When my husband offered to take the load off of my shoulders while he was home, I had to chuckle at my quick retort. “No, I’ve got it!” I said in a higher-than-normal pitch as I tilted my head. Where on earth had that come from?
You would have thought someone was trying to take hard-earned money right out of my hand, but it was simply the raw emotion that arose when he offered to mow our lawn this time.
The 3/4 acre feels bigger than it is and has a darling enchanted beauty about it. The back woods that line the already healthily treed yard gives it a deep woods feel, as if we were out in the complete boondocks.
When we bought this property last year, we knew it was right where God wanted us. Buying in late summer, we decided to pay a friend to mow it for the remainder of 2016, but I can’t tell you how chipper I became the moment we brought our mower home.
I was stoked to be able to hop on that thing. A year or two before, I wouldn’t have been able to leave my youngest unattended, but times change and I was brimming at the chance to have some “me” time outside.
“Me Time” On The Mower Turned Into Something More
I quickly began to look forward to my straight hour on mower. Maybe I drove a little on the slow side. Maybe I was a perfectionist around those skinny trees. Either way, I was thankful for that hour.
The breeze on my cheeks, the sound of nothing but my thoughts and hum of the motor. The definition between the uncut blades and just cut blades. Sometimes I get a little funny and make figure eights. They aren’t planned. I just go.
There are three things about this hour that I want to share with you today that can possibly benefit you too.
3 Ways Mowing Your Yard Can Benefit Your Life + Help You Write Better
1. It Helps You Gain Vitamin D
We can get Vitamin D from the sun and studies show that Vitamin D can help lower blood pressure, help with bone pain, and help prevent other issues. Read about this here.
“Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. The part of the sun’s rays that is important is ultraviolet B (UVB). This is the most natural way to get vitamin D.
Large amounts of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are made in your skin when you expose all of your body to summer sun. This happens very quickly; around half the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn. This could be just 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person, yet a couple of hours or more for a dark skinned person.
You don’t need to tan or to burn your skin in order to get the vitamin D you need. Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day.” – VitaminDCouncil.Org
No wonder on the days I mow I feel better, not worse!
2. It Helps Curb Straggling Thoughts
Psalm 55:22 as most of us have known it tells us to “cast our cares” but I like The Message version too: “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.“
So whether we pile or cast our cares on Him, God obviously wants us to empty ourselves of them since He is able to carry them without buckling.
Mowing the yard for an hour allows this to happen without even trying. I ride + the thoughts come forward = God has them by the time I’m done.
3. It Helps You To Pray
By effectively I mean that the straggling thoughts are now out of the way and you start to purely enjoy talking with God, one on one. You have yourself and your own issues out of the way and he starts to bring to mind those who need to be lifted up.
Then comes rolling in like a fresh rain in the midsummer heat, praises from your lips. You are fully experiencing God, emptied out and being filled up.
Mowing isn’t fancy, nor does everyone have a riding mower, nor does everyone even mow. For me, mowing is a chore that has turned into a avenue of growth in my prayer life.
BONUS: It Helps You To Write Better
This one may be obvious. The head is clear, the heart is clear. When you have a clear conscious, it is a beautiful thing. A peaceful happening.
When you are free and level headed, you may start to gain a vision for blog posts, book ideas, or things you let get buried beneath the load of stresses.
For me, those first three steps proceed this final one typically as I am finishing up the yard. The ideas start to flow and I am ready to hop off the mower and jot some of it down.
Personal Challenge: If you don’t have a mower but there is some other chore you do, you can channel your thoughts upward to him and see what happens over time. Record your experience and compare your findings to before you intentionally made this chore a “thinking/praying time.” Have you noticed a difference?