Archives for posts with tag: Renewal
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Backyard view, Shelby, North Carolina

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

~Helen Keller

Amen ❤

Maybe because dear friends reflect the light we so need to see during darker times.

Maybe because sometimes we need others to remind us of what is true, who we are, who God is.

Maybe because perspective changes when we know we’re not alone.

Maybe because friendship is a gift that gives and takes at the same time…gives encouragement, takes a share of the load.

Maybe because courage to take the next step into the unknown can come from being encouraged by one that’s in there with us, through it.

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Shelby, North Carolina

And sometimes we might not want to share the darkness…we might want to pretend that all is light, that all is al-right or “fine”. We might want to isolate ourselves to protect others from any of the “darkness” going on. Not a good strategy I’d say, no matter how noble it may appear. Here’s a tidbit:…”isolate” comes from the Latin root “insulatas” which means, “made into an island.”  And we all know, “No man, (or woman) is an island” (John Donne).

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Am thinking it’s kind of cool that friend-ship has the word “ship” in it because sometimes we need a ‘ship’ to go rescue a friend that has a mental blip when they think maybe they need to be an island…and that ship sails in and reflects and reminds and rescues one that’s emotionally needing to be drawn back in. In the same way that a ship navigates the very waters that isolate the island, friendship can permeate the walls that keep us locked up ‘in our own worlds’ and keep others locked out. Friend-Ships sail through those rough waters to bridge the gaps…

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Yes,”Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” And here’s the cool thing that Helen Keller seemed to know as she wrote the above quote, There is often beautiful-pared-down-for-real connection that comes when things aren’t all smooth sailing. There’s an awareness of need, a gratitude for others, and a sincerity that often comes with darker times. Silver linings don’t only come on clouds. They come in stars. And stars shine when it’s dark.  They seem to shine really bright when they are furthest from the light.  Friends that walk along side in the dark can help us see clearly the beauty that’s there in the midst of the reality of what isn’t. They can remind us of the truths of scripture that are anchors to our souls and hope to our heart.

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

So I’m not sure whether life is smooth sailing for you right now, or whether you’re on rough seas. Or maybe you’re finding yourself drawn to become an island. Am thinking we all feel that desire to just check out for a little from time to time. My encouragement is to draw near. Draw near to God. Draw near to friends and family who know and love you well. (Not perfectly for that’s way too much pressure for any of us to bear, but well….well like a deep well that knows you to the depths…and what they don’ t know, they’re willing to…)  Yes, draw near…fly that white flag of surrender if you find yourself isolated on an island and call in the ships.  Friendships, that is. Call. Seek. Move toward.

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Austin, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Take it from me…there’s treasure when the ship meets the island. Even Helen Keller who lived in darkness chose friendship and companionship over light and sight. That’s incredible! Am thinking she really knew what she was talking about for I’m sure she knew a thing or two (hundred) about isolation. Yes, there’s something to be said for smooth sailing, and light-er times. But oh, the depths of knowing that no matter what you’re facing, there are those who are with you in it. That’s a tangible heart-encouraging gift. And I’m so so thankful for it. More thankful than I’ve ever been for you see, I’ve had my turns at being ships and islands.  But recently took my turn as an island. And am so very thankful for the sweet ship that sailed on in. Thankful. Renewed. Back on track.

Blessings~

Heather

P.S. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) That’s the verse ringing in my ears right now. When we fly our white flag, He’s the “ship” that will always, always come in, no matter how far the island or stormy the seas. Love that.

 

 

 

tomato plantsSo, I was recently given an appreciation gift. During the month of May, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation. Usually, we get little gifts like sweets and trinkets, and things that last for the day.  But this year, I think a lot of us were excited to receive…tomato plants.  Yep, tomato plants.  They were temporarily placed in plastic cups for us to take home and plant pronto so that they could grow and provide us with fresh tomatoes during the summer months. I thought it was a great gift. In fact, when they announced that there were lots of tomato plants left over and we could get more, I went back and got more. So, I have my five little tomato plant seedlings in plastic cups.

I had good intentions. Good intentions of planting them right away, that weekend, …pronto, so that they would not wilt and be wasted.  But,…they’ve been neglected and have been sitting on my back deck.  I’ve watered them occasionally and they’ve done alright. I’ve talked to my son about building a small garden with some of the barn wood slats he has…but the clock kept ticking and my plants kept sitting.

Until last night.  Last night I went out on the deck and , well, lets just say, they didn’t look so great. The reality of neglect was plain to see.  So I gave myself a little inward look of consternation and hurried to get water.  And this morning?  I had beautiful healthy-looking plants standing straight and tall in their little plastic cups.  Four beautiful plants that is.  One, well, it’s not so beautiful, and it’s not so healthy, and it seems to be deciding whether or not it’s going to survive.

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And as I looked at those plants this morning, all I kept thinking about was revival.  How we all need revival of sorts.  We need refreshment of our spirit, renewing of our minds, rejuvenation of our bodies.  We need it desperately…daily, but it’s so very easy to neglect.  It’s easy to neglect until we see it clearly because, like my little tomato plants last night,  we can appear to be doing pretty alright.  We’re pushing through, we’re handling things, we’re facing the day. But one day, the cumulative effect of neglect can stare us right in the mirror, and we look like a pathetic little plant who can’t get water for itself and is so reliant on another to care for it.

So, I’m glad that the four other plants are doing well.  But I’m so thankful for this pitiful little plant because it reminded me that if things are neglected too much or too long, they might not bounce back.  And if they do? It still might be a long road to recovery.  As I sat on the deck this morning, I listened to the birds (my loud little mama bird from the post the other day is still the loudest one  in the neighborhood, mind you!)  And I read the scriptures.  And I drank my coffee in the stillness of the morning, and thanked God for the blessings of the week.  I prayed and remembered His goodness in my life.  And like those little tomato plants, I felt as though my spirit was just bouncing back to life, being refreshed and renewed.

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”  God’s presence is like water to the soul.  We need it, but we may not know how much we need it until we’re lacking in that time of immersing ourselves in the Word.  And we are so blessed to have access to that Spring.  ANY time.  We can  call on His name.  ANY time. That little plant is in a predicament because it can’t go to it’s own water source.  It’s reliant on the gardener (me…which is so not a good thing for that poor little plant).  But I don’t have to wait for any externals.  I have access through Christ to the refresher of my soul at any point in time.  And that’s a good good thing that I’m so thankful for.

And here’s the thing.  Wilting tomato plants don’t bear fruit.  They live and die without impact.  But thriving plants?  They bear fruit.  Lots and lots of fruit.  Fruit is there to be enjoyed, to nourish, to make seeds to bear lots more plants and lots more fruit.  But if there’s no care, no tending that garden, well, the process for my little tomato plant will stop right there.  So it is with us.  To be able to give, we need to receive.  To be replenished, refreshed, renewed.  Thankful that God is right there at a moment’s notice and before to provide all the we need. Some of us might bounce back quickly like my four healthy standing-tall tomato plants.  Others, well, they might need a little more time and tender care before they bounce back.  But if I being the lousy gardener that I am am so moved to care for this little tomato plant, I ‘m thinking that God cares a bit more for us than I do for the plant…and that He will revive those who but ask.  All through His Word, it tells us so.  So thankful for that.

So am hoping for tomatoes this summer.Lots and lots of tomatoes. And I’ll try to be a better gardener to these poor little plants with that goal in mind.  But I want to grow more than tomatoes this summer.  I just need to tap in to the Source, and be a better gardener of my soul.  Tomato plants are designed to bear tomatoes.  I’m designed to bear fruit as well. Just need to tap in to the resources of my Master Gardener to be able to thrive to bear whatever fruit He’s designed me to bear.  We were designed to bear fruit.  We don’t create it. Love that.  That way, He gets the glory, and I get to be part of the story…in my own little tomato plant sort of way.

Blessings~

Heather

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”  Ephesians 3:1-21

P.S.  Isn’t that an amazing passage?!  Love it.  “How wide, how long, how high, how deep His love is.”..May our roots grow deep, our branches reach wide, and our seeds’ influence be long as we tap in to the all consuming love of Christ.

 

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