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Front Yard or Back?

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  Proverbs 23:7a NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay. Now that the danger of frost has past, I’m thinking about the care of my front and back yards and debating between pine straw and mulch.

I was thinking about using less expensive pine straw in the back and mulch in the front, but the man who would help with my project discouraged me. “It’s not going to look as nice in your yard for the money you’d save,” he cautioned. So I arranged to have mulch in both places. The yard’s appearance improved, but called for color.

As I walked through a plant nursery, I evaluated the types and colors of flowers. I calculated the expense of purchasing the right flowers and the right amount. I’m the only person who sees my backyard from my office, screened porch, and sunroom, I thought. Other people see the front yard, not my fenced-in back yard. 

So, I decided to forego the expense and settled on a brilliant fuchsia impatiens planter for my front porch and three containers of petunias to use in parts of the front yard. Meanwhile, my back yard was devoid of color.

I pondered today’s Scripture as I thought about my decision and related it to my heart: For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. We often take great effort to maintain our “front yards.” That image—what people see—looks attractive. But my backyard? Well, it doesn’t always resemble the front yard. I sometimes try to hide what’s there.

How we maintain our front and back yards takes caution. We can go through the motions of service because we’re pressured to participate. Our personal motives may not be genuine. We can wear a smile, pretending all is well, while our hearts hurt. We can give the right answers, but still have doubts about faith.

Maintaining our personal yards can be costly. Wise counsel often leads us to make hard decisions that will benefit us and others. It takes time to search the Scriptures, pray, and see what the Lord wants us to become and do. Changes may be uncomfortable and perhaps costly.

Living genuinely and maintaining front and back yards is only possible when we care for our hearts. It’s worth the time and investment and the color will be vibrant. And I went back to the nursery and bought colorful flowers for my backyard too.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Marilyn Nutter

Marilyn Nutter, of Greer, SC, is a contributor to magazines, on-line sites, and compilations. She is a Bible teacher and speaker for women’s groups, a grief support facilitator, and women’s ministry team member at her church. In her life’s seasons, she has met God’s faithfulness and clings to Lamentations 3:22-23. Look for her blog at www.marilynnutter.com to find extraordinary treasures in ordinary and challenging days. You can contact her at marilynnutter@gmail.com.