Willow’s Growth

I was looking through an old journal last night and found a treasure!

For several years now I have been writing about a character named Willow. In my stories she is portrayed as a tree, but the analogy is that of a young girl facing challenges in her daily life. It was so special to come across this entry again as I find myself in the same circumstances. Hope you enjoy!

“Willow had seen many seasons, and had for the most part eagerly embraced them. She hid under her branches and held tightly when the rain and floods came… and at last, the cold winter winds seemed to visit her less and less. Willow felt as if her whole being was beginning to thaw.

Beauty everywhere was in bloom and coming back to life. Yet somehow, Willow felt afraid. She almost wished that winter wouldn’t end. For in winter, all she need do was stand. She had stood and took the harsh winter cold, and waited patiently as her roots soaked up the rain. But now, willow felt fear. Now, it was time to grow again. She wasn’t sure how to grow taller and bear new and beautiful leaves. Willow did not know what would make her stronger and help her become all that she had hoped to be.

But as the warmth of the sun shone on her, a joyful thought came with it! The sun was shining warm and bright as it had before, but she had never felt it this way. The way it moved across her with the passing day, the way it hit her that day was like never before. Willow had grown. It was then that she realized that she had grown and would grow, for it was what she was made to do. And with her roots in the ground and her face towards the sun, she would continue on.”

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Among The Wildflowers

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I belong among the wildflowers…

With the sun on my back and the breeze blowing through my hair.

With the movement of every muscle,

And in every twitch and chain reaction, I rejoice, I’m alive!

Yes, with the flowers I bloom- in the hope of a fresh season,

And the anticipation of new colors.

Their beauty is simple and asks for no applause.

They stand unique but united in their purpose.

Lord how I want to be like the flowers before you…

Brave, beautiful, and full of life.

I belong among the wildflowers…

Weathering The Storm

This post was written by a guest blogger and sweet friend of mine! I think it’s a great encouragement and challenge to us we abide in Christ and journey with Him through our days. Hope you enjoy! Thanks again for sharing, friend 🙂

The other day as I sat down with my cat and picked up my book that I’ve been trying to finish for so long. The words on the pages leapt out at me, as I realized what the author was saying. And, it really hit home for me. Yes, I know!  It’s a lot of reading, but keep going…it’s totally worth it! 🙂

“Actually the tree that day had not been cut down but struck by lightning which had ripped off one leg of its Y shape and sliced a huge area out of the trunk of the sycamore. This had happened in early winter and I had thought the tree could not survive such an amputation, so I was greatly surprised now in early spring to see it covered with its beautiful green foliage as of yore. It was alive and lovely as ever, despite its massive “surgery.”

I wandered on to the edge of the wood, from which I looked over our little hamlet of Boreland, thinking of other trees which had suffered in winter gales. The first was in my first church at dear little Moorton – to be accurate a very large white lilac tree which we were sorry to lose for it was our only white one – and there it lay, broken completely, its roots sticking up in the air. I kept meaning to clear it away, but never got round to it, and was glad I didn’t for it taught me a lesson. When spring came, the fallen bush was covered, as always in beautiful blooms, even though lying apparently dead. How had this come about? I looked more closely, poked about in the ground, cleared away some earth, and found one solitary root still going into the ground, and drawing up from the earth enough sap and nurture to supply the whole plant. It was beautiful as ever, even though now recumbent.

The other tree was even more amazing. It was the main branch of an old gnarled plum tree at Aldermouth, a tree which annually had a huge crop of the most delicious Victoria plums, and the branch lay on the ground seemingly broken right off.  But yet when spring came, the branch blossomed…and I looked at it in wonder. How could this be? I examined it carefully and found just one bit of bark still attached to the parent tree, and through that tiny channel, food and water was flowing, and in due course there was a magnificent crop of plums.

The lilac and the plum, and now the sycamore, were still doing their job…and looking beautiful and fruitful in the process. How could they do it? I was reminded of Jesus’ words: “Abide I me and I in you. So shall you bring forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.” The damaged trees were still abiding in the roots.

There are times in life like that, don’t you think? We are jogging along happily when suddenly a gale gets up, often without warning, and hits us. It may be a gale of illness whisking us to hospital for surgery. It may be a gale of bad news, perhaps a youngster we love kicking over the traces, going the wrong way, getting into trouble, causing us terrible worry. It may be a storm of sorrow, perhaps the loss of a parent or life’s partner or someone very dear to us, perhaps a life-long friend. The wind can get up very quickly and flatten us, and it is not always predicted by the Met Office! But if we can learn the lesson of the trees and stay attached to Christ, we can weather the storm; we can still be beautiful for God and others like the sycamore or lilac, and still be fruitful, like the plum, still, come what may…abiding.”

Dog Collar Diary by Alexander Cameron

Come what may, you can still be beautiful and fruitful for God during your highs and lows through Christ our Savior. He is our Redeemer and stronghold, remaining steady through this hard journey called life. So when a storm comes your way, do not be discouraged. Stay rooted in Him, because He loves you and will carry you through these times.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 

A Love Dare

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Out of all the pins I have saved on Pinterest, this one has been the most re-pinned out of all of them. Why? Because so many people can relate to it. Let’s face it -it hurts to open up and then feel the sting of rejection. Or to build a relationship and then witness that change because of disagreements, misunderstandings, or simply the course of time. Loving anyone is a risk- to our own comfort and self-centeredness. Once you have been hurt in a relationship it seems to go against everything in you to want to invest again. And yet…somehow we crave it. We were made for relationship and community. The Lord said “let Us make man in *Our own image.*” And Jesus prayed for and urged his disciples to be in unity with one another and with the Lord, just as He had fellowship in the Trinity.

Most of us can probably relate to the words penned in this quote by C.S. Lewis. But what amazes me, is how much more our mighty God and Father relates to it. He sent His only Son Christ to earth to sacrifice everything, suffer pain, rejection, and death all for the glory of God and love for His creation. All for the sake of Love. He loved deeply, hurt badly, and in the end still said It. Is. Finished. He is our hope and example. He loves us perfectly and still pursues relationship with us even when we reject Him and place other things before Him. So, love God and love others. Do it graciously and with boldness, knowing that He has gone before you and will go with you. And find comfort that there is grace more than sufficient for our mistakes!

Enjoy your journey!

Laura

Mistakes

Life is not about NOT making mistakes.”                                            

I love growing up with older brothers. They say things sometimes that are so simple, yet very profound. In between shooting me with rubber bands, throwing me over their shoulder, asking me girl questions, endless teasing, and making me laugh ‘till my sides hurt, they say things that quite honestly shake me up. When chocolate doesn’t fix the issue, and duct tape isn’t strong enough to mend the tare, guys can say some pretty cool things. The truth is, they have shown me that God fearing men speak truth into chaos even when it’s difficult. Those men are game changers. One of the things that my brother said to me recently hit me like that.

He said life is not about avoiding mistakes. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need Jesus. As funny as it might sound, it felt like a heavy brick was unloaded from the backpack of “good behavior” I carry around. Wait. Did he just tell me I was free to make mistakes? Yeah, I think he did. Did he just tell me I had a license to go wild and crazy? If you knew my brother the answer would be an immediate, NO.  I think what He was trying to point out to me first of all, is that my right standing before God and His love for me is not a product of my good decisions and behavior. It is because of Christ alone that I stand justified before God.  Second, I think his comment exposed a skewed emphasis and priority. If I am striving to chase after Jesus, and looking to Him to be my Lord, my Love, and my Righteousness, there isn’t a huge chance that I will jump off the deep end right away. When my eyes are fixed on Jesus, my will begins to align with His. And making decisions becomes about what will help me honor the Lord. Not about what will keep me from making a mistake, failing, or loosing approval. Lastly, one of the most comforting things to me is that even if I do sin or make a bad decision, it will be okay. To be broken and make mistakes is to be human. And nothing is wasted with God. He redeems. Just like a loving Father, He picks me up when I fall and doesn’t keep a record of my wrongs.

Thank the Lord for His truth and promises! Thank the Lord for giving me the siblings He did. The amazing thing is many ways they have been able to encourage me have been because of mistakes. They make mistakes too. They learn from them, repent, grow, and God works through them in some pretty mighty ways!

I think I’m beginning to be more and more thankful for the “tares” duct tape can’t fix in my life.

Enjoy your journey…even the mistakes.

Laura

 

“I have made mistakes, I continue to make them
The promises I’ve made, I continue to break them
And all the doubts I’ve faced, I continue to face them
But nothing is a waste if you learn from it

And the sun, it does not cause us to grow
It is the rain that will strengthen your soul
And it will make you whole”

“I have made mistakes”-The Oh Hellos

Constant

“Though I’m prone to leave Your side
You chase me like the tide

You are constant in my wandering
You are brighter than the dark in me
You are the love that sets me free
You are faithful, You are faithful, You are

Ever waiting for the weary
Ever wanting them to see
There’s ransom, there’s forgiveness
Your hope is all around me” Crowder- “You Are”

These lyrics hit me last night. “You are constant in my wandering, You are brighter than the dark in me”

Honestly, last week was a tough one for me. I felt like I was stressed and distracted and behind the whole week. I never quite felt like I could be still before the Lord and refocus well before the next distraction would come up. I was short with those around me, and I tore myself down because I couldn’t seem to get my imperfections together. How completely human does that sound? Why do I place my anchor on things, people, emotions, or circumstances-things as fleeting as my next breath?  How comforting it is to turn to a God that doesn’t view me or my circumstances the way I do.

I went on a walk on Tuesday after school and did some thinking. But before I left my driveway I noticed how striking the sun was from where I was standing. As I walked on, I just kept noticing it. It was glorious, bright, and warm. And it seemed everywhere I turned there it was at my side, warming my back, or going before me to light the way. Just as creation often does when we’ll let it, it drew my mind to my Savoir. It is hard to even begin to grasp the depth of who He is. He is more glorious, more radiant, and more constant than the sun could ever hope to be. And the same ONE wants my heart-and yours. Wow.

Now, I am still broken, sinful, and fleshly. There are choices to be made, and I am called to pursue godliness, just like every believer, but let’s rest in His constant direction, love, and Lordship, and let Him continue His good work He began. Here’s to a brighter week!

Enjoy the journey,

Laura