It’s that time of year. The time of year we start getting outside a little bit more. It’s quite the sight to see around our house at the moment—a pitted out yard from creative boys who don’t pick up after projects, residual scraps of wood on the patio left from making warm winter fires, and flowerpots containing the remains of dead plants. For crying out loud, I’m pretty sure the snowman welcome mat is still on the front porch!
We’re just not up on the outside upkeep year round. It’s a feat just keeping up the inside while we’re running in and out from activity to activity! We only tend to migrate toward polishing up the outside when the weather turns nice. When this time of year right here rolls around and we open the pool, get out the patio cushions, pool towel cabinet and stock the outdoor fridge for evening conversations around the patio table.
Our neighbors, on the other hand, are ever so passionate about their yard. They hook up a small trailer to their mower, fill it with green-dye-colored chemicals and begin spraying the yard and fence line. These neighbors of ours are my mom and Aunt Donna! We pitch in the pot to purchase the chemicals and they so graciously spray the pre-emergent on our yard too. We’re a few years into this routine now. It’s fantastic not having to start mowing those pesky weeds that fill the yard so early in the season. But what we always, always end up with is a green fence!
Our white vinyl picket fence is stained green around the entire perimeter of our yard. It eventually fades; however, the time in between is just funny.
What’s even funnier is when I happen to be home when the girls come with their sprayer-trailer get up. I can hear them through the window yelling at each other over the motor of the mower. They are hysterical! A piece of me feels guilty they’re out there spraying our yard. More of me feels guilty for the free comedy show it provides; nevertheless, they are feeding their passion in both yard work and sisterly banter. It’s a win for everyone!
Think about that green picket fence with me for a brief moment.
I mean it’s supposed to be white. But it’s stained green and it is OBVIOUS! On the other hand, it takes time to wash away the evidence of the girls being here with their sprayer.
Are ya picking up what I’m putting down?
How many of us are a nice white vinyl picket fence? We were made to be the touch of perfection but we’re stained green! And everyone can see it.
Did you know Urban Dictionary actually has defined the White Picket Fence Syndrome? The condition is defined as “a state of mind where a person blindly holds on to the idea of their perfect lifestyle, regardless of the inevitable life factors that make it impossible for it to be true.”
I think what’s more interesting is when others think our white-picket-fence life is perfect.
Listen, just cause you have a white picket fence does not, does not, does not mean your life is perfect.
It simply means you like white picket fences. And sometimes that fence is GREEN!
Online family, I want to tell you, I feel like I’ve been in an intense battle lately. Well, for like three years now. But the more time passes, the more I walk in the direction I feel the Lord leading me, the more I feel I’m getting sprayed with opposition. In other words, my white picket fence is not the only thing looking pretty green around here.
I imagine you know exactly what I’m talking about having sustained some green stain too through not only the difficulties and trials of life, but also the callings of life. Sometimes we think if we’re doing good things, then life should feel good. However, some of the absolute best things in my life have been downright difficult at times. If you pursue a new career, it’s gonna get difficult. If you get married, it’s gonna get difficult. If you have children, it’s gonna get difficult. If you serve in a ministry, it’s gonna get difficult.
If it’s not difficult at times, it’s probably not worth too much.
The same goes with life.
God's plan for us is good, pleasing and perfect. It says so in Romans 12:2. (I love the NLT version of this scripture). It's been a truth I've been reminding myself about quite frequently.
Did you receive a bad health report? --- God's plan is still good, pleasing and perfect.
Living with chronic pain? --- God's plan is still good, pleasing and perfect.
Failing that college class you need? --- God's plan is still good, pleasing and perfect.
"Just Married" but not living the "Happily Ever After"? --- God's plan is still good, pleasing and perfect.
Longing for a family but being faced with infertility? --- God's plan is still good, pleasing and perfect.
Don't let the stain deter you from seeing the beauty in the making. Even in this you are becoming more! Remember, to make the yard pretty it comes with getting a little green on the fence. But it’s a temporary inconvenience in light of the long-term benefit. In time with some polishing you’ll be soaking in the rays of the summer sun while looking at a weed free yard and newly planted flowerpots!
Now go rock out pressing in for your picket fence life!
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. John 15:3 ESV
(***Brandon and I had to share our picket-fence picture from five years ago for this post. Oh how the teenagers have aged us since then. LOL!)
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