Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Choosing to Thrive

I was kept awake last night by my thoughts. As I lay praying myself to sleep I got this picture in my head. It wouldn't go away. Sometimes I have a hard time dipicting what is me and what is God. Thought-wise that is, not diety -wise:) I'm trying to venture out and stop overanalyzing ..trying to act more on what quickens my spirit rather than wasting time thinking about it and possibly missing an opportunity for something, toexperience God. I have tried to start this practice of listening to God. It's hard. I don't mean just hoping he shouts my name amidst my busyness or does some miracle while I am focused on something else but rather, chosing to be quiet for a designated ammount of time and listen. Turning off my radio and listening. Going into my room by myself, sitting and just listening. It's a weird thing to get used to. And a sometimes I just sit and feel awkward. But MOST times I hear something. Not audibly but really knowing in my soul God is saying something.Trying to be sensitive to that voice is not easy for me by nature. It really is a simple thing to try and do but not so simple to get good at. Good thing it's God who shows up. Constant, consistent God. Why would I expect less?
So I get this thought last night..and this is going to sound weird unless you know me and understand I love nature and connect with all things outside...this is it: I am a tree. Not literally. I am not talking mother earth stuff here but this is it- trees are planted, yes? by God...the wind may carry the seed the squirrel may re-locate the acorn but it's God who causes the tree to be planted. This is something I learned in high school: if there isn't enough light for a tree where they have been rooted, they will grow towards the light even if they have to wrap themselves around another tree. It pushes its roots down as far as it can and takes off for the light. It's not a quick process. Trees grow slowly season by season. Trees are meant to grow. I think it is pretty rare for a tree not to "take" to where it's been planted. It just makes due with the conditions it is in, takes root, and grows for the sunshine. There are different types of trees in different environments. Like the pastor of our church said, trees are to branch out to provide a resting place to reach other places, provide shade etc..trees have purpose. I do too. I have been planted here. For what reason, I don't really know and I think I am coming to a close of trying to figure it out. Because in doing so, I waste time and my roots aren't getting enough water, my branches are weak and I'm not focusing on growing towards my life source, thus keeping me a little tree. It would be like a tree trying to figure out what type of tree it is and why it is planted in this field alone rather than that forest where there are a lot of other would be dumb (obviously, since trees are inanimate). Who cares..let the sun make you grow! Choose to thrive! It's a slow process. (I hate that word: process.) Growing usually is a s l o w process. Sometimes is comes in spurts but never does anything that is living start and stop the growing process in a short time.
I often find myself wondering why it is taking me so long to get to "that point"-whatever it is, the point of arrival...mature christian, good wife, mother, successful at what I do. When will I have what I've always desired? The truth is is that I should be better at whatever I am doing than when I started even if it's just a little bit. The time I spend wondering wastes time in growing. I am am convinced when I start growing then the things I have always desired start making their way to me. I have to make the first move. Overanalyzing is wasteful. What's the point? In the Bible it says that not even the Son knows when the Father will be returning. So he knows what it's like not to know every single detail of life (just one!) and there is so much we don't know..we couldn't handle it. I can't handle a lot of things I know even now. Even when he did know his fate (the cross) he chose to go about healing, ministering, building relationships, grow, experience life. That's something that's amazing to me...I would not have been that way.
I choose to be the middle man in my own relationships many times. nobody likes the middle man usually. Scrutinizing motives, not wanting to be judged, building this facade of what I think things should be when I know that God wants -vulnerability, realness, transparency, effecting, encouraging, becoming that tree that other trees can wrap themselves around if they are too weak to grow a lone. That's thriving....letting God do all of the work without me in the way. That's what makes me grow. Nothing I can do on my own makes me better or bigger.
Anyway, choosing to thrive at whatever it is = a hard task. I think you have to choose to let anything in your life thrive. Marriages, friendships, lifestyles,'s not just a magical thing that always feels good or even right. Purposing to make something work without forcing it of course, is the key to flourishing, in my opinion.
While I may be uprooted and replanted in the field or yard of my choice someday(please, Jesus!).. for now, I want to grow during this season. I have more access to the sunlight now than I have had in a while. There aren't a whole lot of other "trees" around crowding me out right now. More sunshine for me. More time to grow. Focusing on the lack of other trees in my life isn't going to help me take root or mature.
Thank God I don't have to do it alone. Stop waiting for the magic and choose to grow, thrive, love, laugh,frolic,impact,do,listen,develop,serve, rest,vacation,experience, confront, laugh,ignore, let go....

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