Monday, March 12, 2012

Life In Full Bloom

Hi Friends,

It's Monday and I feel I'm still adjusting to the time change...its a silly thing, isn't it?  We had a wonderful weekend - hiking, exploring more of the California Coast and worshipping with our friends at Calvary Monterey.  I wrote this post over the weekend and wanted to share it with you this morning. Hope it encourages your heart on this sleepy Monday.  Lots of love....

"Bloom where you're planted."  I've heard the phrase many times, but it took on a different meaning a few days ago, as I sat in my dining room, gazing at a vase of fresh cut flowers I had just purchased from the market.

If you know me, you know that I adore flowers.  I worked at a flower shop in high school and I quickly learned to make all sorts of things with the delicate blooms - corsages, boutonnieres, fresh arrangements, funeral sprays, wedding bouquets, etc.  I loved it!  As an employee at the shop, I had to take a few classes on floral arranging.  I learned things such as how to properly cut and prepare the flowers before using them, how to feed and nurture them before adding them to an arrangement, how to pair one flower with another so that they both shine, how to arrange them so that each flower is seen and every bloom has the space to expand to it's fullest, and how to keep each bloom from overshadowing another.  You see, when you put together an arrangement of just cut flowers, chances are, the blooms are still tight - they haven't opened completely.  If cared for properly, each bloom will open and expand.  One by one, petals will unfold, showing the world all it has to offer - layers of color, texture, and smell.

I found beautiful pink ranunculus and orange anemones at the market for $5 a bunch.  I couldn't resist.  They seem to grow easily here on the West Coast; you rarely see them in Florida.  If you do, they are at least $5 a stem.  Eeesh!  Anyhow, I came home and arranged them in a pitcher of fresh water.  I cut each stem carefully and cleanly, giving it a specific length and a designated place in the vase.  Happy with my creation, I sat the arrangement on the coffee table and walked away.  It was almost 2:00 and I still hadn't had lunch, so I pulled out left overs and sat down to eat.  The apartment was quiet.  Sun was brightly shining through the windows and Blakely was sitting at my feet.  Enjoying the peace, my eyes fixed themselves on the flowers.  Already the blooms were beginning to open.  Somehow they were more beautiful now than just a few moments ago.  Bright pink petals were becoming more relaxed as they began to settle into their new home.  

{Day 1}

I feel much like these flowers.  Plucked out of my home and placed in a totally new environment.  Prepared, pruned and arranged in such a way that will allow me to grow into my fullest potential.  Paired with a man who will encourage me to shine.  Hydrated & sun-fed so that I may grow strong.  Strategically placed so that I will expand.  And layer by delicate layer, I'm blooming into all that I was made to be - revealing God's perfect design.  Bursting with color and layers of intricate textures, emitting a sweet, sweet fragrance and exploding with life!

{Day 2}

I'm not saying that I've arrived, but I can feel I'm getting closer.  This time last year, I was very much in that seedling process - going through painful growth spurts and pruning sessions.  God has done SO much in my heart over the past few years, and looking at that beautiful vase of God made flowers gave me hope that I am headed towards beauty in the fullest.  

{Day 3}

Friends, be encouraged.  You too have a place in this world.  Bloom where you're planted and know that beauty is the end result of a life sought after Him.

- images via danya collyer

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