Weeds and Wisdom. Four Lessons They Taught Me - Betty Streff
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Weeds and Wisdom. Four Lessons They Taught Me

Weeds and Wisdom. Four Lessons They Taught Me

“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.”~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Wisdom has a way of hiding in the ordinary. I don’t remember a time in my life when wisdom showed up in a fancy outfit. It’s true that the Bible tells us wisdom is more precious than rubies but I’ve found she usually shows up in work clothes. Often on her knees, pulling weeds.


There’s a classic story about a pastor who was out for a drive and came upon a farm he admired greatly. He stopped and motioned the farmer to come over to his car. The fellow climbed off his tractor obligingly and walked over to greet the Reverend. The preacher said to him, “My good man, God has certainly blessed you with a magnificent farm.” And then, there was a pause as the farmer took off his cap and scratched his head. “Yes, He has, and we’re sure grateful. But you should have seen this place when He had it all to Himself.”


Weeds can teach us wisdom


Agriculture and gardening are rich in metaphors for life. Both teach us hard work, patience, persistence and to roll with the punches when there’s a hail storm. Sometimes we’re forced to start over. In my case, it hasn’t been hailstones that caused the setback, it was softballs and baseballs. We have six grandkids and half of them play softball or baseball. A lot! For several weeks during the peak growing season, I abandon my garden gloves, dandelion digger and kneeling pad for stadium seats and bleachers.


We’ve reached the final weekends of the ball season. Only one of our ballplayers is still competing. Weeknights belong to me again. Only districts and the possibility of state competition remain. It’s time for me to show the pesky spurge, bindweed, foxtails and water grass who is boss! The daisies have gone all leggy and brown, the rhubarb has bolted and the scoreboard shows weeds in the lead and ground cover losing ground!



Four lessons I learned. Weed ’em and Reap


Everything looks great in April and May! Flowers look all fresh and bright as they bob their lovely heads in the breeze. It all seems so easy but don’t be fooled! The weeds are plotting a comeback. Lesson: youth is a gift but it’s fleeting.


It’s much easier to grow weeds than flowers. They take no care, less water and they thrive in bad conditions. Lesson: ugly thoughts are like brain weeds. We have to keep pulling them out while we nurture the beautiful ones!


It’s a constant process. I don’t like to use the term battle, I’d rather say cultivate. Whether we are cultivating a friendship, marriage or our work we must spend time and energy on it every single day. Lesson: we get results where we put our attention.


Every season has its special beauty. Over the growing season, different things reach their peak at different times. Learn to recognize the qualities of each. The garden has distinctly different seasons. Lesson: Be ready for the gifts of each season, youth, maturity and our later years. Each brings us the opportunity to bloom.


“I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden.”~John Erskine!


It’s incredible what we can learn from the simplest chores of living and caring for our home and family when we allow ourselves to tune into the moment. It will amaze you! I’d love to hear about the insights you’ve discovered when you meet wisdom in the everyday.



P.S. Summer is zipping by and it’s time to plan fall meetings! There’s no denying every organization has to do more with less these days. Stress-filled, demanding jobs can leave us physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day. Too often, we put ourselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to self-esteem and self-care. That’s why I’ve developed two programs to re-energize and re-focus these weary folks!  Call me for details at 308.627.5558 or email me at bjstreff@gmail.com. I’d love to tell you more!

  • Funny….I was just noticing this morning how my flower beds are showing the neglect. I loved this post.

    July 19, 2018 at 5:46 pm
  • Gail

    I love that I can choose to spend time with people and later catch up to the weeds. I am using a lot of weed barrier cloth and mulch this year which should pay off in less work! Love your stories, quotes and writing!

    July 24, 2018 at 6:14 am
  • Julie Oldfather

    I have missed your blog. Thanks for your heartfelt inspiration.,,

    August 14, 2019 at 11:15 am
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