Anticipating Spring

I believe that things happen for a reason. I also believe they happen in God’s time. But what does that mean – for you and for me?

I think that one experience builds upon another. Something that we might never have considered years ago, now becomes a challenge, or perhaps even an enticement. We grow stronger. We put down roots. We reach out to others and build support systems. The older we get(some later than others), we begin to figure out what it is we do best, and what it is that we should do without.

Sometimes magnificently wonderful things happen to us quickly, yet there are times when we just can’t seem to conquer something until much later in life. And I believe that God knows best. Some things I would never have attempted years ago. Now I am more confident, more willing to be challenged. I have become ready for more.

Have you heard that statement that God never gives us more than we can handle? Well, I believe that is true. I also think that, as with measures of rain and nutrients, He adds increments of growth to our lives. (Some of us take longer than others to flourish, but when we do, look out!)

Take a look at your life today. Can you think of something that happened to you years ago that prepared you for another turn of events later in life? Reflect on your roots – the value system you learned as a child. Perhaps you had the most loving and dedicated parents a child could ever wish for…or maybe you always longed to have parents like that. Where has that realization taken you? Have there been experiences or people along the way who have helped you become the person you are today? Look at how you have grown!

I believe that you are exactly where you are meant to be today. I also believe that, for as long as you and I are alive, we have purpose. Put out more roots, if necessary. Nurture that support system. Peek above the soil and realize there is a large world out there. Explore it. You may be the single bloom that brings untold pleasure to a lonely, homebound person, or perhaps your seeds will grow enough to feed the world.

Discover your niche. You do indeed have one waiting for you.

Survive or Thrive?

SLOW DOWN. That seemed to be what my body was trying to tell me. Last week I spent several days positively dragging. I thought I was coming down with the flu. Realizing that if I didn’t take it easy I was soon going to be in worse shape, I laid low over the weekend, doing very little. The rest helped.

This winter I am also experiencing more aches and pains than ever before. I really don’t want to take drugs – I’m already relying way too much on ibuprofen and acetaminophen – but it is getting to a point where something has to change. Recently I was told that cherry juice may alleviate some of the discomfort, so I eagerly began trying it. While it hasn’t yet eliminated all of the aches, they have eased and I have become hopeful that a non-prescription kind of solution may be ahead.

So why am I writing about exhaustion and pain? When so many of us experience frustration in our daily lives, I know there are many who are hurt. So what do we do when life seems to become too much?

We seek rest. We seek a listening ear. We ask the Holy Spirit for strength. Nourishment can be found in all of these. We have been given one body, one life. Let us treasure that life, not run it into the ground.

If you are feeling weary, determine what it is that will nourish you. When you recognize your need, seek it. Whether it be for your body, your mind, or your spirit, we are all in need. With nourishment, we thrive. Start thriving today!

Your Past is YOU!

Most of us can think of something we have done (or not done) in our pasts of which we are not terribly proud. Having first admitted that to ourselves, we have probably then attempted to bury it in our bag of “experience” and not think of it again. However, if we have the courage to unpack a little and think about the experience, I believe that good can come from it.

So you did something you shouldn’t have? Do you know better now? So you hung out with somebody undesirable? What did you learn from that? Are you more knowledgeable about, say, drugs or alcohol now? Did a certain person change something for the better in you? Have you turned in a completely different direction? Do you think you will be forever changed by what happened? Have you been able to pass along that which you learned to somebody else?

Over the years, I have found that, for me, some incidents reinforced values I learned as a child and they have become greater treasures. Other events – challenging though they may have been at the time – made me stronger. Illnesses and deaths taught me to not be afraid of them, to be able to provide comfort at times, and to see goodness come out of sometimes very unfortunate circumstances.

I say I am a better person today because of all that has happened to me, good and bad. When I was empty, something or someone filled me. When someone else’s burdens became too difficult for them to bear alone, I was able to offer at least a small modicum of comfort or support.  When I thought I knew everything (and really knew nothing) I learned things about life that I would never have recognized had I taken a more cautious route.

Don’t hide it. Unbury your experience and consider what it has done for you!