Five Ways to Make May Day Baskets

It’s almost the first of May, which means I’ll be sneaking around the neighborhood delivering fresh flowers to my sweet friends pretty soon.

If you’re not familiar with May Day, it’s totally okay. I grew up in Arkansas and didn’t hear about it until I went to college in Nebraska. I think it’s a midwestern thing?! Anyway, it’s such a fun way to welcome spring and share a simple treat with others.

It’s been said that the tradition started when people would take all of the flowers that grew at the end of April’s showers, arrange them in pretty paper, and hang them on the doors of neighbors as a way of welcoming warmer weather.

Sadly, I think it’s becoming a lost tradition, but I’m not afraid to be a little old fashioned. I’m sticking with it and hope you’ll join me.

A few tips if you’re new to May Day basket deliveries.

  1. It’s supposed to be a secret. You deliver the basket, ring the doorbell, and run. My kids call it “ding-dong-ditching” which sounds very impolite. But the fact that we’re leaving goodies somehow makes it seem better to me.
  2. The baskets should be super simple. A few stems of flowers or a couple of pieces of candy is perfectly acceptable.
  3. Make each basket with grace and gratitude for your friends. Even though they won’t know it’s from you, they’ll feel your love the moment they open the door.

Here are five baskets to get your creative wheels spinning.

{ONE} Mason Jar Revival

I love Mason jars. They’re multi-tasking rock stars. Among many other uses, they’re the perfect, inexpensive vessel for May Day. Here are all of the supplies you’ll need for this first “basket”. >>

In addition to the Mason jar (with the lid) and some ribbon, you’ll see I raided the garden. This is a smart place to start this whole process so you don’t end up spending tons of money on flowers.

I snipped a mix of hostas, lilacs and some pink flowers that were growing in my hanging basket from Lowes. Lol! I ended up buying tulips from the store since mine have already come and gone. Tulips = spring to me.

To create the “handle,” you’ll want to slide the ribbon under the Mason jar lid. Notice I don’t have the top, just the outside ring. Next you just screw it on to secure the ribbon in place.

Fill the jar with fresh water, arrange your flowers, and then hang this lovely bouquet from your neighbor’s door. Ding-dong!

{TWO} Perfectly Sweet Planter

This might be the simplest idea in the batch. Here are the supplies, which I mostly got from the garden store. >>

I chose a pot of colorful zinnias for the focal point. For the basket I’m using Jiffy-Pots, which are biodegradable. You can literally plant the entire container in the ground. They’re basically thick paper cups, so it’s easy to punch holes in the sides.

And that’s the first step…punch holes on each side of your Jiffy-Pot.

Then you plant your flower of choice right into this earth-friendly little pot.

Lastly, thread the ribbon through the holes and tie knots on each side.

That’s it! You’re ready to spread May Day cheer.

{THREE} Aluminum Can-Do 

This sweet little number didn’t even require a trip to the store. Here are the only supplies you’ll need. >>

I used a can of corn in a recipe last night, so I upcycled an aluminum can. Then I “shopped” around my craft area for a pretty piece of paper and ribbon. The flowers were plucked from outside..white hydrangea and soft lambs ear.

First I covered the can with pretty paper.

Then I arranged my flowers. I kept this one pretty simple…tucking lambs ear down into the giant hydrangea blossom.

Here’s the back side where you can see the final step.

I tied ribbon around the top so I could create a loop to hang from the front door.

Note: An alternative idea would be to drill a small hole on each side of the can so you can create a more balanced arrangement.

{FOUR} Paper Plates & Goodies

For the candy lovers in your life, this would make a fun May Day surprise. Here are the supplies needed for this bright and sunny basket. >>

You’ll need a small paper plate (cut in half), a piece of pretty paper cut to the size of one of the halves, flowers, candies and ribbon.

I went with a “sunny” theme and gathered all kinds of yellow treats. The yellow pansies are from my front garden and the M&Ms were a special purchase. I had the paper and ribbon in my craft area.

To get the basket started, put the two paper plate halves facing each other. Staple the bottom to secure and punch holes on the sides for your ribbon.

I wanted to give the plate a facelift, so I glued a piece of decorative paper to the front.

The plate dips down on the edges, but I like having the paper cover the entire surface.

Here’s a better look. You can see how the paper is flat across the entire plate. It also leaves room for you to thread your ribbon.

This is a view of the finished basket with the ribbon tied to each side.

Now for the really fun part…filling the basket.

I used floral water tubes for the pansies to help keep them fresh and hydrated. You can get these at any floral shop. They also help bundle the pansies together, making it easier to tuck into the basket.

This is the final product with the candies and flowers ready to rock.

{FIVE} Triple Scoop Flower Cone

This is the most traditional style of all of the May Day baskets – with a paper cone. I also used tissue paper flowers so the entire thing is waterless. Here are the supplies. >>

In the upper left I have a stack of tissue paper to make the flowers. I also have floral picks with wire to help secure the paper flowers and give them “stems.”

The upper right is a piece of decorative paper for the cone. And in the lower right you can see I tossed in some greenery. It was actually left over from my front door wreath project. (More on that next week!)

I started by making the paper cone. I just rolled the the paper into the shape of a cone and secured the seam with clear tape.

As a tip, use double-sided paper so there’s a fun design peeking through the back.

Okay, now for the flowers. You’ve probably made tissue paper flowers before, but here’s a quick primer.

Fold a small stack of tissue paper back and forth (like a fan) until the entire thing is folded. Pinch it in the middle and secure with your wire floral pick.

Here’s what it looks like attached to the pick.

Working slowly so you don’t tear the tissue, gently pull and separate each of the layers. I like to work one side at a time.

Then work the other side until it looks like a full bloom! Repeat the process so you have several flowers for your basket.

Once you have all of your goodies ready, tuck everything into your paper cone. Finally, punch a hole in the back of the cone and thread your ribbon so you have a way to hang your beautiful bouquet.

That’s a wrap, my friends. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and give one of these baskets a try. Let me know how it goes.





How to Start the Perfect Bedtime Ritual

You know the saying “laughter is the best medicine”? Sleep might be a close second, if not a tie for first.

After a good night’s sleep I feel like a new person. I’m more alert, creative, and able to take on challenges. It’s such a magical thing, yet I’ve read that Americans are more sleep deprived than ever. Our tired bodies and minds need to rest – and heal.

There’s no time like the present (which also happens to be National Sleep Awareness Week) to look at our sleep habits.

Improving our sleep starts with our bedtime ritual.

I created a little acronym to help us…START >>

{S} Soften the landing

This lovely bedding is from Crane & Canopy. #affiliate

First and foremost, your bed should be the center of attention. Make it as cozy and welcoming as possible so when you enter your bedroom, all you want to do is kick off your shoes and sink down in its soft embrace.

Here are a few ways to make your bed more special:

  • Splurge on your bedding. We {should be} spending at least 8 hours a day here, so it’s worth the investment. Pick out the most beautiful pattern with the softest thread and treat yo’ self.
  • Layer on the softest blankets and pillows so it’s like a cozy nest every time you land.
  • Make the bed every morning so at night it feels like you’re entering a new space.
  • Freshen up your sheets by washing them at least every two weeks. Once a week is ideal.

{T} Take care of your body

Right before bed is the perfect time to check in with yourself. You’re already brushing your teeth and washing your face. What else needs attention? If your muscles are tight, maybe do some gentle stretches. Here are some yoga poses that are wonderful before bed.

If your mind won’t settle, try relaxing in a hot bath with epsom salts. The magnesium in the salts will help lull you to sleep – among plenty of other great benefits. Pair that with a cup of almond milk or camomile tea, and you’ll sleep like a champ.

{A} Adjust the air

The best way to appreciate a warm, cozy bed is to set a cool temperature. In fact, the suggested bedroom temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees to get the best sleep.

Another thing I like to do is make my room smell nice. (You know me and my thing with smells.) I spritz my pillows with fresh lavender water right before bed. The fragrance is so relaxing, and the recipe is super easy. >

  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1/4 cup Vodka
  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • Mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into a spray bottle (or two). Store in the refrigerator.

{R} Remove distractions

Your room should be a quiet, calm space that you can retreat to when needed. Clear off your night stand, add fresh flowers to make it pretty, and (…here’s the tough one) put your phone away at least an hour before bed.

This is non-negotiable, though, if you want a more restful night. Research shows spending time with smartphones late at night is contributing to a national epidemic of undersleep. Yikes.

Ideally, we’d leave them in the next room so we’re not tempted to answer texts, emails or Facebook notifications. Since I use my phone as an alarm, I keep it next to the bed – but with the ringer off. It’s still hard to ignore sometimes. #workinprogress

{T} Thank the day

Taking a moment to feel grateful at the end of the day has been a game changer for me. Instead of focusing on what went wrong and playing conversations over and over in my mind like a bad song on replay, I try to shift my focus to what went right.

What did I love about my day? Even if it was a crapper, what redeeming qualities can I dig up? Did I get to hug my kids? Did my dinner taste delicious? Does my bed feel good?

Making a commitment to writing these things down in a journal or on a piece of paper that goes in a gratitude jar can literally change our lives for the better.

That’s a START, anyway. I’d love to know what other bedtime rituals you have.

Until next time, I’m wishing you sweet dreams.



Decorating with Nature

Some of my favorite designers use earth tones in their color palettes and natural elements in their work. I just love this look.

And with Earth Day happening this weekend, I thought it would be fun to round up some beautiful and easy ways we can incorporate nature into our own homes.

{Another lovely print by Katie Daisy}

{ONE} Fresh Terrariums

Succulents and terrariums are all the rage right now, and we can jump on this trend with the help of this tutorial. I also have some inspiration for you on this board.

{TWO} Botanical Prints

Have you ever found a cool feather, leaf, or frond on a fern that you want to frame and keep forever? I love this idea. Sandwich your treasure between two pieces of glass and add it to a gallery wall for an instant conversation starter.

{You can actually buy these acrylic pieces of art at West Elm.}

{THREE} Herbs for Fragrance

Our homes should engage all of our senses…from the moment we walk in the door. Strategically placing herbs and fragrant flowers around the house can add a whole new vibrant dimension.

I particularly like the idea of adding fresh eucalyptus to the shower. The steam draws the oil out of the leaves and creates a spa-like atmosphere – not to mention clears your sinuses. (Much needed during this crazy allergy season.)

{This is a list of 12 natural ways to make your home smell good. Enjoy!}

{FOUR} Painted Rocks

Wouldn’t a stack of painted rocks be so pretty on a coffee table or in a clear vase on a bookshelf?

I have a feeling the process of painting rocks could be very meditative – like coloring books. But if you’d rather leave the painting to the pros, you can find plenty of options on Etsy. Like these lovely stones. >

{These mandala-inspired rocks can be purchased here.}

{FIVE} Driftwood Art

Pieces of driftwood are a lot like snowflakes and thumbprints…no two are alike. And this makes them a natural candidate for artwork.

I couldn’t decide on just one photo to share, so here are a few elements of inspiration for you. >

{Get the DIY tutorial here for this decorative orb. It looks so easy to make – and would make an interesting addition to any bookshelf or windowsill.}

{Get the DIY instructions here to make this gorgeous sea glass and driftwood wind chime.}

{Coming full circle to planters…get the tutorial for this rustic and on-trend centerpiece here.}

That’s a wrap for today, my friends.

How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day this weekend – or any day? I’d love to know, so please share in the comments.

Have a beautiful day, with many blessings.




High Fives on High Five Day

I’m smiling as I write this because of the fact that there’s such a thing as National High Five Day. I mean, what a day maker. And this year it looks like there’s a great cause attached to it.

The best way to celebrate this cool holiday is to throw some high fives in the air like you just don’t care. You can bet I’ll be doing this all day. And I’ll be using this for some inspiration.

In addition to celebrating friends and strangers, what about the things we depend on every day, but take for granted?

I thought it would be fun to share a few things around my house that make my life soooo much easier. And for that, I’m high-fiving all of them – personally. >

{ONE} The Keurig

Dear Keurig, I love your perfectly measured one-cup servings of any hot drink of my choice. You’re there for me every morning – without fail. Unless I forget to descale you, like that one time last month when you stopped working. That was on me, though.

I thank you for your consistency, for your prompt service, for keeping me from wasting coffee at the bottom of a large pot, and for pouring me a cup of tea immediately after serving Brandon his dark roast. You’re truly magical, and I high five you.

{TWO} Baking Soda

To the large yellow boxes of baking soda in my pantry, freezer, bathroom and laundry room, I know I’ve never told you this before, but you are my favorite multi-tasking genius. You keep me from having to stock up on a bunch of cleaning supplies that are full of chemicals.

I can pour you down the drain, around the shower, over nasty spills, and into smelly laundry bins – and you always do your job. I feel like your abilities are endless, and I’m still getting to know all that you can do. High five for being a true champion.

{THREE} Mini Purse Inside My Purse

Hello, little purse that carries all of my lady essentials and over-the-counter medicines that I don’t want the general public to see every time I open my large purse. I appreciate your demure nature…quietly and eternally riding shotgun next to my wallet.

You’re my go-to source for any of life’s unexpected situations: both medical and beauty related. There have been many times when I don’t know what I would have done without you. Hive five for being my best kept secret.

{FOUR} Rubber Bands

My dearest stretchy, round wonder, you’re on this list for the many practical ways you come to the rescue. Like the time my pants were too tight and I had to extend my waistline. Haha!

I even wrote a post about you several months ago. And even since then, I have found more creative ways to put you to work. Double high fives to you.

{FIVE} Gratitude Journal

Finally, I’d like to thank my gratitude journal.

While your pages are filled with lists of things I’m grateful for, I don’t know if you’re actually mentioned. I do see the irony. So today, I high five you for many reasons. For keeping me focused on the blessings in my life – even on the crappiest days. For keeping me accountable…when I see you on my nightstand, I’m reminded to stop and jot something down. And for helping me archive memories that I will one day look back on and smile, yet again.

Now for you, my friend and reader! I’m super excited you’re here and am sending you virtual high fives. I also wish you a beautiful day.




DIY Easter Bunny Napkins

Hippity hoppity, Easter’s on it’s way…like tomorrow! If you’re looking for a simple way to add a dash of fun to your table, you should make these cute bunny napkins.

I was inspired by this idea by Party City. I followed their directions, but honestly found them a little hard to follow. There weren’t quite enough pictures of each of the steps.

Once I finally figured it out, I decided to do a more in-depth step-by-step (b/c it really wasn’t that hard once I got the hang of it.)

So here you go. >>

In terms of what you’ll need, it’s just two dinner napkins (one white and one pink) and a few other items: plastic egg, ribbon and a Sharpie. I filled my eggs with jelly beans, but you could fill yours with any egg-sized treat.

Now for the folding…

And then you’re finished!! Now it’s time to make one for everyone around your table. You could put one on each plate or fill a basket like I did.

All-in-all, I hope this was easy to follow. I’d love your feedback or questions. Until next time, wishing you many blessings.



An Easy Easter Centerpiece

Hello, sweet friends! As promised, I wanted to give you the quick rundown on this super easy centerpiece that would look beautiful on your Easter table. And it’s so easy, you’d have time to run to the garden store and assemble this for the morning. Promise.

I have lots of pictures, so let’s get right to it! >>

Start with a pretty basket. I found this metal basket on sale at Hobby Lobby. The scalloped edges and two little birds resting on the ledge are what sold me. <3

Add liners. This will keep any dirt and water from leaking on your table. I used two round, plastic liners to fit this particular basket. I’d recommend taking your basket to the garden store to be sure you find the right fit.

Gather your plants. I bought several six-packs of flowers from the store, and then I separated them (by cutting them apart with scissors) into single planters. You can see a sample below.

Arrange your plants. This is the fun part. Take all of your individual flowers and spread them around your mini garden.

I used a mix of dusty miller, petunias and colorful portulaca. The girls thought the bright colors looked like Easter eggs. (We’ll actually add some of those in a moment.)

This is a close up look at how I arranged the planters. I just plopped them down into the liners.

Add some green moss. To fill in the empty spots and give the centerpiece a cohesive look, I decided to use preserved moss.

You can get this from Hobby Lobby, Walmart or any craft store. If you’ve never worked with it before, it’s easier to use when it’s wet. So run it under the faucet, squeeze the excess water, and then you can pull it apart without it shedding everywhere.

Here’s a top view of the arrangement with moss.

Here’s a close up of the moss so you can see I tucked it into the corners. Since my basket has wide openings on the side. I also tucked some along all of the edges.

Decorate with eggs. You can use any Easter decorations you have on hand. I happened to have pastel eggs that I bought at Walmart last season. I just scattered them around the arrangement.

Enjoy! Here’s a picture of the final arrangement.

Once the Easter celebrations are over, I plan to pull the flowers out of the arrangement and plant them directly into my garden. That way I can enjoy them all summer long.

I hope you’ll give this a try. Let me know how it goes – and what flowers you end up using. Have a beautiful day!




Good Friday Wrap

{This beautiful print was found here.}

Every year on Good Friday, I try to pause for a moment of deep gratitude. If you’re Christian, like I am, we sit in amazement of the greatest gift given to humanity. It’s ours to have and hold in praise…knowing that Sunday is coming.

So in a moment of quiet, I started by looking back on this past week. While it wasn’t perfect, there were plenty of events and things to be thankful for. Here are a few that rose to the top. >

{ONE} Evan’s big day

My sweet Evan not only turned 14 this week (what?!), but also won a regional tournament with his soccer team. I’m so incredibly proud of him and his loving spirit. Most days, that is. Haha.

He’s a teen after all, and we’re not exempt from the roller coaster of emotions from those changing hormones. Since he’s my oldest, we’re learning through this together. He promised to always talk, and I promised to always listen. I love him to pieces – and love being his mama.

{TWO} Kittens on the porch

While April the giraffe is still pregnant and taking center stage in the media, we had a little birth story of our own. And right on our back porch.

We woke early one morning to find a mama and her FIVE kittens on our outdoor couch! Thank heavens my dog (and my niece’s dog, Frito, whom we were watching at the time) didn’t snatch them up before I made the discovery.

The mama cat got scared and scampered away leaving her babies behind. After securing the dogs inside, I put the kittens in a box with old blankets and moved them out of harms way to the side of the house.

Throughout the day the mama came back to get each one. She took quite a bit of time between each rescue, which worried me for a bit. In fact, one of them was left in the box when we went to bed, but she was rescued by the morning.

While I felt unsure about how things would turn out, I was thankful for the experience of meeting those kittens and caring for them in that short time.

{THREE} Seeds for the bees

I have been super excited to receive this free little gift in the mail. While I could have easily picked up a packet of wildflower seeds from the garden store, I like being part of the official #bringbackthebees effort that Veseys and Cheerios are supporting.

Bees are incredibly important to our food supply. NBC News reported that last year, the U.S. lost a mind-boggling 44 percent of its honeybee colonies. Crazy.

It’s also good to know we can help. Planting bee-friendly flowers, reducing or eliminating our use of pesticides and supporting local beekeepers with buying their honey are three super easy things we can do right now. So happy planting – and eating!!

{FOUR} Puppy faux-hawks

We had one day this week where all three of my kiddos were home sick. Some crazy virus was going around. Anyway, as we were homebound, drinking lots of water and resting, there came a time when we needed some comic relief.

Enter Leo.

Our mini goldendoodle is good for all kinds of laughter in our house. His playful tricks and constant kisses keep us smiling. And this week my daughter, Avery, found a new hilarious activity…puppy updos.

As Leo snuggled next to her on the couch, she would give him a new “do” and then take a picture. (We thought the faux-hawk was his best look.) He didn’t seem to mind. In fact, I think he liked having his hair played with. He’s such a good little puppy.

{FIVE} Easter centerpiece

Anything that involves flowers makes my heart happy. So as you can imagine, making this Easter table centerpiece was pure joy for me. I decided to go with garden plants this year instead of flowers. That way I can plant them directly into my garden after Easter.

This project was so easy, too. It literally took me five minutes to assemble. I’ll have the full DIY with pics tomorrow, so be sure to come back.

I hope your Friday is good and blessed,




A Few Tips for Organizing Taxes

While it’s not the most glamorous topic, we’re smack dab in the midst of tax season. In fact, they’re due on Monday. So I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips on how to get organized and stay streamlined moving forward. >

{ONE} Create a special space

This is my closet-turned-home-office space. You may remember the makeover post from awhile back? I’ve loved having this area and use those file folders on the left for collecting all kinds of paperwork – like receipts for my taxes.

Nothing is more stressful than getting to tax season and not knowing where all of those important documents and receipts are located. For many people, they’re in a pile with the bills or they’re “filed” in a teetering stack of papers on your desk.

First and foremost, it helps to create a space for yourself – even if it’s a file folder on your desk – to collect and store important tax documents. Ideally you’d use this space throughout the year. If you itemize your taxes and/or have a freelance business or other small business, you’ve probably already started gathering paperwork for next year’s taxes. So now’s the time to get ahead of the game.

{TWO} Make it pretty

You might need to motivate yourself to actually use the space you’ve set aside with pretty files. Here are some beautiful floral folders that are pretty enough to frame for your walls. <3

{THREE} Label appropriately

You can save yourself loads of time come tax season just by strategically labeling your files according to what you can deduct from your taxes, such as medical bills, education, donations, etc. It’s one of those simple, but significant difference makers.

If you create a folder for each category that applies to your home or personal business, it’s so much easier to tally everything up at the end of the year. And you can use these pretty file tabbies above compliments of Sissyprint!

Here’s a list of the most common deductions to guide you along.

{FOUR} Go digital

One of the best ways to declutter your desk (without just tossing everything) is to convert receipts, quarterly reports, statements and any other paperwork to digital files. If you’re given the option to receive a digital copy of these items, go for it. And be smart about how you store and backup these files on a hard drive.

If you’re given hard copies of anything, consider using a mobile app, such as Shoeboxed. It’s a receipt tracking and organization tool that scans receipts with your phone’s camera and instantly archives and extracts details such as vendor, amount paid and date. The cool thing is that it’s IRS-accepted, which eliminates bookkeeping headaches down the road. I’m sure there are others, but this is one I’m most familiar with.

{FIVE} Toss it out

Once your taxes are filed and you’re (possibly) waiting for a little cash return, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to keep all of that paperwork or find a place to store your digital documents. It’s perfectly acceptable to go through and toss certain files.

Here to guide you is this super helpful article I found. It gives us a checklist of what tax records you should keep and what you can go ahead and shred. >

Good luck pulling your paperwork together. I hope it’s a smooth and easy process. See you on Friday with some fun discoveries of the week.




Decorating with Easter Bunnies

Last week I shared a list of Easter ideas using carrots – of all kinds. So I thought it would be fun and most appropriate to follow up with some ideas for using BUNNIES among your holiday decor, gifts, and menu.

First of all, I’m dying over the cuteness in this photo. Just look at these bunny best friends…with beautiful floral headbands!! I wonder if my little Rosie would wear one of these?! {photo via}

Now here are five of my favorite finds. >>

{ONE} Bunny succulents

Can you believe how cute these are?! I didn’t know these succulents even existed until I saw a story on them in this article. Apparently they’re all the rage in Japan right now. And I can see why.

The official name is Monilaria Obconica, and I found an online seller through Etsy. I haven’t ordered any yet, so you’ll have to let me know if you find another good source.

{TWO} Bunny pops

What a smart (and darling) treat for little ones! Two safety pops have been wrapped together and made to look like a bunny with the help of a white pom pom glued on like a tail. Cutie-patooties!

{THREE} Bunny baked goods

Every year I’m on the lookout for something super easy and delicious to add to our Easter brunch menu. I loved these homemade cinnamon twists the moment I saw them – and thought you might, as well. Enjoy!

{FOUR} Bunny napkins

Love, love, love this idea. If you look closely, this is simply a white napkin and a pink napkin that have been layered and folded up into a set of bunny ears.

And how fun to wrap it around an Easter egg! I plan to do this – and add love notes and treats inside each egg for my family.

{FIVE} Bunny gift wrap

Aww. Wouldn’t these felt bunny bags make a precious addition to any Easter basket?

If you don’t have time (or the skills) to sew felt bunnies, not to fear. You could try DIYing some paper sack buns. I’ve seen several tutorials using brown paper sacks, but I love the white in this photo. Any supermarket should carry white bags, too.

That’s my list – for now. What kind of bunny goodness do you have up your sleeve for Easter? I’d love to know!




Weeding My Heart and Mind

Pulling weeds isn’t the most exciting part of gardening, but it must be done. Somehow those pesky things manage to grow at a faster pace than the beauty that surrounds them, and if they’re left unattended they’ll completely take over.

So we dig. And we pull.

This little dandelion was rooted deep.

Doesn’t this make an interesting metaphor for our lives?

Negative thoughts are weeds that take root in our hearts and minds. Our focus and attention on them is like sunshine and water. So if we don’t want them growing and crowding out our joy, we must dig and pull.

This idea came to me when I was weeding between rainstorms this week. I quietly hunched over the dirt and thoughts began to pop up like lightning bugs…a nagging thought about an earlier conversation; a worried thought about a friend who has cancer; an anxious thought about my to-do list.

As I knelt and observed, these thoughts felt like seeds that were taking hold and sprouting rather quickly. And they weren’t turning into roses.

I needed to do some weeding.

I dug up each thought, pulled out the meaning and even thanked it for showing up and teaching me something, then let it go. After a few minutes, I was already feeling better and could see the gratitude beginning to flower.

I decided to jot down the five most common weeds we get tangled in, as well as the seeds we could plant in their place. >>

{ONE} Finances

Weeds: Worried about saving enough for college or retirement, paying off credit cards, covering the bills, or making smart investments.

Seeds: Remember you’ve come this far. You’re smart. You’ve survived and found the resources you need. Feel thankful for the abundance you do have in your life – even if it’s just a handful of change at the bottom of your purse – and allow yourself to stay open to the possibility of prosperity.

{TWO} Health

Weeds: Feeling overweight or tired. Frustrated with your eating habits. Afraid of getting sick or maybe you’re dealing with a chronic illness.

Seeds: Notice your breath and allow yourself to feel your heart beating. Be amazed at the fact that you’re alive right now. Even if you’re in the midst of pain, put your attention on something (anything) that feels good. Think about the qualities you love about yourself and throw yourself a high five for a change. Also, find the courage to go to the doctor if you need to.

{THREE} Friendships

Weeds: Feeling lonely or hurt. Not sure who your true friends are. Afraid you said the wrong thing or offended someone you care about.

Seeds: Make a mental list of all of the people you’re thankful for. Who has crossed your path that made you happy, feel special, or even taught you a lesson? Allow all of these memories to fill your heart. Also, remember the times you’ve had to forgive someone on that list. Couldn’t they do the same for you? We’re all human – capable of mistakes and forgiveness.

{FOUR} Career

Weeds: Afraid of failure. Anxious about that promotion. Nervous about a big meeting. Depressed about a job change. Unsure about your purpose overall.

Seeds: Relax and let yourself off the hook for a moment. You’re not responsible for saving the world. Focus on one day, one task, and one conversation at a time. Do your best in each moment. Find the specific actions – think verbs – that excite you, and do those things as much as you can. Fill your days with those verbs. For me it’s writing.

{FIVE} Spirituality

Weeds: Worried if you’re praying enough. Not sure if you’re following the right path. Feeling challenged by friends or people with different beliefs. Wondering why God lets bad things happen in your life.

Seeds: While this is a deeply personal topic, if you’re tangled in questions about your faith, keep praying. Pick up a prayer book, a Bible, a hymnal, or other spiritual book that’s meaningful to you and dive into the messages. I personally believe God is constantly communicating with us. We have to be willing to show up, open our hearts to prayer, and then quiet our minds long enough so we can tune into His station and hear what He has to say.

A final thought…

If you’ve ever done some gardening, you know one of the most satisfying feelings is pulling a weed and getting every last bit of its roots in one swift tug. It means there’s a chance that stinkin’ thing won’t come back. You’ve extracted it from its core. And most importantly, you’ve made room for something more beautiful to grow and take space in your yard.

Here’s hoping we can do this in our lives. Let’s make room for bouquets of joy that we can lovingly share.