Seeking the Quiet: Weed the Vacant Lot

Some thoughts are just worth reposting again. I was going through my previous site and came across this post from last year. Last year was really busy!  We did a lot of traveling, met many new people, and had to stay organized to keep one step ahead of everything.

At one point, in the midst of settling in from one trip and preparing for another, I started to feel overwhelmed. I was worrying unnecessarily about events that hadn’t happened.

Fortunately, I found a talk by Boyd K. Packer that put things into perspective, at which point I wrote the post below.


and-in-case-you-wanted-to-add-a-tennis-court-or-separate-house-there-are-two-vacant-lots-next-to-the-property.jpg
Parts of our minds are like vacant lots. Are we keeping the weeds out?

From July 5, 2015

Recently I heard this:  “Worrying is negatively anticipating that something bad will happen” Or the humorous version, “You can’t tell me worrying doesn’t help. The things I worry about never happen.”

That last quote came from a 1977 talk by Pres. Boyd K. Packer called Balm of Gilead.  A talk I listened to this morning for the very first time and haven’t stopped thinking about. I’m adding a link because I recommend that you watch it. After you’re done reading this post, of course.

Anyone who knows about Pres. Packer, who just passed away 2 days ago, knows that he did not mince words. He was very direct and often forced the listener to hold a mirror up in front of him/herself.

What happens when we do that? Sometimes we like what we see and sometimes we don’t.

He talks about the “vacant lot” we all have in our minds. You know…that part of ourselves where the uncertainties, the rationalizations, the doubts, and the “gray” areas live like little weeds. We can pick them and throw them out. We can put up a mental “No Dumping” sign. Or we can let those weeds fester.

(If I want to get really metaphorical, I could talk about those weeds that start springing little flowers and try convincing us that they shouldn’t be picked.  I’ve had those too. Haven’t we all?)

I wouldn’t say I’d reached a big festering point in my vacant lot, but I was definitely letting weeds grow there. Most of those weeds were just unimportant things that I was allowing to become too important.

One way I’ve been trying to combat the weeds is by reading the Scriptures more often, more fervently, and with more thought.

The Scriptures are a great “weed killer.”

Another way is by eliminating, or cutting back, on things that don’t matter. For me, a lot of this is device, media, and social-media based. Wow, those things are powerful and time-consuming!

I have come to 2 conclusions: 1. I control my phone, not the other way around. 2. The media and social media don’t get to decide what’s important and what’s true.

I must tell you…Reminding myself of these things and taking some personal steps to implement them has really made a difference these last few days.  The noise of the world has lessened and inner peace has grown. When I start to get worked up or negatively anticipate something that hasn’t happened yet I find my saner side saying “It doesn’t matter,” or “It’s only…”

There was a time when the world was quieter. Now it seems like the only way we can have quiet is to actively seek it.

Psalms 107:30  

Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 

Life as a haven full of gladness. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  How often have I allowed weeds to grow and prevented this?

Seeking the quiet. This is my new goal. To remind myself what really matters, and to put my energies there.

3 thoughts on “Seeking the Quiet: Weed the Vacant Lot

  1. Oh Kristie,what a beautiful thing to read as I head off to bed to read my scriptures. I enjoy everything you write. I wish I had copies. Have you had any published?  Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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    1. You are so sweet, Sharron. I’m glad you enjoy what I write and take the time to comment. You’re such a great example to me in so many ways! No, I have not had anything published. This and my journals are my quiet corners for writing, but you are welcome to share any of my posts. Thanks again, cute lady!

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