either. I pushed and pulled that mower through the weeds, literally fighting for each inch at times. My hands began to get sore from the vibrations of the mower, but I had to get them under control.

As I labored and struggled to get the mower around the rest of the yard, I simply wanted to give up. I wanted to get back to the easier part of the yard. Nobody ever goes behind the pear tree so nobody would know, right?

I know. And the neighbors know. And the people across the canal up on the hill know. And when my girls go out to play they would see a job 1/2 done.

The rest of the yard was a struggle.

There were parts that were easy like it was at the beginning, and there were parts that I had to fight to get through the weeds.

I got covered in dead grass and weeds. Sweat was dripping down the back of my neck. My hands hurt. I was thirsty. I began to develop a headache. My body was tired and sore.

By the time I was done, I didn’t feel accomplished. I didn’t feel proud or like I had completed anything.

Yes, the yard looks a little better. And yes, my girls can get to the trampoline without navigating a jungle.

But the weeds are still there.

As I pushed the lawn mower around to the front of the house I realized that nothing changed.

All I did was make my weeds look pretty. They are still there, just slightly shorter now. The grass is still dead and my lawn is still neglected.

It will take seasons if not years to get a pretty green lawn. We didn’t start neglecting it this year, but in our neglect things only get worse. Weeds only get stronger and grow taller. They become more secruly rooted in the ground.

It struck me how similar that is to other things in my life.

I can ignore what is going on around me. I can ignore sin as it creeps into my life. I can slowly neglect my time with Christ, skipping a daily Bible reading here and there until it becomes a forgotten memory.

Just because I ignore them doesn’t mean they are gone.

And like my weeds, they are growing stronger every day.

It is not easy to chop them down.

[Tweet “Neglect leads to strong roots. Those strong roots make it more difficult to get rid of the weeds.”]

I found something else when I was mowing down the weeds. Every now and then I’d be battling through a pile of weeds and a large cloud of dust would appear.

Gopher holes.

Gophers have taken advantage of my neglect. I knew the weeds were there. I knew they were growing although I didn’t realize how strong they were.

By neglecting and letting my weeds grow, I let something else move in. Something I wasn’t intending and had no idea it was there but it moved in anyways.

I was able to go inside and get a cold drink, shower, and a change of clothes.

But my lawn still shows the physical scars of my neglect. My hands are still in pain as I’m typing this post. I now have to get rid of gophers instead of just weeds. There are consequences to the choices I have made.

If my lawn shows neglect, how much deeper do the roots run when I neglect my spiritual lawn.

[Tweet “There is grace and mercy through Christ, but the pain and scars are still there–just like my weeds.”]

Wouldn’t it be better if we just took care of our lawn in the first place?


What weeds to you have growing in your life, whether physical or spiritual, that you should stop neglecting?




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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ellenlandreth
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 07:25:36

    I love your writing style Crystal. Good thoughts always.



  2. Alexandria Brady
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 16:49:40

    Very thoughtful, that’s a great thing to keep in mind while going through life, I’m thankful I found this post!



  3. Heather
    Aug 06, 2014 @ 09:58:06

    Wow Crystal! Yes and yes!



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