You probably know this, but isn’t amazing how weeds can grow ANYWHERE. Seriously, it is amazing to go into my backyard and in the grass, the rocks, the dirt, and in-between pavers weeds survive. Why when my tomato plants are struggling and my hanging baskets are looking sad that the weeds look, well for lack of a better word, lovely. But weeds are not super lovely are they? Where I live we have a different water system for outside watering than for the culinary water we drink. It is not as treated and it is always a surprise to see what different kinds of weeds we will get each year. This year, there is a big weed that looks pretty and spreads fast but is REALLY hard to kill. And the never ending fight in my backyard is morning glories. Oh morning glories…they trick me every time and then just keep coming back. They are not getting my message that they are not welcome here, so the fight continues.
Then there are sunburns. I am a redhead with lots of freckles and fair skin. I guess it goes without saying that getting sunburned kinda comes with the territory. Well, this year in particular I could go outside for less then 20 minutes and get burned. At first I just thought that I just must be getting old…but I thought about it. I have been more outside this summer than previous summers because of my kids ages, they want to play outside all the time, even in the summer heat. And it was the hottest July in our city ever recorded. I have tried different things in my quest for being just a little pink instead of fried crisp like a lobster. I tried different kinds of sunblock, long sleeves, and just staying in the shade but the winner so far has been a crazy sun hat. Truly I HATE wearing it, but after sitting on the side of the road for a parade on the 4th of July with my lame hat and NOT getting sunburned, my hat has become my defense from the sun.
Now you are probably thinking now about how these two things have something in common? Weeds and sunburns are things that we do something about. We try our hardest to have proper protection to prevent the onslot of what is coming. But sometimes, even when we have done our best we get weeds in the grass or a sunburned neck. It is just like in life, we try our hardest to protect our families from financial storms or health problems or whatever comes our way, but there are going to be hard times. It is not about IF but WHEN things happen. The world can give us weeds sometimes, and a sunburn but if we try our hardest we can still be happy. As the old saying goes, “it is better to prevent and prepare then to repent and repair.”
We can pull the weeds out, even if we didn’t kill them at the roots before the start of the season. Our skin can still heal from a sunburn. I have seen that happen in miraculous ways. When I was a young girl, my sister, who is 4 years older then I, went to a swim party and was in the sun all day. She got a 2nd and 3rd degree sunburn. As little kids we actually thought it was cool to see how big of a piece of skin we could rip off her back when the blisters had popped and her skin underneath was healthy. But, I remember her crying in bed at night because even having a sheet on her skin hurt so badly. I think we both learned a good lesson that day about how important sunblock is to our lives. These experiences can teach us and help us to prevent and prepare.
I find that sometimes we let the situation get us down or Satan does a really good job at helping us notice our failures. I quote the words of Elder Clayton (a General Authority of my church). He says that Satan tries to trick us in three ways “1- He will try to get us to focus on our failures to diminish our confidence, because he knows that this can blind us to our true worth and capacity. 2-He will try to get us to forget that God loves us. 3-He knows that carelessness or inattention to the little things will slowly lead us to forget our eternal potential.” He and his wife have written a great article on being rooted in Christ. You really should read it! So my little pep talk to you today is, remember that God loves you, even if you get a sunburn trying to get rid of the morning glories. As we do our best to prepare and prevent, HE will help us to realize our worth and the ability we have to move forward in our lives, no matter what comes our way.