About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to receive some plants from my neighbor, who has a very green thumb. She brought them over and gave me instructions (knowing I'm not the best with plants). "Don't worry, it's impossible to kill these," she said. Sounded good to me. A week passed and my husband was on my heels every day, "Did you get those plants in the ground yet? They're going to die, babe!" "Don't worry," I told him, "Cathy said I could wait a little while to plant as long as I keep the plants in the shade and don't let the roots dry before I plant them." "Well, have you been wetting the roots?" Me: "Ummm...I'm going to do it right now!"
I knew I had to prove to my husband that I could get those plants in the ground and keep them alive for a while at least. So the Saturday after I received them, I put on my shortest jorts (you know, jean shorts), swimsuit top, rubber boots, Grandma-looking straw hat, gardening gloves and sunscreen, and declared, "Today is the day." With music in full force to give me the energy I needed, I started
digging with a very small gardening tool. Not smart. Apparently there were some TOUGH existing roots that did not want to give way to my new (half dead) plant life. Having no luck finding our shovel, I was able to borrow one from our other neighbors (I know, our neighbors totally take care of us youngins!). The job was a true feat even with the shovel. It was seriously stressing me. As sweat mixed with sunscreen and dirt, it poured into my eyes. I thought to myself, "Some of these roots are so strong and deep but don't serve any purpose. How in the world am I ever going to make room for these new plant roots?" Chop and dig them up. That's how.
As I continued to chop and dig like a mad woman, it made me realize how much we refer to our "roots" in life. For as long as I can remember, I have been using phrases like, "My roots run deep..." or "I get that trait from my roots." Or maybe...it's because I'm a country bumpkin, and only country bumpkins make comments like that. Whatever the case, I evaluated the term, the way I use it and how I have heard other people use it. I believe I have only heard the term used positively because people use it to show their pride in where they come from or how they grew into the person they are. I think this is commendable, but let's get serious: Are ALL of our deep-running roots ones we are proud of and should carry on?
Yep, dirty sunscreen sweat pouring into my eyes and other crevices didn't stop my mind from going to town. How often do we develop bad habits and instead of "getting to the root of the problem," we try to just cover with a new habit? Putting a new healthier habit into place is a grand idea, but only if you identify the existing roots, dig them up and give the new plant plenty of room to spread good roots. Roots of life. Roots you desire to keep.
Learned habits (or roots) are hard to dig up for sure. My parents, who have instilled many strong roots in me that I wish to keep and pass on to our seed (Haha...see what I did there?), have never been the best at being on time. I'm not saying they can't make it anywhere on time, but most know our family is typically running five minutes behind schedule rather than five minutes ahead. As I've grown older, I realize this is a root I want to dig up in my own life. What does this mean for me? Getting rid of the excuses and making a conscious effort to plan more time in my schedule to ensure I am the person who arrives 10 minutes early (so basically tricking myself by setting the clock ahead).
The struggle is real, peeps. What stubborn roots do you have that are preventing new healthy roots from growing in your own life? Is it that secret stash of candy that's preventing you from staying on your healthy eating kick (Don't get me wrong, I am FOR sweets and secret stashes to hide them. How else do you make the good stuff last? This is only capable, however, if you have enough self discipline to eat one...okay...two pieces at the time. Also, secret candy stashes are why exercising exists, so get your yoga pants on and actually use them for something besides watching TV on the couch!)? Maybe you're a natural-born gossiper, whose joy thrives on digging up other people's dirty roots? If that's the case, get God involved and start digging up those roots pronto because the plant you're growing might be alive, but it's poisonous. I think you get the point here through all my plant analogies. Above all, keep on keepin' on being proud of who you are and where you come from...just don't forget those roots we don't want to share can be conquered. It's not an easy task, but you'll be a better person for it in the end!
(Who was dirty from digging up roots when she wrote this, but delivered the post 10 minutes ahead of schedule!)