Dandelions and Gratitude (Philippians 4)

Written by: RJ Thesman
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As I dug out another dandelion, I wondered if I had been completely insane to buy my house. It seemed like a good idea at the time –to finally escape from rental property and become a homeowner once again. Surely I had recovered enough from the divorce that I was ready to own my own land again.

But after just a few years of gardening, weeding, mowing the lawn and shoveling snow –I began to second-guess myself. Maybe owning my own place wasn’t such a great idea after all. How could I possibly continue to maintain this place with its overgrown yard and the constant dandelions that refused to die?

I complained and wished for a smaller place, with a nice deck where I could scatter a few container gardens. “Can you figure out a different place for me, God? Help me sell this place and move somewhere easier? Sure, I know this was my idea but can you get me out of this jam?”

As I prayed, I realized my complaining spirit. While I still felt miserable, with the sweat pouring down my neck and the dandelions hanging on to the soil for dear life, I also remembered my friend who struggles with muscular dystrophy.

She would love to roam through her back yard, pulling weeds and pushing a lawn mower. Now years into the disease, she no longer has the strength to even push earrings through the holes in her ear lobes. In fact, she has let her pierced ears grow shut, because, why bother?

Yet here I am, strong and healthy, able to pull weeds in the garden of my own home, and complaining about it.

Some women across the world don’t have the freedom to own their own homes. They would probably join my friend in a happy dance if they could do the yard work I hate.

As the Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4: “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

For now, I need to be grateful for what I have and stop whining about the work required to keep it. It is a blessing to be able to work outside in my yard. This type of activity keeps my bones healthy and my muscles strong. The fresh air is good for me after hours in the office, sitting in my chair and wishing I could be outside.

For now, I need to stop worrying about the future, let God decide how long I live here, enjoy my sunflowers and my strawberries and be grateful.

Yes, grateful even for the dandelions.

Check out an earlier post by RJ here.