Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Flourish: 4 Unique Seasons

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking at my former MOPS group.  They asked me to share about my Word-for-the-Year, which is the word…Flourish.  You see, MOPS theme for the year is Fiercely Flourishing.  Sometimes, God really lays a message on my heart in more than one way.  By far, this year I have not felt like I’ve flourished!  It’s more like the feeling of floundering or questioning, “What are you doing, God?”  I can only relate this past year to the the seasons we experience each year…fall, winter, spring and summer.
Most of my year, about 8 months, I spent in the season of fall.  As an avid gardener, fall is a time for preparing for winter, pruning my plants back with the hope that the pruning will help to produce better blossoms and fruit during the next growth cycle.  God has asked me to do a lot of pruning, or cutting back, on things in my own life and in our family’s life this past year.  Pruning is plain old hard.  It is not easy to cut things back, nor stop doing things I really like and care about.
Winter is by far my least favorite season!  Everything looks dead and is dormant.  Nothing is visibly happening in my garden during the long winter months.  Sometimes, that can be the same feeling I experience in my own spiritual life.  God, what are you doing?  Nothing seems to be happening!  It can be a long journey through the season o winter, of waiting and not seeing any results. Spring
Thank goodness for the day when spring arrives!  Spring has become my favorite season because it offers hope.  And hope, is what I deeply need after a long season of winter.  I love when I go out to my garden and I start to see little green or pink buds sprouting.  It’s a symbol of new life after the trying times of fall and winter.  My eyes are also opened to how I’ve changed and grown through those seasons and the new person God is creating in me.  Often, my attitude has also changed and I start to understand what God was doing and the reasons behind the pruning and time of which nothing seems to have been happening.

Lastly, when summer arrives it’s a joyous occasion!  I love strolling through my garden in the middle of Summer, everything is in full bloom and producing a harvest of crops.  This is the season in which we experience what it is to flourish.  I wish I was always in a season of flourishing but I have realized without fall, winter and spring, summer couldn’t happen.  You can’t have one without the others!  Unfortunately, it can be a hard, painful road to summer, but it’s that journey through the other seasons that helps make us to be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  The flourishing is a result of our perseverance.  Going through each season is not for the faint of heart, it’s down right hard and sometimes I don’t want to go through that season, but when I think about it, I have to remind myself that one day that season will end and I will be on to the next one.  We must celebrate the season of flourishing, but not forget where we have come from because that will help us when we walk through another season that is not summer anymore.
In the coming days, I will go into more detail about each season and what God has been teaching me.

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