Debby McCuiston, self-proclaimed “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We’re really excited about this new segment – and hope you are too! Take it away Debby…
I must tell you, a week in New York City can change the way you look at things. I don’t think I will ever complain again about how fast the grass grows or having to plant flowers or how long it takes to get anywhere to shop. The only grass we saw was in the parks that the city has planned. I must say, they have done a beautiful job of putting parks in even the smallest spot. Did you know that those concrete areas in the middle of the road can be turned into a really nice park. With some grass, a few flowers, a fancy iron fence and a little magic you now have a park where people will eat lunch, read the paper and meet up with friends. The odd thing is that no one seems to mind doing all that in the middle of all that traffic. I guess in a barren land any park helps to rejuvenate your spirit.
I came back ready to get in my flower beds. I can’t wait to get out in the yard and make some plans to get the yard in order. I do not like to get dirty or sweat! Since we do not have a gardener or young kids at home, it’s up to me and my sweet hubby. (This is one of the draw-backs to letting your kids grow up and move away to have a life of their own). If you have kids at home, get them to work in the yard and get all the projects finished before they leave. They won’t come back and help, no matter how hard you beg and heap the guilt on.
I know many of you have been working so hard on getting the inside of your house in order. This week let’s take a step outside and dream.
Having a yard that is clean and free from all the things that you are saving for that someday projects can be one of the most rewarding areas in your life. When I let myself dream big, big dreams about my perfect house, it always starts in the yard. I want the outside of the house to reflect our personalities. I know most people wait to do the yard after all the stuff is finished on the inside. But we all need a place to relax and get away.Your yard can be another room to entertain friends, and enjoy some quality family time.( Note to self: Friends and family will not think working in the yard is quality time).
Imagine driving up in your driveway and having your yard done. There is a peace that will come over you even before you enter your home. Having flowers around you can calm even the most ruffled feathers after a bad day. I know that getting the yard in order can be expensive and take a lot of time. But you would be surprised that just cleaning the weeds and unwanted stuff in the yard can make a major difference. When you get the basic things taken care of you can add in some small things in as you budget allows. When you start you must make up your mind not to try to keep up with the neighbors or the winner of “the most beautiful house on the block award’. Start by doing what you can with what you have available to you. When we first started working on our yard we would find people that were getting rid of bushes or changing out items in their yard and make a “deal” to take it off their hands.
Start looking through books for ideas of what you would like to have your outdoor space look like. Drive around and see what other people have done to their yards. My favorite is watching the shows on TV about redoing your yard. (My husbands hates this one because I always come up with new ideas and a never-ending list of things to do in the yard). Start gathering ideas and pictures before you begin working. Your yard will always be a work-in-progress, but having an idea of how to begin will help with the motivation when you run out of energy.
While you are working on the yard, consider putting a few veggie plants in pots somewhere in the yard – or, if you have the space, you may want to put in a small garden.. Not only will it add to the beauty of the yard but nothing is better than a fresh tomato on your sandwich.
Start small by getting out and cleaning your yard. Mow and rake up all the dead stuff. Next, get a small flower bed started, around a tree or in a few pots to set on the porch. Get your flowers at any store that has good healthy plants or get a few packs of seeds. (I haven’t found coupons on plants or seeds but if you do, let me know).*Jamie Interupts here to point you to THIS POST for plant/seed/mulch coupons!* Take a few before and after pics and send them in. I would love to see the before and after results.
Remember, one of the first things that God created was gardens. He made them for man to live in. They were complete with everything we needed. Can you imagine walking through those gardens? Talk about peaceful. We can never recapture that amount of beauty in one space. We can create a place to spend time with the Creator, a place of Peace and Beauty. A place to spend time with family and friends. This can be a place to remind us that our relationship with the Creator of the universe needs to be tended to. There are always “weeds” in our lives that are waiting to find a weak spot to take over and choke out the beauty. We need to be looking for ways to make the garden of our lives more peaceful and to reflect the personality of the ONE who lives within us. This garden is always a work in progress, adding new things and taking out the old nature. Remember the ever-growing relationship with our Lord is the most important thing that we must spend time on. Be careful to get the weeds of life out and replace them with seeds that grow by spending time in His word and time with His people. Nothing can replace the peace that comes from spending time in the “garden” with Him.
Now get out and play in the yard.
Let me know how things are “growing” at firstname.lastname@example.org
or post a picture of your favorite place in your own yard on our Facebook Fan page here. Others will enjoy and glean off your ideas!