Moving Forward: Questions For Evaluating And Improving Your Life

by Heather on June 12, 2014

moving forward

Moving Forward: Questions For Evaluating And Improving Your Life

 

We’ve been doing a bit of yard work lately to prepare for renting out our house. As I weeded and pruned, I realized that sometimes we have to remove certain things from our lives. This keeps us moving in a healthy direction, similar to a pruned bush or a weeded yard. Below are some questions to ponder that will help you move in a healthy direction in your life.

 Procrastination Hurts

I have been meaning to get out and weed for a long time, but I kept putting it off. Every time I took my dog to the back yard, I could see the weeds growing higher and higher.

As I learned, the longer you wait to weed, the more difficult it is to remove the now gigantic stalks.  In our lives, bad habits and negative influences can seem small at first, but soon they can overrun you. They can be overwhelming to stop if you wait too long.

Questions to ask yourself:

What is bringing you down? What are you avoiding dealing with? Time to address it now before it grows even bigger!

 

A Band-Aid Or A Cure?

We decided to put bark dust down in the back, because grass doesn’t really grow back there. It’s too shaded. Hubby got some landscaping cloth to put down under the bark dust. It said, “no weeds for 10 years” on the package. Within a month there were weeds growing.

At first, I assumed the weeds were growing up between the sheets he had laid down. However, today as I was weeding, I noticed that the weeds were growing right through the material as if it was not even there.

Those pesky, persistent weeds made me realize that sometimes we try to put a Band-Aid on the weeds in our life and just hope they go away. But all the while, there are alive and well underneath. It doesn’t take them long to penetrate the surface and show their ugly heads again.

Instead, we have to get rid of them at the source. My goal today was to get at the root of the weeds to get them out for good. I wasn’t always successful, but that is the only surefire way to make sure they don’t come back. This is true in our lives. We have to address the core issues that cause trouble for us, not just the symptoms.

Questions to ask yourself:

What symptoms of negativity do you notice in your life? What habits or activities need to go? What is at the core of those symptoms, habits or activities?

moving forward

Weed Salad, Anyone???

Pruning Out The Old… And The New?

A few weeks ago we tackled a different area of the yard. My job was to prune the new growth off our pine bushes and shape the bushes a bit. I think I failed at the shaping, but I sure slashed those things down with my clippers.

As I was cutting, I was thinking about how God prunes us sometimes. He helps remove unwanted stuff in our life, closes doors, and guides us.

Jesus says in the Bible, in John 15:1-2, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (The word “prunes” also means “cleans” in Greek.)

The funny thing I noticed as I pruned was that I was pruning all the new growth. I wanted to keep the bush from overgrowing and getting out of control.

“Does God prune new growth?” I asked myself. I suppose He does, but it was a new thought for me.

New growth in our lives seems like the most exciting stuff. It’s the new ventures, the new friends, new hobbies, new ways of relating. So why would God cut that stuff out, or “clean” it up?

Changing Direction Can Be A Blessing

I realized that God in His wisdom always knows what we need. Here’s an example from my own life:

In March, I started selling clothes from the blog. It started off as a great idea and I thought God was leading me down that road. I think He was for a time, but maybe only so I would make some realizations.

Now I feel like that’s an area that God is pruning from my life and blog. I realized that selling generic clothes wasn’t the best fit for my blog audience (YOU!). I would need to sell clothes (or other things) with a more military-related genre for it to serve my audience best.

It was kind of a hard pill to swallow that I started something new and realized so soon that it wasn’t the right thing. It kind of felt like a failure. But now I look at it as a learning experience and I feel great about moving forward with the blog without the clothes aspect.

Taking Action

Take some time to reflect on the areas of your life that might need some pruning or cleaning up. Don’t forget to look at the new growth and evaluate if you’re moving in the right direction. If you need to free yourself from distractions to accomplish this, try doing some weeding or pruning… it may just inspire you like it did me! =)

Love,
Heather =)

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