Cut It Back–Way Back

“It’s a little out of control, don’t you think? ”

“It kind of dates the house, all that green hiding the exterior.”

These are comments we’ve received about the hedge in our front yard. Not as pointed as the one we get from the Home Owners’ Association. “It’s too tall. Cut it back.”unnamed-1

It’s well over eight feet tall. It spikes upwards of nine plus feet in some places. Not a neat, tidy and controlled hedge, shaped and even in appearance. It’s rather wild and untidy.

And very dense.

All kinds of critters live in there. Birds have nests. Snakes love the reptile path that slithers from one branch to another. I’ve seen armadillos and possums back there in their own little sanctuary. A haven hosting nature.

“It’s too tall. It needs to be cut back.”

I’d love to accommodate these folks who run from neighborhood to neighborhood, searching out infractions so the subdivision can have a pristine, cookie-cutter look to it. At this point, I believe it will take the Jolly Green Giant to tackle that hedge.

When my son, Mark, and I planted it fifteen years ago, it was spindly and sparse. Not a fit place for anything to find a home.

unnamedFifteen years later, it’s a different story. Full and lush, it’s the only thing I’ve ever planted that’s done well.

The hedge is beautiful, but it does hide the view. From the room immediately behind the bushes, you can’t see anything. You’re hidden in that room, even with the blinds fully open. Beautiful shades of green gleam at you, a camouflage that keeps you from knowing what’s happening out front.

My heart can be as fully camouflaged as the effect of that hedge. I protect it from random harsh comments of others, from lies that I’m prone to listen to, from failures I don’t want to admit or own. I carefully consider what I’ll let touch me deeply so I’m not exposed to too much pain. But it can also hide anger and hurt, resentment and bitterness. And lots of fear.

It’s a safe place to hide.

God wants me to expose my heart to the light of His love. To allow Him to engage me in conversations about who I am in Him. That my heart might be a home for Him so I can be a reflection of who He is.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”   Psalm 139:23-24

God knows me fully. His search doesn’t show Him anything new. It’s me releasing my right to hide things from Him. To harbor negative attitudes in a place where others can’t easily find them. A place I can locate in a heartbeat.

I want my heart to be a haven of hope, not a harbor for hurt, anger and fear.

Maybe it’s time to cut back that hedge. Way back.








6 responses to “Cut It Back–Way Back”

  1. Will try to keep HIM in control, Dayle! Thanks for the Psalm 139 reminder. Blessings as HE Blesses us, because HE REALLY does KNOW us. Keep Cutting!


    1. So nice to know we’re trimming away together. Love you, Lois!


  2. I have lots of overgrown hedges that I hide behind! I probably need a bit less subtlety and a more HOA-direct approach from others about my hidden heart issues too. I’m just so grateful that when God cuts back, He also heals and produces new growth! Thanks, friend. The hedges in my yard have become fresh reminders of His love for me.


  3. Heart hedges exist. I hate it. I can grow them so well it makes me sick. But you’re right, my sweet and wise friend–God heals and produces new growth. Every time. Thanks for the encouragement.


  4. Alice Fredricks Avatar
    Alice Fredricks

    Isn’t it funny how we often feel we’re keeping things from God’s eyes…just because other humans can’t “see” them. Instead He knows us fully, loves us anyway…a reality I want to more fully embrace. Thanks, Dayle!


    1. Hiding is a habit for me. One I’m not too fond of. But He does love us well. Thanks for seeing the positive in this.


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