I spent a few minutes this morning in my garden, pulling weeds. I could write a million theology and life lessons I’ve learned from the garden. It’s the end of the summer season, so we’re getting the little last bits of fruit from the veggies in our boxes. Soon, we’ll pull up what we planted last season, to get ready for what’s next. Which is essentially what we’re all doing with our lives and our schedules as fall arrives. Moving from one season to the next, back into fall responsibilities and expectations.
This morning, I realized so many weeds had crept into my garden. From far away they don’t look like a big deal, they even look green so it can be deceiving that they’re something healthy. But if you know anything about weeds, they are absolutely dangerous and harmful to the living plants in your garden.
It’s important to rid your garden of weeds because they rob your soil and your plants of important nutrients and water. Certain weeds such as nut grass actually reduce crop yield on farms because their roots release chemicals that are harmful to surrounding plants. (Seedlings Gardening)
Weeds sneak in near the healthy plant, steal nutrients, and reduce crop. Some of our plants didn’t yield any fruit this summer. We either planted them too close to one another or didn’t prepare the soil with the right nutrients. Then the weeds grew and took the good nutrients from the plants and they never produced fruit.
So it seems like the perfect time for both my garden and my soul to ask the question “What do I need to weed out of my life this season to stay healthy and bear fruit?”
Weeds in my life are the time wasters. How many of us are tired, burned out, or too busy? We say no to things we should be saying yes to, and yes to things we should be saying no to. We cultivate growth of weeds rather than bearing good fruit. We find time to scroll through social media, watch TV, or do other mindless activities but don’t make time for the true life sustaining stuff: bible study, prayer, and community.
Or we say YES to everything and then wonder why we aren’t bearing good fruit. I planted too many tomato plants next to each other and wondered why they didn’t produce a good crop? They were too close, fighting for too much of the same nutrients, which meant neither plant grew. It would’ve been better to have just planted one. I do the same with all my activities, I said yes to meeting with too many people, participating in too much, scheduling myself to the max, and wonder why I don’t bear fruit?
As I looked at my life this fall, some of the filters I had for my commitments were:
- Does this pull me away from things that really matter?
When you look at your day, your week, your month, where are you truly spending your time? Is your family robbed of getting your best? Are your weekends so packed, church or a meal with others becomes one more “thing” to do?
- Does this pull me away from serving and connecting in my local church?
Are some of the things you’re doing pulling you away from serving and connecting in your local church? Are you saying yes to so much outside of the church, your neglecting serving and connecting with church family?
- Am I only saying yes because I don’t want to disappoint someone?
Are you only saying yes to things because you don’t want to let them down? Are you saying yes because you desire someone’s approval?
We are all given 168 hours in a week. About 50 of those are hours are for sleep (unless you’re a young mom, then you only get like 10 minutes a night or something?). If you work, 40 hours a week goes to a job. That leaves us 78 hours a week outside of sleep and work. I actually wrote down some of the things I spend my time doing in those 78 hours (which did not match the things I intend to do). 78 hours. We can spend those surfing the web and watching TV or we can redeem that time, pull the weeds, and bear fruit.
This is a lesson the Lord teaches me every year. The importance of saying no to good things, to say yes to what really matters, the best things. The importance of margin and space in life where not every minute or every evening is booked up. The importance of serving and connecting in our local church, then serving in our community.
So my “yeses” for this fall:
- My Local Church: Working part time for The Well, leading Women’s Equipping and shepherding women, gathering with others on Sundays, being available and present for those hurting and wanting to grow.
- My Community: Working part time a few days a week teaching reading.
- My Relationships: joining a life group: connecting and building community with others, and more time with friends and family.
The rest is margin, free space, dinners in my home with friends around the table, time to linger with Jesus, exercise, self-care, serve others, read, watch TV, play, prepare meals (bean burritos count), and pray. And of course, working in my garden—making sure the plants are getting the nutrients they need and plucking the weeds that will inevitably sneak in.
What do you need to weed out of your life this fall?
What do you need to say no to, in order to say yes to the things that matter?
How can you redeem some of the 168 hours you’ve been given in a week?
If one of your yeses is finding a place to grow with Jesus, connect with other women, and connect at The Well, join us this fall for Women’s Equipping Class. We will study Philippians: Joy in All Things for 9 weeks (Tuesdays 9/6-11/1 6:30-8pm or Fridays 9/9-11/4 9:30-11am). You can sign up here: Women’s Equipping Class: Philippians
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)