When I start feeling really bad about the state of my yard I just have to go to our neighbor's yard and take a peek.
Yup. Not photoshopped. Legit four foot weeds have overtaken their yard.
It got me thinking.
I've worked exceptionally hard to keep our landscaping and my newly planted wildflowers alive, (I'm referring to them now as "wildflowers," humor me please.) I water daily, (well... mostly), and I watch the weather forecast diligently, hoping something will fall from the sky. It hasn't.
I pull out weeds that keep finding some way to survive despite the large amount of round-up I have sprayed on them.
I'm barely keeping our plants and shrubs alive, yet they are being painstakingly cared for and maintained.
Our neighbor's backyard, on the other hand, has been ignored. No watering or pruning. Yet, the weeds have flourished and thrived. They are ugly, prickly, and full of bugs, rodents, and other animals I'd rather not think about.
How true is that in our lives?
How quickly things can grow in our lives that are unhealthy and provide no beauty or worth.
It doesn't take much for gossip to seep into our conversations and our friendships and choke out any authentic and true relationships we may have. We let it become a part of our normal interactions and before we know it, gossip becomes a part of who we are. We can't communicate without it. It is pervasive and sly and brings no value or beauty to our female relationships.
I believe we were made and designed as women to thrive in relationships. Authentic, honest friendships bring us life and keep us going. They make us better wives, better mothers, better women.
Gossip is a weed that chokes out the beautiful landscape God intended friendship to be.
Bitterness and envy are other weeds that can choke out our joy in our lives. The comparison game quickly steals our contentment. It doesn't take much on our part, just a couple "what-ifs" in our mind and we are far down the path of wishing we were skinnier, richer, smarter, more creative....
Finding the beauty and contentment in our lives, the way God designed us to be, takes work.
We have to choose to be content with our circumstances and where God has us. We have to choose to work at friendships, to share the honest, raw parts of ourselves that leave us vulnerable and open.
It takes effort and it's hard.
But when we do the work, when we let others know who we really are and we're content with who God created us to be, beauty abounds.
It's a lot easier for us to live with the weeds. Honestly, many of the women around us are choking in them.
Let's get to pruning and watering, ladies. Our lives and our friendships were intended for so much more.