Saturday, April 27, 2013

Close to the end ...

Does your backyard look like this?  

Nate and I have struggled to get our grass cut for the first time this spring!  (Well, I guess we can call it spring even though it still feels like winter most days!)  Honestly, it has been pretty close to the end of our priority list!  Most people in our neighborhood have cut their grass at least 2-3 times, and we are ready to purchase some goats and let them chow down on our "luscious greens!!"  When we didn't have kids, it honestly wasn't a problem to get the grass cut or the weeds pulled.  It was usually enjoyable to spend time outside together doing the yard work.  When the original landscaping was put in, the main request was for it to be "low-maintenance."  Two kids later, we have concluded nothing is low maintenance about our landscaping.   If you have decent size mulch beds around your whole house, that in itself = high maintenance.  Pulling weeds ALL THE TIME, spraying for weeds in the grass, putting down new mulch every year, and keep the large amount grass cut with a push mower ... honestly it is overwhelming!

You might be thinking ... it doesn't take THAT long to cut the yard or go pull the weeds each day?  Right?

Honestly, it isn't that easy.  To have a pristine weed-free yard, it seems as though other areas in life have to be sacrificed.  A person only has so much time in the day -- some have much less time than others!

(Disclaimer: For some without a commute like Nate's, I totally understand it is possible to keep up with the yard work when you are home more hours in the day.)

Here are a few reasons we have come up with ...

- Nate spends at least 13-15 hours commuting to work EVERY week!  That is a lot of hours in the car, not around the house doing work.

- We have two small children.  Enough said?  Nap time is the only quiet time in our house!  The last thing I want to do is be out cutting the grass when I can be spending it relaxing my mind, reading a book, doing a Bible Study, or relaxing and connecting with my husband during those precious weekend nap time hours.

- When we wake up on a Saturday morning, the first thing in our mind is NOT yard work, rather it is spending time together as a family surrounded by exercise!  We exercise as a family, that is just what we do! On beautiful days, our natural default is "how can we spend time together outside having fun?"  Yard work doesn't even cross our mind!  Sunday mornings are full with church and Sunday school and usually small group in the evening!

- In the evening, when Nate gets home from work, we immediately eat dinner, clean up the kitchen, play for a max of 30-60 min, then it is usually time for the kids bedtime.  When we haven't seen daddy all day long, the last thing we want to do is have him go spend an hour or more cutting the grass!

- During the weekend hours, we love to relax and have fun with friends and their kids!  Anything we can do to create lasting memories!  Relationships baby ... that is what we are about!

When you add up all these reasons, you can see how the yard just doesn't get cut the number of times when it should.  Slowly, I am starting to realize we can't be "SUPER" people.  We have limited time to do the things in life that is enjoyable to us, and yard work isn't one of those!  I have been a people pleaser my WHOLE life and have struggled with "What do the neighbors think of us?"  "I wonder if they are complaining about our yard and the fact we have some yellow "flowers" popping up (as Sophia calls them), or why the grass is a few inches taller than theirs?" We have been blessed with such INCREDIBLE neighbors that I don't want them to be frustrated with us!  Nevertheless, I have started to realize, we will just have to do the best we can do!   My hope is the neighbors will look past our grass and see our heart for people and relationships!  I hope they will remember the joy in our kids eyes when they see our incredible neighbors and love to go talk with them!

I don't want you to think we have weeds up to our chins and grass as tall as our preschooler!  We keep it looking "OK", but it isn't pristine by any means and well-manicured!  We aren't willing to sacrifice the little, yet precious family time we have to have a yard like the one in the picture above!  So, there will be a few dandelions (even though we put down pre-emergent), our grass will be cut most weeks only one time, and there will probably be a few weeds in our mulch beds, but I have to remember that the time we are spending together is precious in the sight of our Lord!

When I think of trying to scale down the "things" in our life ... I am reminded about this blog post!  It is amazing!  Check it out!   Minimalism: Addition not Subtraction.  So much joy is added to your life when you cut out the "excess!"  I am also reminded by a quote by Ann Voskamp in a recent blog post ... "The virus of distraction is cured by the art of subtraction." 

Are we the only family that struggles with this?  I know there has GOT to be at least one family out there!!

Please share your thoughts .....

1 comment:

Sarah Hawes said...

Amen! I have been mindful of this less is more thought for the past 2 years. However, I can never stay focused to follow it the way I want/need to. I cannot discipline myself on my own. God has given me many chances and I repeatedly fail. Recently, God has used a few events in my life to open my eyes to realize that He is the only thing I need and I am now in a position where I face a choice. A choice to fail once more and possibly not have a chance to get back up to try another one of MY solutions. Or a choice the lean on Him and hand it all over in complete trust in Him. Wow, your post really spoke to me. I have now put some action behind my thoughts and it already gives me peace. I am not about yard work either. The only weeds that get pulled are when I am outside with my kids and they are playing with each other. The cleanliness of my house is an embarrassment. It is so exhausting picking up all of the time! Thanks for the important reminder that daily life would actually be easier if I had less stuff!