Saturday, January 2, 2016

Flourish: Summer

Summer

There is a time each summer that I hit a sweet spot with my garden.  I usually notice it on a warm summer’s evening when my belly is full and I’ve headed out one last time to check on my garden.  The long, summer day’s sun is casting a brilliant glow on my vegetables and flowers as it sets.  The lighting is perfect, the grass has began to cool and you can feel the air temperatures begin to dip.  My plants are bursting with sun-ripened fruit and the flowers are in full bloom.  It takes my breath away and I am left in awe as to how this possibly happened.  I squeal because my garden is flourishing.   As I ponder it for a quick second, I’m quickly reminded of the sweat, hard work, struggle, and patience that it took to get to this point.  How quickly we can almost forget all of that, and just focus on the beautiful blooms.  There’s nothing better than watching something grow, thrive and flourish!
Looking back at 2015, I might have struggled to see any kind of flourishing happening in my life.  But then again, were my expectations too high or was I just being unrealistic?  Of course there are some seasons where you flourish more than others and some seasons you have to battle to even get one tiny little bloom.  I think sometimes we focus so much on the end result, the bloom, that we forget about how important the journey was to get us to the peak where we are flourishing.
In a lot of ways this year has been very hard.  I’ve felt like I’ve floundered more than flourished.  I struggled to feel good physically, was often wiped out and weary, and had to say goodbye to some very important things. But, I know it doesn’t end just there. Some doors have closed but God has also opened some new ones and as 2016 begins, I’m really excited to share about what some of those things are.
Ultimately, this year has taught me that we all go through different seasons in life and even though we would prefer to live in the season of summer and flourishing; it doesn’t happen without first walking through the other 3 seasons. It’s a journey that can get us down or even feeling hopeless, make us feel weary and overwhelmed, but in the end God wants to grow us and growth takes place through change. We often resist change, but change is what causes us to persevere. Because ultimately we have a hope and desire to flourish and that is what helps us to keep going!
What season are you in right now?
Are you struggling? Weary? Feeling hopeless? Overwhelmed? Yep, been there too.
Are you ready to give up? I know, life is not a walk in the park.
Are you ready to take this journey with me? I sure hope so! We need each other!
Do you have someone you can share your struggles with? Be bold this year! Be vulnerable and don’t care what people think! Because, guess what? NO ONE is PERFECT! We all have something that is hard in our lives right now!
Are you flourishing or is someone in your life flourishing? Celebrate it!  We need to celebrate the big moments along with the tiny moments!  
Love one another.  Live life with one another.  Laugh even when its hard.  And listen to what God is wanting you to do.

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