Friday, July 29, 2011

The Bumps Are What You Climb On

I think it’s safe to say life isn’t easy for most of us.  We all go through various trials, whether it’s our relationships, our finances, our health, or something else.  No one has the perfect life. 

I tend to think of life as a path we travel. We have multiple goals, and the steps we take to achieve these take time. There are often unexpected twists, turns, and bumps along the way. Whatever bumps you encounter, you likely have feelings like turning back, or taking an easier path to get there, or even giving up altogether.

Warren Wiersbe writes in his book, The Bumps Are What You Climb On, “You can’t understand . . . why God doesn’t remove the stones and straighten the path.  If God did that, you might never get to the top, because the bumps are what you can climb on.”

When I read this, it made me pause. Is there something I can learn from the tough stuff? If God wants me to grow and change, how so?  Hmm.  It changes what I pray for. 

How about you?  Do you struggle with things you’d rather God just take away?  What do you think of Wiersbe’s idea that God puts the bumps in your life to make you grow as you climb over them? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Seasons of Growth
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3-4, 11
I went for a stroll one afternoon, to get the blood flowing, and hoping to feel better. I’d been feeling pretty low, even depressed. So I opted for a walk along the a rose garden along the lake. I soon learned God had far more in store for me than I’d expected.

Along the way, I passed dozens of rose bushes. Their flowers were all different—in size, color, and stage of growth. And each contributed to the beauty of the garden. Several were at their peak.

Some of the bushes were clearly past their prime; the petals had fallen and only thorns remained. They needed to be pruned. With time and TLC—nourishment—by a seasoned gardener, they would flourish again.

Pruning a rosebush requires the gardener to cut its branches, at times rather severely. And when it has first been cut back, it’s anything but attractive; only short branches and thorns remain. But pruning is vital to the health of the plant, encouraging new growth, and shaping it as the gardener desires.

After they’ve been pruned, roses become dormant for a season. It is their time to rest, be fed, and receive what they need without giving anything back.. This promotes new growth, which. takes place all winter beneath the surface. Only when spring arrives can the results be seen.

The same is true for us. We go through various seasons in our lives. While some are productive and enjoyable; others are a real struggle. In the midst of a crisis, we often focus on ourselves and our immediate situation, having little energy for anything else. We may need others to help us through the process. I needed help. As painful as it was, God used people to mold and shape me to better reflect His image.

Remember, pruning hurts; but God is trustworthy. If you are hurting, in need of help come to the foot of the cross and be pruned by the Master Gardener.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beauty, Part 4

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post on beauty, but I’m coming back to it today because I didn’t want the thread to end without showing you the ultimate product of all the hard work invested.

After planting, watering, and feeding the plants, they eventually bloom, as shown in a previous post. The flowers there are pretty and I enjoy looking at them. But, for me, seeing the flowers combined with others that complement them is even better. 

These daylilies, alongside the daisies and other flowers, make for a beautiful bouquet to brighten our dining room.  

The bouquet reminds me of God’s family.  Each of us is unique and together we make up a beautiful picture for all to benefit from.

                  As it is, there are many parts, but one body. I Cor. 12:20

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dancing in the rain

I read a blog today by a friend of mine and one of the lines in her introduction caught my eye.  She’d recently learned she had stage 2 cancer. In her blog, post Trish says, [life is about] “dancing in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to pass.”

Wow.  That’s quite a statement for a woman in her thirties who’s just had a hysterectomy because she has cervical cancer, don’t you think?  Seems to me she’s saying that her focus is less on the battles she faces than on how to live each day in the Lord’s grace. She’s chosen to focus on what He has given her rather than the hurdles she’s facing.

That’s something I need to work on as I go about my days, no matter the frustration(s) I come across.  How about you?  Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Last week I had surgery to remove a soft tissue mass from my baby toe. It had been there for about a year but I'd ignored it, figuring it'd shrink and eventually go away.  But it didn't.  Instead, it grew. As it did, it became increasingly painful and eventually affected how I functioned. 

When the doctor removed the mass and sewed up the wound, he wrapped it in gauze and applied medicine to keep it clean so the healing could continue. And I had to wear this funky shoe for a couple weeks.  Once enough time passed, the doctor took it off; now I'm back to wearing regular shoes. 

It reminds me of other things in my life that aren't right, but I ignore them, figuring they'll get better or go away on their own. Sometimes that works, but other times, I have to take action. Fixing it takes time, and, depending on what it is, there may be scars left, like the one on my toe.  But the wound is gone.

Time management is one thing I've struggled with for years. I make a list of tasks to complete and set an amount of time for each thing, but sticking to it isn't easy for me. How about you? Is there anything in your life you'd rather ignore, hoping it'll just go away like the mass on my toe?  I hope I'm not the only who wrestles with these things. I'd love to hear what works for you.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Beauty, Part 3

It takes time for beauty to appear the way a gardener envisions it.  Planting the flower required preparation of the soil, and providing it with water, and food on a regular basis. My goal is for it to add to the overall picture of the garden, or perhaps become part of a bouquet.  

In either case, growth is part of the process. No longer does it look like the bulb I planted originally. Though it's not reached the ultimate goal I have for it,  it’s growth is clear. It needs time to fully mature, but it’s well on its way. 

I’m in the same boat when it comes to God’s plan for my life.  I’ve grown as a result of the nurture and care He has provided, largely through others.  I haven’t “arrived”, but I know He will continue to mold and shape me to be more like Him. He is, after all, the Master Gardener.

How about you?  How has God worked in your life to mold and shape you to mirror His image? Don’t forget to join the conversation.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thought I'd share this tip from Lori Roelveld for following God without getting in over your head. Click on the following link.