I'm glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details here. Celebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.
A month ago I met my friend, Becca for lunch. She gave me a miniature pot of Gerber Daisies. "They're my favorite!" I said when she handed them to me.
"I know," she said, "And they were too cute not to buy."
I brought them home and put them in my kitchen window sill. (Next to Jaws, Sam's Venus Flytrap.) It was a happy day, lunch with Becca, then celebrating Sam's birthday with a bowling with the buddies party. That morning I talked with my editor about the book and had positive feedback that fueled me for the final leg. I'd made lots of progress with a project at school and was caught up on email. I was on top of the world, feeling good professionally and as a writer, momma, and friend.
Things shifted that night and life became stormy. My flowers remained happy in the window. It was dark week, that first week of February, but my flowers remained a constant reminder of a very good day in a very good life.
They reminded me to live by Truth, not by feelings.
Then they did the thing all flowers do, the blooms wore out and needed pruned. You might be surprised to know that although I tend words just fine, plants are another story entirely. I have a real black thumb when it comes to flowers...a very black thumb. Once those beautiful blooms droop, there's very little hope of another round making an appearance.
I decided my best case scenario was to keep watering and maybe I could plant it in a summer pot. February was not an easy month. I kept watering the little plant even though I didn't think it mattered. There's no way more blooms would come. It continued to remind me to live by Truth, not by feelings. The truth was the plant needed water. My feelings said nothing would make a difference to make the plant bloom again. I'm destitute when it comes to blooms.
Mid-month, I noticed a peculiar shape in the center of my plant. If I weren't so sure there would never be another bloom, I might have recognized the bud. I kept watering and the bud grew. Soon there were two strong buds shooting up from the center of the plant. Not only was the plant creating new blooms, but I realized I was a different person too, a stronger parent than before.
The storms brewed through the month, but I continued to trust God is good, rather than believing my feelings. I watched the buds grow and was reminded that God is faithful -- He will forever regenerate the old and make new. The old blooms were droopy and worn, and the new were strong and straight.
Near the end of the month, a third bud sprung up on the little flower. It chuckled, reminding me that God is a God of abundance. I've been watching these buds for many days, that have turned to weeks. They keep growing and changing and each day I am sure they are going to burst into a bloom.
The storms can rage and a gentle flower can gain strength. The same is true for us. The winds can howl and the rains pelt and the dark clouds hunker down and we can still grow faith. We can still gain strength.
I couldn't wait for March. The calendar flipped and the grey of February was covered. I brewed my coffee and held the warm mug in my hands. I raised my eyes to the window sill and there, in the early hours of March 1, the buds burst and the petals began to unfold.
Anais Nin's words rang true in my mind:
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Sometimes we can't trust our feelings. We must keep moving forward by faith because we know the truth of the matter is there is something greater than what we feel or see. We remain faithful and new growth is generated. We keep in step and new life begins to bud. We live well, but it doesn't mean we avoid storms. We believe in a good God, but it doesn't mean we never have heart ache.
A well-lived life is a series of seasons. It is my hope to embrace each one and take the risk to blossom.
Are we email friends yet? I've been playing with my newsletter and have decided to use it as a place to offer stories, tips, and inspiration for teaching writers. This content goes out to my my email friends before it's shared anywhere else. Next week, I'm sharing a small story from my family room floor and tugging a thread to find the way tiny stories lead to big meaning. On most Tuesdays, you can expect strategies for teaching writers, delightful stories, or little updates about my writing life.
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I can't wait to read your celebrations!