This is Day 181 of the Green in 365 series!
Do you ever have great ideas and plans in your mind, but they don’t play out in your life the way that you want or expect? Or you look at your life and think, “This isn’t quite what I had in mind!”
I do this a lot in my life. In the big, overall picture of my life. And also in the small projects that I just don’t have the time and energy to complete the way I would like to.
Take our front yard and garden for instance.
When I open my front door and look out over my “garden” area, this is what I see.
There is nothing growing there that will actually produce food. Yes, it’s all weeds!
And this is our front yard right now. Yes, our neighbors must hate us!
You see, we have great plans and intentions for our front yard. My husband worked really hard several years ago to take out over half of the lawn and replace it with tiered rock wall beds, and made a raised bed garden area for me on the side of the house. But our big plans have not really worked out the way we expected them to.
Grass doesn’t grow in what is left of the lawn area of our yard. For two years in a row we’ve tried to grow a nice green lawn, and it just hasn’t made it. One side is low growing weeds. The other side has a strange kind of weed grass that is taking over!
We didn’t get our garden planted this year the way we wanted to. Busy weekends meant there was no time to get the beds ready and planted, so they’ve just been taken over by weeds, and I’m mourning the loss of growing our own vegetables this year.
But, there is still beauty in the midst of our yard. If you zoom in, and take a closer look, you will see it.
The huge and beautiful day-lillies in bloom.
Pops of purple.
And red and yellow.
These are coneflowers. Also knows as Echinacea.
They were here when we moved in, and I just realized what they were last year! I’m really hoping to make an Echinacea tincture this year from the fresh flowers and leaves to have on hand for my family when cold and flu season hits.
This is a lavender plant. Again it was here when we moved in. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to figure out what to do with it. Besides this dried lavender pot, I really have no clue. But I know that it’s both beautiful and useful.
I think my yard is teaching me a lesson about life this year.
You may have plans and goals and expectations for your life that aren’t working out the way you expected them too. I know I do. I wanted to plant a garden, and an herb garden. We want to replace the grass with ground cover and perennials. But instead it’s just an overgrown mess of ugliness. The same is true in many ways of my life right now.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t beauty and blessings in the midst of the craziness. You could be missing out on it if you’re only focusing on the big picture and not taking the time to pause and zoom in and notice the beauty and grace that is all around you in the small things.
That’s the lesson that I’m taking away from my overgrown and ugly yard and garden tonight.
So I’m giving myself grace. Letting go of the plans for the yard and garden this year. Instead I’m focusing on the good things.
Take time to notice the beauty. My children playing and laughing. Singing and snuggling. Sweet kisses and skinned knees.
Stop and smell the roses. Count the beautiful blessings in your life. Appreciate the small moments of grace and beauty. They are all around you.
And then send your husband out to cut the grass!
And there’s always next year to plan and grow a beautiful yard and garden!
Do you have plans and projects in your life that haven’t worked out the way that you expected? How do you take the time to see the beauty in the midst of the craziness of life?
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Dusty Krikau says
I feel like you need to know the joys of this cake from my friend, Krista. You can use your lavender fresh or dried. You wanted a natural birthday cake recipe, right?!?
Adapted from recipe at http://www.joys-of-lavender.com
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix and set aside:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. dried lavender buds (pulse this in blender with 1/2 cup of above sugar)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Add, one at a time, then beat until light and fluffy.:
Alternating with dry mix, blend in:
1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk or sour cream or thin yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Put in lightly greased pan.
Pan sizes and baking times.
One 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan 50 to 60 minutes.
One 9-inch springform pan for 60 to 70 minutes.
Two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans for 40 to 50 minutes.
Two 8-inch round or square cake pans for 30 to 35 minutes.
Bake until the top springs back when pressed gently in middle or use toothpick or knife in center of cake, If it comes out clean, remove from heat and cool for 10 minuets before you remove it from your pan.
3 cups powdered sugar
4-6 stems of lavender flowers
In a small bowl, bury lavender flowers in sugar. Press down on flowers gently with a fork. Toss and mix gently. let rest 10-15 minutes. remove Flowers, shaking off any loose sugar.
Add milk to desired consistency (thinner for a glaze, thicker for a frosting). I like to color it purple with some food coloring for added effect. Pour or spread on cake. Decorate with sprigs of lavender.
Eat & enjoy!
Emily, there is a LOT of beauty in your yard and little imperfections are just fine. Being a busy mom with three little ones is a full time job and maintaining this blog each and every day, plus all the house work and other commitments are jobs number 2 and 3 and 4…and I am sure there is more. It’s hard to accomplish everything we plan, and you’re totally right about just stopping, smelling the roses and counting our blessings. I think you are doing a wonderful job! 🙂
Emily @ Live Renewed says
Thank you Sibella! You are so sweet! 🙂
I like your flowers! While I certainly can relate to the frustration of projects that didn’t get finished as intended…I also have a possible solution for your yard right now: Get a couple packets of morning glory seeds and plant them in all the “not working out” areas of your yard. It’s still early enough in the season to get them established, and they will grow all over everything (be sure to guide the vines away from the plants that ARE working out) and make pretty flowers. This is how we handle the two privet bushes in our front yard that we don’t like because they’re so boring but can’t dig out because they are right over the gas line; we just cut them back as low as we can (which isn’t very low because they were huge when we moved in) and treat them as morning glory trellises.
Emily @ Live Renewed says
Thanks ‘Becca! So do the morning glories kinda of “take over”? Are the annuals or perrenials? I’ll definitely have to look into them. Besides the fact that our garden is just overrun with weeds, our yard isn’t totally terrible – it’s just not what we wanted or expected it to be this year! 😉
Morning glories will strangle and shade out many smaller plants, including weeds, and hide larger plants by growing on them. They are annuals, but seeds that dropped can survive the winter and grow new plants in spring. If you don’t want this to happen, pick off the seed pods before they dry and pop open (you have a large window for this, since the pod stays green for several weeks after a flower drops) and then pull off and compost the vines when they stop blooming around first frost.
What we do is collect as many ripe seeds as possible (hold an open envelope under the seed pod and crumple it) before we pull off the vines, and then the next spring we plant the seeds where we want them to grow. When we see morning glory seedlings in undesirable places, we pull them up. My son loves collecting the seeds and also enjoys coaxing the vines off of bad places and onto good places.