Saturday, August 28, 2021

Life Lessons From Mom's Flower Garden, Chapter 2

 One day, after a visit at Mom's house, I flowers were fading quickly. Just a few weeks prior, I had "post worthy" pics of some of these same plants. They were stunning and vibrant. It was hard to even fathom these colorless blooms belonged to the same plants from a few weeks ago. "What in the world am I doing wrong?" I gasped on the phone to Mom. I went through the long list of everything I was doing. Feeling very much like a defense attorney pleading my case! Mom agreed I was doing most everything correctly, but I failed to do one of the most important steps to a thriving garden...

Lesson 2: You must pinch off and remove the dead blooms to make room for new growth.

Mom patiently explained... removing the old, dead blooms was essential to maintaining brilliant color all season long. Without this step, beauty would only last for a short moment. 

This was time consuming and a little painful with each nick from the rose bush thorns. However, after a few short weeks, the bright colors of healthy plants again brought color to the green backdrop. 

As I pinched off each dead blooms and anticipated the new that would soon replace it, I heard God speaking clearly. "Danita, if you are going to truly bloom where you are planted, you must allow me to remove the dead, lifeless things you are holding in your heart. You must give me space for new growth, new relationships, new ministry and new beginnings." You see, I struggle with holding on to the past. I have also struggled with holding on to seasons of hurt. But by keeping the dead things in place, I was certainly not thriving or reflecting God's brilliant color in my world.

Isaiah 43:19a says it so beautifully, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? "

What new thing is God leading you to do, but you are holding tight to dead things? God created each one of us to add our own unique splashes of color in this world, but we cannot bloom vibrantly holding on to the past. Hand your Heavenly Father the shears, and allow Him to prune away harmful, dead, old blooms. My heart understands how this step is sometimes painful. There are harmful relationships and thought patterns that are well embedded in our hearts.  Maybe at one time they brought beauty, but maybe God is calling you into a new season. Trust the Master Gardner to create a life so full of beauty, you have yet to imagine it.

 Every day brings new opportunity. Seize this day with freedom, and bloom beautifully again, my friend. 💐❤️

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Life Lessons Learned from Mom's Flower Garden-Chapter 1

 In the fall of this past year, my family and I moved across state lines. Leaving a blessed, full life in Texas to embrace a new journey. Family health struggles brought us back home to Arkansas. Literally. To the hills I grew up running, trail-riding and loving. My parents downsized, and my husband and I along with our three children still at home and a puppy moved into what I consider my home place. Life took a much slower pace, as we began settling in on what we call The Haven. A little over 72 acres. We exchanged a suburban home on a small lot with a pool for lots of vast space, quiet hills, our pet chickens and serenity. These hills have always served as a place of healing for me. One particular spot at the top of our hill has been my place to go, when life became too much, and I needed to feel and seek God's faithful presence like never before. It never ceases to amaze me how God plants us right where we should be. And then, provides the provision for rest and renewal through the most unexpected ways. Like Elijah and the broom tree. God provides shade and lessons through his creation. This is what led me to take particular notice of a few simple, yet profound lessons found in the strangest places. You see, by moving into my parent's home, I inherited my Mother's flower garden. Mom's yard was far more than a beautiful landscape. It was and is her masterpiece. Anything her hands plant or touch grows into something extraordinary. Often through the years, her yard has been described as magazine worthy. Suddenly, my not so green thumbs were given the task of trying to maintain the masterpiece. So, I literally spent hours watering, nurturing and even toiling over theses plants that have been planted and transplanted from generations! I began noticing and journaling over special lessons that seemed to come to my heart while spending time in Mom's flower gardens. This is the first of many sweet lessons...

Do not water too fast...take it slow. Let the water seep in slowly. Slow. Down.

One day, after much frustration, I called Mom. "My plants looked terrible!" I gasped on the phone. I explained to her I was faithfully watering, but my plants were dying! She asked how I was watering. I went on to say, "I turn the hose on high and try to make the most out of the little time I have to water." She smiled through the phone. "Sis, you have to turn the hose on low and just let the water slowly absorb...You are not giving it time." Lesson learned. I needed to slow down. Let the water soak in..or else, nourishment would not come.

How many times in life have I tried taking the quick route..rushing..drowning..trying to pour as much in as quickly as possible...only leaving my soul parched. I did not allow time for Jesus, my living water, to sink in. Absorb. Nourish my heart and soul. I read a host of verses so quickly, only to check it off my list. I rush through ministry, trying to fill far too many shoes, not giving my full attention to anything or anyone. my soul relates to this lesson.

Turn the water on low. Take time. Let it sink in today. The miracle is, just like my plants, you will slowly begin thriving again. ❤️