Continuing to grow

Last summer, we finally were able to take out our terrible cement front steps and replace it with a much nicer looking front porch.

We also had some not so beautiful looking peonies in the flower bed next to the steps. These are nicer looking ones than we had.


We agreed that it was finally time to pull those babies up and get rid of them. I haven’t liked them since the day we got the house.We pulled them up and gleefully said goodbye to our not-so-favorite plants.

I was looking forward to a fresh, empty flower bed to work with this year – to actually plant some flowers, take care of them, and not have to compete with those bushes of flowers.

I went outside Friday and this is what greeted me from the flower bed:

more not dead plants Not dead Peonies

They are growing back. Apparently we didn’t do a good job so that they would be gone for good.

It got me thinking, though. How often does this happen in our lives? We think we have completely gotten rid of something inside us that we detested just to have it pop its little head out of the soil of our hearts again and keep growing?

For these flowers, my lack of knowledge about them is what caused this regrowth. I don’t know anything about how they grow back and what part of the plant in the soil regenerates the live plant every spring and how to effectively remove that.

Isn’t it the same with our nasty little habits? We don’t fully understand them. We don’t know what causes them to keep coming back. We think we know how to get rid of them, but they come back again and again.

What can we do to fix this?

For the plants, it’s called the Internet. “How to effectively remove peonies from garden”

For life, it’s a bit more complicated, isn’t it? There is no Googling “How to stop hating [insert person from past]” or “How to reconnect with my crazy, drug-addicted-but-doesn’t-realize-it parent” or “How to stop berating myself internally for every little teensy mistake I make”. We have to observe ourselves. What mood am I in when I overeat? What does my mom say that drives me crazy and makes me start arguing with her? What are the characteristics of situations that provoke conversations in my head with past boyfriends or girlfriends?

My own life regrowing peony is a person from my past. I continue to have conversations in my head with this person. I review situations that happened and our responses. I try to figure out who is to blame for what. Why?

I will probably never see this person again. Figuring out what happened or why it happened doesn’t matter anymore. The results will not change. Their relationship or kid status isn’t going to make me feel any better or worse about my relationship or kid status.

So how do I grow past this? How do I finally rip up all the roots and get them all out so this doesn’t continue to regrow? Is that even a realistic possibility? Could this be a thorn in my side for the rest of my life? Will time heal these wounds? Do I need to pray about it more? Pray about it less?

I don’t have answers to these questions. I need to focus on my present life and all of the challenges, opportunities, relationships, and interests here and now. I need to continue growing in my faith. I need to continue maturing as a wife and mother. I know I need to stop dwelling on the past.

As for the flowers, I’ll let them be and plant around them. At least for one more summer.

What about you? What are the regrowing peonies in your life?



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