Today was a great day, I really tried to do everything “with gladness”(2 Samuel 6:12), and it really made a difference. Of course it isn’t hard when I began the day working on one of my art pieces; I love to paint! While my daughter attended her seminary class, I sat in my car and continued working on my latest painting. For me, having just 45 minutes to paint really makes everything right in the world!
After class, we headed home and I was able to do some yard work. My second favorite thing is gardening. I thoroughly enjoy trimming bushes and trees, mowing the lawn & removing weeds. When I’m outside I can forget all about the stresses of life and I can allow myself to just enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.
Last week as I was working in the yard I learned a truly valuable lesson. When I moved into my home a little over two years ago, I gained a well maintained and beautifully landscaped yard, but some of the plants were varieties I’d never seen before & so I really wasn’t familiar with how to care for or maintain them. Luckily on a tropical island everything grows & grows & then grows some more, so I never felt the need to concern myself about how to prune & trim things. I knew that the difference between a good & a bad trim was just a matter of a week or two’ regrowth.
Sadly, my inexperience proved problematic for one of the trees. I had been treating it as a shrub and I felt that it was beginning to grow out of control. That day I had armed myself with a variety of trimmers and headed to the “shrub”. As I stood in front of it, I realized how large it had become & so I decided that it was time for a serious trim. I stepped back to see if it had enough limbs & branches to convert it into a Disney topiary, and as I changed vantage points I noticed that my “shrub” was really a macadamia nut-tree.
My new understanding of what was growing in my yard had altered my plans. I no longer had visions of “Mickey” or “Goofy” ornamenting my back yard, but I did have a greater appreciation for the creations of this earth. I realized that I had unintentionally spent two years trying to make that tree into something it would never be; instead of helping it to reach its greatest potential. I also realized that I have made decisions in my life that had kept me from reaching my full potential. I have spent the last two years limiting my growth when I might have accomplished many more things if I had stepped back and viewed myself the way that God sees me. “With gladness” I have begun to allow myself to work toward my best self.