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"Bloom where you are planted."

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All my life I've heard the saying, "bloom where you are planted," but today as I was taking my walk I started meditating on it. I think it's misleading...

Maybe my take on it is wrong, but when I hear it I assume that I should be content where I am, and that I should also, well, bloom. Even if I'm in the shade I should be bearing flowers or fruit. Even if it's cold and wintry, as a happy little plant I could make things better and bear some fruit. Even if I'm planted in the desert in very dry conditions, I should be blooming, assuming I'm doing this all correctly.

Isn't that what you think when you hear it? I know--I should simply accept my unchangeable surroundings and make the best of them. Accept the inevitable and make do. Find the good aspects of the situation and bear a little fruit...

It seems to presume that I can and should bloom despite where I am.

But I can't always.

My point is, "bloom where you are planted" implies th…

A Day of Heart Lessons

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Heart lessons can be so challenging! I seem to be able to absorb lessons in my mind so much more easily than into my heart.

These pearls, for instance. Someone stole them, along with the whole box of jewelry.

I know these verses and I believe them.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  I know this parable.
“Behold, the sower went out to sow;and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and chok…

The Art of Spiritual Whack-a-Mole

Have you ever been to a carnival or arcade and played Whack-a-Mole? You know, it's the game where there are multiple holes out of which little mole heads pop up at random times. You stand there whacking away, trying to keep them all down. The faster you go, the faster they pop up until you're frantically flailing at all these heads.

So, I woke up early this morning and lay in bed playing a few rounds of spiritual Whack-a-Mole.

Wait, let's get one thing clear before I go on. I know I'm redeemed and thoroughly forgiven. I know I'm positionally clean before God, by the cleansing blood of Christ, my Savior. I'm good with all that.

But I carry around this sin nature that's still prone to pop up like those mole heads, sometimes fast and furious.

I start thinking about something that happened in the past, focused on an injustice done to me or a misjudgment made regarding my character or behavior. I'm the star of my show. I usually start writing a beautifully…

WIP=Work In Progress

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I heard not long ago that the inscription on Ruth Bell Graham's tomb reads:
"END OF CONSTRUCTION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE."It started me thinking about the construction work the Lord is doing in my life and how it's a lot like a painting in progress. Let's face it, construction, like a partly done painting, can be quite a mess. I've had people walk into my studio at times and grimace at a painting on the easel. It's a misconception to think it looks good from start to finish. Trust me, it doesn't, and in fact every painting goes through its 'ugly stage' (see above.)

But I have a vision of the way it should look in the end, and in most cases I can complete a painting to my satisfaction. It pleases me to know where I'm heading and how I'll get there, even in the ugly phase.

My life has been going through an ugly stage lately, not because He lacks any skill or intention, but because the materials just have to be molded that way, it …

Love Learning

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 "Don't attempt to master a painting.  Love the attempt."
I stole--er, borrowed this quote from Carol Marine's blog today.  I like it.

I'm in the throes of trying some new things in gouache on my tiny little pieces of paper, and having a ball despite my failed attempts.

I often fall to the feeling that I must MASTER this painting right now. I can see it, I know what I want to have happen, so it must now work.

But it doesn't--not when I force it.

It only starts to come together when my attitude becomes one of a child on an adventure, exploring possibilities, learning from my mistakes, and growing slowly in my understanding.

And of course, that often describes my walk with Christ.

I've tried to buckle down and behave myself, and good behavior is important, but my attempt isn't what makes it work. It's when I surrender control to Him--again and again and again and again--and ask to be shown the way and given what's needed that I progress. When I …