How pulling weeds made me think of bad habits

I don’t know about you but when I’m engaged in a mindless activity, like pulling weeds, my mind remains anything but neutral. I find these times are usually times of reflection.

Tuesday of this week was unseasonably hot in Michigan. I worked in my mom’s garden for a couple of hours in the morning. I stayed inside until about seven in the evening when I went outside to work in my own yard.

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I have a couple of huge pine trees in back of my deck. I use the pine needles for mulch in the garden that is on this side of the house. But the area was full of tiny little tree sprouts and I certainly didn’t want to transport them into my garden. I couldn’t spray them with anything for that same reason. So I did the only thing I could. I got down and hand-pulled every one of them. What a job! It wasn’t hard, just time-consuming.

But it got me to thinking.


Some of the tiny saplings were very easy to pull out, obviously because they hadn’t had time to take root. Some of them required a hard tug while others  I had to use both my hands and really give them a yank.

I couldn’t help but think how much this process was like bad habits. Some habits are fairly easy to break; others require a little more time, and finally there are those that are really hard to change.

And what makes all this interesting is that there is a point when even the most ingrained habit was nothing more than a little sapling. We didn’t pull it up then because we had no idea it was going to take hold.

One example of my own is probably snacking at night. One cookie at night is nothing much and because it isn’t, two can’t hurt. Pretty soon, it’s four or five and now I have developed a habit of snacking on four or five cookies .

The same applies to weight gain. On our way to going forty pounds, there were increments of five pounds, then ten pounds. How much easier to have lost that first five than the final forty.

It’s easy to let things sneak up on us.

Lately, I’ve been praying for God to keep me aware of all these little habits of mine that get in the way of being used by him. I want to be aware of the tiny “saplings” before they get to be trees I can’t pull up.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.




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