Our yard looks awful.
There are several reasons for this.
One is that our lawn mower is broken. After being in the shop for a week, our mower finally came back tonight. Joe got home after dark and prepared to mow anyway, only to find that it STILL doesn’t work. While everyone else in our lovely neighborhood has been mowing their yards three or even four times, ours grows up in weeds halfway to my knees, as if our lot was abandoned and someone was just squatting in our house.
Another reason for the tangled meadow that is our yard is that we are not good at outside work. We are both bookish people, and while Joe actually had a part-time job mowing yards in high school, it should be noted that he also almost cut off his toe while doing said job. And while I did mow acres of grass with a push mower for my parents, and while I did work in their garden and have a fairly accurate assessment of what the difference is between a weed and a plant, I never notice the weeds until they are everywhere, and suddenly the job feels overwhelming.
The last reason is that we simply don’t care. We hate yard work. We hate thinking about it. We hate how much we don’t know about it. Everyone else seems to get it, and to enjoy it, and to have a natural ability to understand what needs to be done. I see them fertilizing their grass, and weedeating, and mulching. Their plants never look like overgrown jungles, and they don’t seem to waste hours of their weekend with unnecessary and futile fights with their landscaping. But I don’t want to waste even ten minutes, and when the appearance of my front yard is too embarrassing, I can still go into the house and shut the door and pretend the whole thing doesn’t exist.
I really only mind because I worry about what other people will say. I want to post a sign on the front door in block letters describing our mower problems and providing an estimated timeline for mower repairs. I want to scuttle in and out of my driveway like a crab, not making eye contact with anybody.
I feel like a failure as a grown-up.
But nights like tonight, when I have finally noticed the giant mess our front yard is, I have to remind myself to accept the grace and mercy God always gives. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. I can rest in his grace. I can give myself grace with his help.
Nights like tonight remind me to extend grace to others. As I dread what others are probably saying about me, I am reminded not to be one who says things about others.
Nights like tonight remind me that in the long run, the state of my yard doesn’t say anything about my worth as a person. God doesn’t love me more because I mow or less because I don’t. He just loves, which sets me free to be the exact and only me that God ever made.
I’m not happy with my yard. But it seems like maybe I needed the reminders.