Summer was not kind to our yard. An agreement to put down new sod never came to fruition. White grubs attacked the front yard. Weeds ran rampant in the back. An extra month of Florida's broiling summer temperatures baked the remaining lawn. If I had a dollar for every dollar weed.....
Still--our grass continues to fight on as I try to remedy problems which have developed over the past few years. I haven't been able to do much yard work since the birth of our first son. My boys have only recently allowed me to work on household projects while they amuse themselves. It's hard to mow and trim with preschoolers clinging to my shirt. It's been over 5 years since I've been able to help with the yard and it shows. The condition of my lawn fills me with equal parts despair and determination.
So my heart and mind were primed for a recent sermon illustration. Pastor told the story of a man who battled crabgrass in his yard, digging it up wherever he found it. He discovered that he never could get rid of it. He could dig forever and the crabgrass would spring up somewhere else. Finally, he asked a lawn expert what to do. The man told him, "Forget the crabgrass. Plant good seeds."
It took him 3 years of planting and nurturing the good grass, but he looked out one spring and his yard was beautiful. The crabgrass was on the edges of the yard, trying to get in, but it couldn't. The good grass was too thick. Its roots were too deep.
As I approach this Advent season, it's easy for me to look back over this year and see where I've failed. Resolutions made at the beginning of 2009 were choked out by the weeds of busyness and neglect. The demands of projects and appointments cling to me, keeping me from tending the garden of my soul.
I could keep digging at these regrets--or I could get busy planting good seeds. The season of Advent begins next Sunday: the first Sunday of the liturgical year. Our family will begin a weekly devotional time. I have my "Bible in a year" plan ready. I've discovered some tips that other busy moms have shared for meditating on God's word during the day--and will share those here. I'm ready to plant good seeds and encourage deep roots. Life's weeds will still be there, but hopefully they won't grow in as far.
Yesterday, I hauled out the spreader and put down the first bag of fertilizer toward reclaiming our yard. We've sprayed for grubs. I'm preparing to re-sod or re-plug parts of our yard in early spring. Hopefully one day our lush, green lawn will return. In the meantime, every weed will serve as a physical and spiritual reminder to plant good seeds.