In 2014, my family and I lived in a community that had a homeowner’s association. One of the services that was provided was lawn care. This included mowing of the lawn and trimming of trees and shrubs. I always admired my lawn because it was thick and healthy. Or so I thought.
One morning, as I was walking to my car in the driveway, I noticed my neighbor’s lawn (Mr. Richard) was much greener and much taller than mine. I thought it was odd. But just brushed it off and figured that maybe he told the lawn care folks he did not want his lawn cut the week before. A week went by, and the lawn service was in the community cutting our lawns. And because we were next door neighbors, Mr. Richard’s lawn and my lawn got cut at the same exact time. Another week goes by, and to my amazement, Mr. Richard’s lawn is longer than mine, again! Not only was it longer, you could actually see where our property line was because his grass was that much greener and fuller than mine.
Fortunately, Mr. Richard was in his sixties and retired. So that meant he was always home. That evening, as I arrived home from work, Mr. Richard was at the mailbox collecting his mail. I greeted him and anxiously asked, “Mr. Richard, why is your yard so much healthier than mine?” He smiled and informed me that he put down fertilizer a month before. “But I watered my yard twice a week(I think) wasn’t that enough?” I thought to myself. He said that he put down fertilizer at the beginning of every season and sometimes he even sprinkled down some grass seed to make his yard thicker. Right then I had a revelation. I wasn’t maintaining my yard.
When I thought about it some more, I realized that this was true of all relationships including my marriage Every thing that has a use or a purpose requires maintenance.
My husband and I would go through this crazy cycle in our marriage early on. There were many times where I would feel left out because my husband spent a lot time working out, hanging out with friends, etc. I felt like he wasn’t fully invested into our relationship. It probably seemed like a quiet revenge to him, but I would give him the silent treatment out of being spiteful. I thought, if he doesn’t make me a priority, why should I let him be my priority?
Unfortunately, the silent treatment just made things worse. It turns out, me being silent just gave my husband the opportunity to create every irrational, erroneous, false lie in his mind that only created more drama. And then I would just give him some more silent treatment…
Thankfully, my husband is one of those people who can’t sleep if there is an issue between us. He used to bombard me with questions and try to verify the crazy thoughts he came up with. But, through reading books and friendly suggestions from a close mutual friend, we both matured and he learned to ease off and give me at least 10 minutes of alone time when we have a disagreement. This allows me time to cool off and think more rationally instead of hormonally and a chance for him to pray and ask God to change my heart. There have been a few times where I would be in another room and all of a sudden I would feel my spirit totally change from raging mad to so forgiving in a matter of seconds. Sometimes I just laugh because I know my husband just prayed for me. And when I ask my husband, he confirms that he did.
My husband and I learned that proactive communication is way easier than reactive drama. We became transparent with each other even if we knew honesty may hurt the others feelings for a moment. Being quick and honest was far less pain than dealing with a well played lie. We learned to remove the weeds so that our grass could grow tall.
Side note: we picked up some fertilizer and applied it our yard. Within a month, our yard was Greener and taller than Mr. Richard’s!
To conclude, there are times when you have to water your grass, add fertilizer, and then step back and wait. It may not happen when you want it, but through cultivating your own grass you too can have greener grass and not have to lust after your neighbor’s yard.