Sunday, April 10, 2016

Need a Little Water?

At the end of last week I was at Walmart and saw some beautiful purple potted flowers for $6.96 each. I don't know what the flowers are called but they are purple and they are pretty.  My front door his yellow...and purple and yellow look great I bought them to go in the same place that my poinsettias were located at Christmas time.  (literally took the poinsettia pots to the trash when I placed my new spring flowers) I set them there for curb appeal and when I left the next day they were beautiful! But you see I don't use my front door very often and I don't always look at my front door as I'm driving by my house to get to my driveway.  So...truthfully...I forgot all about my little $13.92 Spring purchase.

Midway through this week...I did look at my front door as I was passing my house to get my driveway and I noticed that my purple flowers were completely dead. 

My house faces due west - I think! (I'm from Georgia and we don't do many things based on directions!) but I do know this the sun shines through the cracks in my blinds every morning and blinds me awake and beats the majority of the day on my front door!  Since the sun rises in the East and sets in the West...I think I'm right!  So the dead plants sparked my interest and I walk through my house to the front door to see what the deal was and it was exactly as I had seen from the road.  The plants were dead...the one on the left was a little more dead! Can you be more dead? If you're're all the way dead, right?  But either way...the one on the left looked a little worse for the wear.  How did I handle my sad curb appeal?  I did what any good gardener would do… I gave them some water. And then right away I did what any bad gardener would do...I forgot all about them again! Because as I said...we don't use the front door very often!  

Fast forward a few more days to TODAY!  Again...I was paying attention and actually looked at the front of my house as I was pulling into my driveway and guess what I saw?  Yep!  Dead plants!

I went into good gardener mode...gave the plants some water and was determined NOT TO FORGET about these guys!  I was going to INTENTIONALLY go check on them!  (I set an alarm!)  As I was waiting to check on my purple beauties I began thinking about the plants.  I have LOTS of plants in my front yard and they don't react like my potted, front door plants. So what is the difference?  The area where these plants live get more direct sunlight for longer periods of time everyday, they also are not rooted deep into the soil, and once they are out of water...there isn't any to draw from. These realizations made me think about my 2016 goal is INTENTIONAL LIVING.  Sometimes I am placed in an area where the elements are hard, I feel isolated and alone, and it can fell like life is being sucked out of me!  I'm not rooted deeply in the truth of God's Word so I wilt when things get tough, and there is just nothing to draw from!  

When I feel this way it doesn't always mean that I am in the wrong place, or that I am outside of the will of God (pray and seek Him to make sure that's not the case!) but what it does mean is that I need water!  The Living Water that brings LIFE, the Living Water that only Jesus and His Word can provide.  

There are times when I am just busy and I am in the constant beating down of the elements and I get distracted with much and I miss the cool water that my Jesus and His Word provides!  I have to be INTENTIONAL and drink (get in the WORD) and stay hydrated so that I don't lay down when things get hard but instead that I draw from the water of the Word and stand up, strong, in His truth. (my alarm went off and I went to check on my purple beauties!)

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” ~John 4:13-14

It's amazing what Loganville tap water did for my plants...can you imagine what the Living Water of Jesus will do for you when you are thirsty, dry, and on the verge of death and then you choose to INTENTIONALLY DRINK! Get a big gulp today!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

INTENTIONAL CHECK UP - I've FAILED!! (and a reminder)

Isn't it crazy how quickly an intentional focus can be derailed!  My last post was more than 1 month ago.  I honestly haven't thought much about being intentional...and it's obvious!

My fitness plan is still going strong but many other areas are lacking!  So today was a day to get back to thinking INTENTIONALLY.

It's funny that this time last year I was also pulling weeds (and learning lessons)!  And the thoughts I had then...crept back in today along with a few other lessons.  Here are my bonus lessons today (and I did NOT finish pulling all the weeds so more to come I'm sure!!)
  • when you aren't intentional...things get overwhelming
  • sometimes a really big, daunting weed is only rooted in one place
  • sometimes you have to move things in order to get the root...if you don't get the're wasting your time
The post below is from last year but the Lord reminded me of all these lessons today again!  Isn't he gracious to not say..."You idiot...haven't we been here before?"

Lessons from Spring Break 2015 - WEEDS

Isn't it amazing what you can learn when you SLOW DOWN and BREATHE and LISTEN?  Breathing comes pretty naturally, slowing down and listening not so much!  But today (Spring Break day 3) I took some time to pull some WEEDS!  Lots of weeds, way too many weeds, but weeds nonetheless.  As I was pulling weed, after weed, after weed a few things came to mind.  It would have been easy to dismiss them but I chose to SLOW DOWN and LISTEN. 

  1. Neglect allows weeds to take root and take over (often we are surprised by the vastness of the weeds when we finally choose to deal with them!)
  2. If you handle weeds when they 1st pop up...the task isn't near as daunting
  3. The longer they remain close to the earth the more roots they put down and the more difficult they are to get rid of
  4. In order to really get rid of them you have to get your hands dirty
  5. Stick to it and finish the drill - it will be worth the back pain in the long run once they are gone
  6. Don't neglect them again
Here's the deal...this isn't the 1st time I've taken several hours to pull LOTS of weeds and it isn't the 1st time that these thoughts have crossed my mind but today I chose to BREATHE, SLOW DOWN, LISTEN, and attempt to APPLY the lesson that I felt like the Lord was sharing with me.  Scripture talks about weeds in several places...but specifically Jonah talks about feeling trapped by weeds and later in Matthew Jesus tells us the parable of the sower.  In this parable the weeds choked out the seed that was planted.   As I was elbow deep in weeds today I thought about how sin comes in like weeds and chokes us and traps us!  And it's sneaky...often it's starts small and then takes root.  When we ignore it, neglect it, or just decide it's part of everyday life it takes consumes chokes us and traps us.

So...what do we do?  How do we learn from the weeds?  First, I think we understand how they work!  We open our eyes to the weeds (sins) that we've neglected that are beginning to take root and we deal with them radically and quickly!  We get our hands dirty and we take whatever measures necessary to pull the matter how many roots they have put down or how bad our backs hurt while working to get rid of them...we get them all!  Then we stand guard.  Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."  At the first sight of a new weed (which there will be new weeds) we pull it...from the root, when it's easy, when it's not attached deeply, when it doesn't take handfuls of soil to eradicate, we get rid of it and then we stand guard again! Guarding our hearts from the weeds that creep in while we aren't paying attention.  

My hope as I look at my dirty hands, dispose of the weeds, and rest my aching back that I will remember the lessons I am learning from the weeds!