Lessons from a List – (Angry) weeds

Weeds?  I’m angry about weeds?

The Bible talks about the law of the harvest.  You reap what you sow.  If you sow corn seeds, you harvest more corn.  If you plant stinging nettle, you get more stinging nettle.

This is true even if you didn’t plan on planting stinging nettle.

Stinging nettle is a weed.  Specifically, a weed that injects irritants when touched.    

Apparently, I’ve been planting a LOT of stinging nettle without meaning to.

My list of low level angries is full of the stuff.  My list is full of stuff that injects irritation in my life when I touch it (or see it).

angry weeds

Remember? I made a list Sunday of all the little things I was angry about.  Nothing big.  Most of it was so… NORMAL that it didn’t even register as anger any longer.

Yesterday, I started crossing off the easy stuff.  The low hanging fruit.  Feeling in control and crossing stuff off my list felt really good.

Next on my list are all the irritating weeds.  My list is full of stinging nettles and I planted every one of them.

My toe nail polish is chipped and ugly.

My son has a bad habit that annoys me.

I feel like a failure because the laundry isn’t put away.

I’m irritated today over a bad choice I made earlier.  I don’t like the results of my own decisions.

Realizing that stung.

A lot.

sow in peace

Look at my (angry) weeds.

I’m the one who chose to get hot pink polish in August.  I’m the one who hasn’t chosen to use polish remover or get another pedicure since then.  So why on earth am I angry about it?

I’m the one who let my son’s habit start over a year ago.  I chose to ignore it because I didn’t want the confrontation.  I’ve been making the same choice every day.  What right do I have to be angry over this?

I’m the one who chose to play Candy Crush instead of folding socks.  Again.  Why on earth am I angry about laundry?

I’m angry with myself.

All those little things I let slide kind of add up.  The decision to spend five blissful minutes crushing candy isn’t a bad one.  But making that same choice six times a day for the past year… well… maybe there’s a better way to spend my time.

The toe nail polish thing?  Every time I see my feet it’s this nagging reminder that I didn’t get it all done today.  I keep putting it off because my husband put the polish remover on the top shelf and I can’t reach it.  So I look at my toes, feel less than sexy about my feet, feel defeated, and feel slightly mad at my husband.  Clearly the whole thing is his fault for putting the polish remover where I can’t reach it.

And so on.

Over and over.

So many inventive little ways to be angry at myself.  So many little pebbles of anger.

harvest a crop of love

This could take some time.

I could get discouraged, but I chose not to.

If a farmer sows a crop of nettles by mistake, he can’t pull all the seeds out of the ground.  When he sows wheat, it takes time for the new seeds to grow and fruit.   See Matthew 13:23-30.  I’m paraphrasing.

In my own backyard, it has taken several seasons for a weed patch to slowly give way to the grass.  The battle has been slow.  We pull the weeds and nurture the grass on an almost continual basis.   I’ve noticed that even if we slack off, it’s not like starting from scratch.  In those places where the grass is firmly rooted, the weeds are slow to grow.  We keep most of the progress we’ve made.

I have a lot of nettles planted.  I can see several seasons of pulling weeds while I nurture the grass.

If I want to stop harvesting weeds, I have to stop planting them.

the Lord gives strength to his people

I have a challenge for you:

Your turn: Get the list of little angries that you made earlier.  If you haven’t made one yet, set the timer for three minutes and get all those little annoyances down on paper.

Grab a blue highlighter (or put a big H mark) next to all the items on your list that are your harvest.

Do NOT beat yourself up.  You didn’t plant weeds on purpose.

Look at how much of your list that represents.

Right here, right where the weeds are.  There are seeds of peace.

little list of angries

How are you doing?  How much of your list is now covered in highlighter?  

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