Monday, July 13, 2015

Weed Your Life

I've started gardening.

As a self-proclaimed "black thumb," I really have no business attempting a garden.

Yet, here I am, hoping against hope that I get SOMETHING out of the ground during harvest time.

We just moved to this home this past February.

I've heard it said that you should never plant in a new yard the first year you're there so that you can see what is already planted.

Do you want to know what's here?

Let me tell you what is here...


Lots of them.


But, I didn't know what was what so I took to Facebook for all the answers.
(I mean, who doesn't do that nowadays?!)
((Thanks to everyone who responded, by the way))

I quickly learned what to pull and what to keep.

One of my favorite responses was from our sweet friends and former mentors from Green Bay.

Lydia said this:

Mark always says anything you don't like or want where it is is simply a weed...pretty or not

I think that was really good advice. It made weeding a lot easier because I stopped being so concerned about what each thing was and started thinking about my garden and my yard as a whole. I started focusing on the end goal, my hope for my yard, what I wanted it to be like. This made every decision about every individual plant so much easier.

And then, one afternoon, with my hands in the dirt, I got to thinking...

Weeds tend to take up the nutrients and water that should be going to the plants that you intended to grow. If left unattended, they will take over and push out the good things in your garden.

So, we need to ask - What are the "weeds" in our lives?

These can be unhealthy habits, time-suckers, or even good things that are simply misplaced. Maybe you have too many things going on. Maybe you are pursuing something good, but it's just not the right time. Maybe you are letting yourself get distracted or lazy about something you need to be proactive about. It might be time to weed some of those out.

We have to get rid of the weeds so that the things we cherish have room to flourish.

I've been struggling with my identity for a while. Becoming a mom is hard. You go from carefully curating a collection of activities and experiences in your life to being completely at the mercy of each whim, desire, and need of a tiny human. I've spent too long thinking of all the things I can no longer do, the "me" I can no longer be. And while part of this is due to our relocation, much of it simply has to do with having three little kids that I am responsible for all day and night, every day and night.

As I was weeding in my garden, I began to think about my life. There are a lot of things I'd rather not do. Things that I wish were weeds that I could simply pull and throw in the fire. Sometimes there are days where I get overwhelmed with diapers and dishes and laundry and diffusing pointless fights and cleaning up unnecessary messes and wondering if my life currently means anything at all.

But, since those things are non-negotiable with tiny children, I need to be ok with picking a few things that I do want to be true of me and focusing on those. (There will come a time later on when they are older and I will be able to start doing some of the things I don't currently have time for.)

I need to rip out the real weeds, rip out the misplaced plants, and spend my time and energy on the few that I want to see succeed. I need to stop dreaming about what my garden will look like someday and start cultivating it to be the best it can be now.

And, just like weeding my garden with three small kids around, this will take time. It's going to take time to figure out what I want to make room for and what can be put aside until later. (I mean, it took me three days just to weed a tiny flowerbed in our yard. There's no way I'm figuring out my life while typing this blog post!)

It also requires maintenance. I walk through my garden every day to pull the little weeds that made their way above ground during the night. I know I will need to continually evaluate the things in my life to make sure they are taking the right amount of time and priority.

One weed for me has been technology. I love my time with my computer and my phone. I love social media, because out here in the middle of no where, it makes me feel somewhat connected. But, I also know that I can waste a LOT of time looking at screens instead of my kids. I have good intentions. Often I'm looking up ideas for things I can do with the kids or ways to make their playroom better or recipes to try for Evie. But, even so, I know I spend too much time with my computer and not enough with them.

So, that needs to get pulled (or at least pruned). And, in it's place, I've planted...

One fun thing - per kid - per day. 

I've been trying to do (at least) one fun thing, per kid, per day.
I'm not the kind of mom that is all tea parties and crafts and games and books from the moment they get up until bedtime.
I am an introvert by nature and with Evie's dietary needs, that would just be too exhausting.
So, this is my baby step.

Today was kicking a soccer ball around with Jake, painting with Evie, and practicing crawling with Izzie.

I know that to you moms who this comes naturally for, you're probably thinking how terrible I am for needing to be intentional about this, though I'm SURE I'm not alone.

Now, at the end of the day, no matter what else happens, I will be able to go to bed knowing that I spent quality time with each of my kids. It wasn't much. I know I can do better. But, it's something. They had my time, my attention, my eyes and ears, they had me for those moments. It has honestly made our home so much more peaceful during the day. When I do need a minute, they are more willing to give it to me.

Baby steps. Pruning. Pulling. Transplanting.

I'm going to be a work in progress, but hopefully my life and my days will start looking a little more like I want them to.


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