I held my breath as I waited for the sound.
The violent crunch of the lawnmower let me know another flowerbed had met with an abrupt end. I expected to feel sadness as the blades ripped through the patch of purple flowers in our backyard. Instead, an odd sense of relief washed over me. I did not have to worry about keeping them up any more.
When we first moved into our home, I was thrilled with the amazing landscaping. Flowerbed after flowerbed . Neatly trimmed bushes. Brick pavers and loads of fresh mulch. Even the swimming pool was surrounded by mulch and vibrant flowers. Having long admired homes with yards such as this one, I thought my landscaping dreams had come true.
But it was not long before the once appealing flowerbeds became pitiful weedy messes. Messes that left my husband and I feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. One by one, flowerbed by flowerbed, I admitted they needed to go. I realized a simple yet well-kept yard would be better than an overrun and neglected one. And my life as a busy young mom definitely demanded we have a simpler kind of beauty.
Of course, my yard is not the only place I need to be reminded that simple can still be beautiful. Too often I can be caught longing for what I find desirable in the lives of other women. Women who cook gourmet meals, keep immaculate homes, sew clothing and cute curtains, scrapbook, have upper arms that look fabulous in sleeveless shirts, lead Bible studies, write books, volunteer here, there and everywhere…and appear to do it all with a joyful I-never-loose-my-cool-with-my-kids attitude.
But when I try to cram my life too full of all of those seemingly good things, instead of ending up with beauty, I end up with a weedy mess of a life and an all too grumpy me.
I could learn a thing or two from the Proverbs 31 woman. The Amplified version of Proverbs 31:19 says, “She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.”
Before I overcomplicate my life, before I add one more thing to my to do list, I need to really think (and pray) about it. I don’t want to neglect what truly matters. I want to find the beauty in wisely and lovingly caring for all that I already have.
I am a simple gal living a simple life with a yard that seems to get simpler every time my husband hops on the mower. We have three amazing daughters who do not care one lick about cute curtains, fancy flowerbeds, or my upper arms. And if I never fix a gourmet meal even once in my entire lifetime, if I simply love these people in my home well, I am realizing that more than counts as a beautiful.