Friday, January 1, 2016

Flourish: Spring


Most of 2015, I spent in the seasons of Fall and Winter.  Two seasons that are not particularly the easiest.  It’s not easy giving up things you love and its hard when God changes directions for your family.  However, by mid-October I could start to see glimpses of the next season coming…Spring.
Spring to me equates to new beginnings, new life, and with both of these it offers new hope.  God had spent the first 10 months of 2015 really stripping me down (figuratively, of course) in order to help guide me to be more intentional in my life and our family’s life.  I felt pretty weary by fall, but then I started to see what God had been doing below the surface.  God had asked us to let go of a lot of things, really good things.  But, just about the time during winter when I feel like the dreary and cold are never going to end, I go out to my garden and I start to see a tiny green sprout poking through the hard, cold dirt and I’m overjoyed that new life has returned.  I’m also reminded that seasons come and go.  It’s hard when you are in a season of struggling to understand what God is doing, making hard decisions, letting go of amazing things, but also there is a season of new things to come when you walk through the winter.  It’s that journey through fall and winter that I learn the most about myself.
I also continued to learn that God truly wants what is best for me and He has a plan for my life that sometimes doesn’t make sense at the time. Given enough time, however, His plan always proves to be the best.  With a little bit of perspective now, I can see that some of the things God was stirring and laying on our hearts required us to make changes.  There are two things that are constant, God and change. I’m so glad that I don’t have to go through each change without God.
When I see that tiny green sprout in my garden, I’m excited and hopeful for what is to come.  I’m starting to feel that same excitement in my own personal life.  There is anticipation and hope that God is going to do something exciting because He has turned our direction in a new way.  During the summer, I read the book Anything by Jennie Allen with my Bible study group.  Jennie challenged us to pray an “anything kind of prayer”…pray that you will be willing to do anything for God.  These aren’t easy words to pray, they can be very scary!  We all joked that maybe God is asking us to sell all of our belongings and move to Africa.  Maybe for someone that was the answer to their “anything” prayer, but for me it was about allowing God to filter through my life and say what we needed to let go of and the things we needed to focus more on.  In 2014, my word of the year was intentional.  For this year, it was flourish.  Both of these words go together.  In order to flourish I must be intentional.
Honestly, I haven’t felt like I’ve flourished at all this year.  But I do know that we have made some very intentional decisions that others might not understand, but thats ok, because God works differently in everyone’s life.  There is no right way, just God’s way.   I’m excited to see what God does this next year as we walk through Spring and hopefully on towards Summer, where we will flourish!
I’ll be sharing about Summer tomorrow.

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