Blooming in January

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I was delighted to wake up this morning and see my pomegranate plant embellished with a gorgeous flower.  What a cheery morning greeting; I couldn’t help but feel happy, despite the cold morning of January 31st.

It’s anyone’s guess why it is blooming in January.  Pomegranates usually only bloom in spring and summer; but since my green thumb is partially black, I probably did some forbidden gardening rule which confused my poor little plant.

This little bloom started me thinking about myself and the way I handle life.  When wintertime comes to me through questions, trials, unfulfilled dreams, health concerns, and whatever else the blizzard blows my way, I often shrivel up and shrink into the deep dark shadow of myself.  I start to look and feel like most of my plants who go dormant for winter.  There is no color, there are no blooms, there are no leaves, there is absolutely NOTHING.  People around me even wonder if I am alive anymore.  Oh yes, I can bloom well and be fully alive when the spring of life flows over me with its scent of cherry blossoms, hues of lavender, and touch of sunbeams; but so can all the other plants.  That is when they all burst out of their shell and blossom.

But to do what my little pomegranate plant is doing feels impossible.  If I was sitting in its flowerpot, I would say that the window’s draft is too cold, much to cold to think about blooming.  I would complain that there isn’t enough sunlight during the winter months to gain enough strength for blooming.  I would make the excuse that there will be plenty of time to bloom when my roots are planted deeply into the earth’s soil at transplant time.

And so I would sit there on the shelf, oblivious to the joy and beauty that comes from blooming during winter.  A blessing comes to us, when no matter how cold our Januaries are, we BLOOM!  It’s easy to let the blizzards of life push us into a dead hibernation which separates us from God and everyone else.  I have been there plenty of times.  I feel as if I have nothing left to give, no energy to keep up relationships, and no heart to talk to God.

That is exactly what the blizzard wants us to do; it wants us to be missing out on the joy of blooming- because there is joy in blooming.  Yes, it is tiring and hard; but it is worth it.  Blooming takes effort and time, but it brings color and beauty into one’s own life and the lives of others.

God wants us to come to Him when the trials blow our way.  He wants us to show the world that the light in our hearts and the joy in our spirits isn’t based on what happens to us, but on Who lives within us.  He wants us to find the joy that comes from serving and reaching into the lives of those around us.  When we reach out, we start to forget about ourselves.  Our lives may be facing dark, grey winters, but our hearts are alive with SPRING.

A Four-Letter Word

Three years ago, I decided to start claiming a word for each new year, a word which I wanted God to instill within me.  The first word I had claimed when I started doing this was JOY.  Last year, I picked TRUST.  This year, I picked HOPE.

I wasn’t sure what to pick this year; but when the word “hope” came up in a game we were playing, I knew it was meant to be.

Each year, I am thoroughly tested in my word.  In 2014, I had to keep trusting that God had it all under control when my father had a stroke, the business was spinning out of control, and there were a lot of unanswered dreams, prayers, and questions.

It looks like it will be no different this year.  I have already lost my dog, my brother is scheduled to see a surgeon about an enlarged lymph node which may be cancerous, and everything is pretty much going crazy— and we’re only twenty-seven days into the New Year!  So the only thing to do is sit back and let God have control.  Perhaps He wants to see if I love Him more than the most precious things around me.  Perhaps He wants to see how I respond during it all.  But perhaps He wants me to see that often my hope has come because of my ambitions, my family, or my cozy life.  So with the power of God, I will hold Christ as my HOPE.  He is the reason I live.  He is what can keep me looking forward to the future because I know He has it all under control and has the best plan, whether or not it aligns with what I think is best.  I serve a mighty, yet loving God; and that is what gives me HOPE!

 

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Just a dustrag

 

ImageDaily Prompt: Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves (Unfortunately)

 by michelle w. on February 6, 2014

What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?  Photographers, artists, poets: show us HOME.  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/daily-prompt-home-2/

—-Growing up, I was always in charge of the dusting.  I hate dusting!  No matter how hard I try to make it entertaining, it just does not work.  I turn the music up loud, switch the order in which I dust the rooms, and listen to audio stories; but nothing does the trick. 

I would spend hours as a child trying to get everything dusted perfectly, because a mother always seems to know when you miss something.  I looked forward to the day when I would no longer need to dust a house, because I would be traveling the world or doing some other non-domestic thing.  As you can most likely guess, I still am dusting.  In fact, I have a few rooms upstairs calling my name right now- just waiting for their layer of dead skin follicles, road dirt, and (whatever else makes up dust) to be removed.

I think it is more than just dusting in itself that I dislike.  Yes, I hate having to remove all the decorations off of the furniture, polishing the wood, cleaning the little items, placing them back, and making sure that I actually did get all the dust and did not simply move it around….but it is more than that.  I detest the time I spend doing something that I do not enjoy when I could be doing something that I do enjoy, like writing or reading or playing the piano. 

Somehow I need to realize that I can try to flee the things I hate, but sooner or later the chore of dusting or something else I dislike will find me and need to be done in order that my life can flow smoothly and properly.  Plus, the heart and energy I put into the little things will translate into the way I do the big “important” things.  

The best thing for me is to buckle down and just DO it.  I guess I need those things so that it makes the enjoyable moments all the sweeter.  I think it makes God smile when we can do the things like dusting to the best of our ability with as much joy as if we were cruising the Mediterranean.

Colossians 3:23  King James Version (KJV)-   “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Blessings to each person today as you do those seemingly annoying and worthless tasks that you just can’t stand, and may it instead become a way of showcasing God’s glory!