Working In Fear

Several years ago, my daughter and son-in-law bought an older home built in 1955. They are slowly working over time to make improvements to their cute little bungalow. This week my daughter decided to start on a project to landscape the back area of the house that has a walkway leading to their mud room.

It is interesting to see what the previous lady of the house had done to make her place a home. She had put in a border of edging along the back of the house and planted boxwood shrubbery and azaleas. My son-in-law had removed the azaleas because they were old and tired.

Yesterday, my daughter began trimming back the overgrown shrubs while I had the fun job of playing with my sweet grandson. She had trimmed several, when she got to one that had overgrown the border. As she tried to trim it back it began to look unsightly.

The trimming began.

The trimming began.

It was so unsightly after discussing the problem, she decided to remove it. She was doing all this yard work as surprise to her husband. She couldn’t ask his opinion on whether to remove the shrub or not, or the surprise would be ruined.

The decision was made. Finn was placed in his jumpy to watch, and we began hacking the shrub away. It became a monster of a job and yet we couldn’t stop. What would Ryan, her husband, think if he came home and saw a hacked up shrub, not completely removed. I was a little scared myself. Had I overstepped my boundary as mother-in-law, to help hack out a shrub that maybe my son-in-law wanted to keep.

Fear spurred us on.

Cutting down the shrub.

Cutting down the shrub.

Before shrub.

Before shrub.

After shrub.

After shrub.

We left enough of the shrub so Ryan could choose either to hook chains to it and pull it out, or cut it with a chain saw completely to the ground, then cover it with mulch and let it rot. After weeding the rest of the area, it was amazing how much better everything looked.

At one point I had to laugh and tell my daughter of how many times over the years, I had started projects such as this, without my husband’s knowledge, got in over my head, yet had to complete it before he got home for the full surprise effect. I always worked with the fear… would the surprise be to his liking or would he hate it and be upset with me?

Thankfully, we both have gracious husbands, and Ryan was not upset but willingly worked on cutting the rest of the shrub with his chainsaw.

My daughter plans to complete the project by adding mulch, flowers, an herb bed, and garden flag. I can’t wait to see the completed project and hope to show it on the blog soon.

One thing I do know is… fear can give you the strength for projects bigger than you could ever complete  without it driving you on. 🙂

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)


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