Aerate, Prune, Weed, Fertilize

From a gardening point of view, this is one of my favorite times of year. New growth abounds! Buds are forming, green shoots are emerging, and the brown lawn is gradually giving way to green. Rather than cutting back perennials in the fall, I like to leave the dried stems and seed pods for “winter interest.” Some may think this behavior of a lazy gardener, but it’s all a therapeutic process for me. Looking out the window at the frozen, brown garden in the middle of January brings a real sense of hope for me, or perhaps it’s a feeling of confidence. Hope, that all the plants will make it through the winter dormancy, showing signs of life come spring and confidence that despite lack of attention to them for months, they will survive!

Working outside this past week, made me realize how much many gardening tasks mirror habits we should regularly practice to keep ourselves and our relationships healthy and nurturing. Just think of it…we aerate our lawns pulling “plugs” of thatch filled dirt supposedly to give our lawns a better chance to allow air, moisture and fertilizer down to the roots. We prune branches of bushes and trees in our attempts to help them have a better shape and to rid them of dead parts. We weed out those unwanted dandelions and other uninvited visitors of our tidy beds. We fertilize to make our plants stronger and healthier and our lawns greener and more lush.

I believe God wants us to do those things in our lives….Aerate - pull some “plugs” (bad habits, fear,) to allow the good stuff to have a better chance of reaching our roots and make our lives better. Prune - cut off those dead branches (anger, resentment) of our lives that keep us from experiencing better relationships with God and our friends and family. Weed – rid our “gardens” of unwanted visitors (procrastination, worry.) And last but maybe most importantly, fertilize – (feed your faith, serve others, engage in healthy relationships.) For everything there is a season, and this is the season of new growth, renewal, and rebirth. Let’s get out there and do some aerating, pruning, weeding and fertilizing.

Andrea Heshmati

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