We live in a development on a no outlet street cul-de-sac. It’s private, safe, and we love it. One thing that sometimes throws me off track is a neighbor. A retiree, that lawn might be mowed once, twice, yes, even three times a week.
Yeah, we don’t have time for that.
I can tell he takes pride in his yard, and I get it. He works on it and it looks good. We are a busy family where work and ministry are higher priorities. Our son does a great job with the lawn, but it isn’t an obsession for any of us.
Sometimes I get caught up in the neighbor’s priorities, or, dare I go there, I fear his reaction and/or rejection. When our once-a-week is suddenly ten days without mowing, I struggle with feeling pressured to get it done because of that neighbor.
A few weeks ago my husband and son were out of town and it had been so rainy. Our grass was so tall, and the dandelions were past their prime and now a poof with long stems. As I drove by, I noticed every house around seemed void of dandelions, weeds, and tall grass. Most of the development uses landscapers, and some even call in companies to put chemicals on their lawn.
We’re from the country. Before we even moved to Ohio we never knew people actually make patterns from their mowing. We grew up just mowing to mow. Not only do I battle pressure to keep up mowing, but the fact that apparently we should be making fancy patterns out of our yard work, too.
I drove through lamenting why do I put myself through the pressure, and why do I care. Why is it everyone has great looking lawns when they are just as busy as we are?
It wasn’t audible, but that is what keeps coming to mind every time I think of it. Our yard might not win any awards, but the yard is like us. Authentic. We are often due for pruning and a lot of work pulling out the weeds in our life. Although lawns, with a lot of time and money, can appear to look magazine worthy every day, it’s not quite a real representation. Those chemical companies charge to kill the weeds, and so do the landscapers that have their industrial mowers that can finish in half the time we can doing it ourselves.
My guess is like me, you’ve seen people who look on the outside completely put together. No signs of weeds or tall grass in their life. I remember meeting someone like that and I felt completely inadequate around her. What I didn’t know was her life was in chaos, and months later her marriage ended in a public way. I walked away understanding I will never look perfect or magazine ready, and that’s okay. I’m a work in progress, and what you see is what you get.
And the Lord is pleased with that.
So if you struggle to keep up with everyone else, realize they might be putting in more effort to hide their issues than you are going to the Lord with it head-on. Sure, our way may look like am unkept lawn with poofy dandelions, but everything about you, lawn included, is a real deal.
Embrace that, and not the lie that you have to have your neighbor’s perfect lawn.