Sunday, March 21, 2010

Face the storm....

Well, today's blog sort of came out of nowhere and it's a bit different from my normal "Random thoughts" Today's blog is more of, well - for lack of a better word, a vision I had. No, not some sort of spooky weird thing, just a picture that came to mind while I was a church today.

There I was in worship, enjoying the music and sort of seeking direction, just open to hear from God. I knew I wanted more of God....more wisdom....more....that's when I got this picture in my head. Imagine if you will a storm shelter. Inside it is safe, not very big, and not really all that great. I sat in the corner of that storm shelter knowing I was safe, hoping I was safe...and suddenly I knew what I needed to do. I needed to stand up, fling open the door of that shelter and face the storm. Yes, the winds were whipping around me like crazy, but there was no fear. I knew I could stand. There was perfect peace despite the storm....for I knew it could not really harm me.

For too long, I, and many others, have tried to stay safe in our little world - hoping the storm would not harm us. In doing so, our "world" became very small - sort of like that box of a storm shelter I imagined. In trying to separate ourselves from the growing storm around us, we have actually retreated into a place of fear. We can't really stretch out or grow...and we're not even sure it's all that safe anymore. It's time to fling open the door of our small little world and face the storm - WITHOUT FEAR.

Words for once, fail me; however, if in reading this you can picture what I am saying, then perhaps this was not only for me but also for you. I don't pretend to know what storms you are facing in life, but it's time to stand up, fling open that door, and face the storm. You don't have to live in fear.  The storm  may bluster and blow, but it cannot touch you. In facing it, you can go out and help rescue so many others that are being ravaged by that same storm. But it is definitely not time to hide in our little shelter anymore. It's time to change the world.

See you out there!

"...greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Didn't expect that to happen...

Spring is in the air. The breezes are getting warmer, the grass is getting greener, and most importantly, my daffodils are starting to bloom! I always get excited when those happy little flowers make their first appearance. It takes me back to when I was young and my mom would point them out to me. Their bright yellow faces lifted toward the sun somehow fill my heart with hope every time I see them.

My sweet husband has always given me daffodils in the spring. After a few weeks of enjoying them indoors, he takes them outside and plants them. I thought I knew where each one was located - that is until today. Somehow a new batch of daffodils has shown up in my yard! I noticed them when I returned from my afternoon run. In the middle of one of the azalea bushes, I could see the faint yellow of daffodils! I picked up my pace to check them out. They were different from any of the other flowers in my yard. These flowers had a softer yellow hue and they showed off their ruffled center with a certain feminine flair that my bolder flowers didn't quite have the hang of. I was thrilled!

The only thing was, the azalea bush was sort of crowding out the flowers! Now I like azaleas as much as the next person - okay....that's not quite true. I don't particularly like these azaleas. They don't bloom very often and they seem to make an awful lot of work every spring. Now they were crowding out my beloved daffodils and I without hesitation went to get the clippers. There was nothing to do but cut away the offending limbs so my daffodils could shine.

I was very careful to cut away from around the flowers and not damage the tender green shoots. What I did not seem to notice was that with every cut, the flowers started to droop a little more. By the time I had finished the "trim" at least 3 of the blooms fell toward the ground! Try as I might, I couldn't get them to stand straight on their own. What I thought had been an obstacle for my daffodils had actually been a support! Those limbs were allowing that gentle plant to make flowers that stood taller than any others around them.

And then I looked at my life and wondered - am I making the same mistake in other areas as well? My children immediately came to mind. I so want them to have a life free from burdens and pain. I want them to have so many more advantages than I did...but by removing some of the obstacles, am I keeping them from reaching as high as God wants them to go? Perhaps that which I am trying to remove is actually what He will use to help them shine. I definitely don't have all the answers on this one.

I eventually had to cut one of the blooms because nothing I tried would help it stand again. It now is in a vase in my kitchen and while it is beautiful, this daffodil makes me a bit sad. Sometimes it's hard to learn life's lessons.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
"...yet not my will, but Yours be done." Luke 22:42b