Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Men, Weed Eaters, and Hedge Trimmers

What is it about men with weed eaters and hedge trimmers? Seriously, do they feel some kind of extraordinary power once the power cord gets plugged in? Let me explain.

My landlord sent someone over to my house cut the grass, trim shrubs and yard maintenance.  I didn't know he was coming today, in fact I didn't even know he was here until I looked out my back window and saw him brutally attacking the gorgeous tall shrub separating my back yard from my neighbors. I was on the phone at time and as soon as I realized what was happening, I hurried out the back door as quick as I could (with a bad back ) and tried to get his attention, but he had head phones on and and couldn't hear me. After waving my arms wildly, and making loud noises, I finally got his attention. I explained how important the shrubs were for our privacy and asked him to please not to cut them any shorter, just barely trim them. HA! The next thing I knew my nice thick shrub had become so thinned to the point where not only Could I now see through the shrubs to my next door neighbor's yard, but also to the neighbor's yard beyond that. So much for privacy!

It reminded me of another painful time years ago (a different lifetime when I was married). We were living in a rental house that had beautiful ivy climbing up the brick wall. I was getting ready to cater a bridal shower the following week, and planning on using some of the fresh ivy for decoration. I had went into town and when I came back home my jaw dropped. Not only had my husband trimmed every single bit of ivy off the house, but also conveniently weed eated my hydrangea bush as well. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my beautiful ivy lying lifeless on the ground. I cried. I was hurt, and devastated. I know it was just ivy but it was important to me, besides the point that now I couldn't use it for the upcoming bridal tea. My husband felt justified in cutting it by saying that he thought it was ruining the brick on the house.

 Just this morning I posted on my blog about how God sometimes "cuts back" things in our lives necessary for our good, but what was the lesson in all this?
Maybe God has a sense of humor and he was showing it to me. Do I need to set better boundaries? Do I need to release control over those things in which I have no control over?  Perhaps I need to go back to yesterdays post to just "Let Go and Go On." 

 As I ponder these things I realize once again that I am human and continually a work in progress. Good days, bad days and that I constantly need to be reminded of the serenity prayer;

 "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. 

 But some days it sure is hard: especially on those days when men have weed eaters and hedge trimmers!

The Second Chance Geranium

Through my living room window, I can see a potted geranium plant out on my patio. A few weeks ago it was in dire straights, literally.

Having survived the winter, I had neglected it all spring due to my recent surgery. It was alive still, but just barely. The dirt was dry from lack of water, the blooms that once was vibrant hung pitifully; faded and shriveled. The stems and leaves were dried up as well (as if embarrassed), with only a few green leaves and visible signs of life remaining. I thought, "What the Heck, I should probably just toss this old thing in the garbage and put it out of it's misery." But instead, I decided to give it a second chance.

I clipped away all the shrivelled, faded blooms, then started cutting away all the dried leaves and stems. By the time I was finished there wasn't much left. Then I watered it, and gave it some plant food, and waited. Each day I patiently made sure the soil had enough water to sustain it. Then I waited & crossed my fingers.

Today when I look out my window I now see one big beautiful red geranium bloom rising proudly above a now green, healthy and beautiful plant. Small miracles happen every day if we are willing to open our eyes to them.

I realize that I too, have been like that geranium plant that has survived a hard winter; (barely).  I have felt dried up, & have lost all my color. I have stopped blooming. I have been in a desert place of a different kind; (divorce, illness, fatigue, fear, anxiety). My soul parched and dry, my spirit shriveled away to nothing.

But God looks at me in my sad, dire condition, and sees hope in me. First, even though it is a painful process, he starts pruning away what is no longer useful in my life. I understand that even though it hurts it is for my good. Next he waters my parched soul with his holy spirit and my thirst is quenched. Finally he allows the glory of his son (sunlight) to bathe my spirit with healing rays of hope, renewing my faith, for a brighter tomorrow. And I, like the the red geranium on my patio, I will bloom again. Under the tender care of the master gardener have been given a second chance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Let Go....Go On

 I recently came across a Mary Engelbreit card I purchased years ago because I loved the saying as well as the picture. it shows A girl taking great steps forward, with a branch in hand as a walking stick, and a opened suitcase trailing behind her with an assortment of personal items falling out of it.  What I like most about it is the caption: LET GO....GO ON.

There comes a time in all of our lives when we come to a point when we have a choice: hold on to the past (or even a current undesirable situation) or let go and go on. Wowzie! Sometimes just the thought of letting go of the familiar (even though it may be painful or toxic to us), paralyzes us into remaining rooted firmly in place because even as painful as it is, it has become a sort of comfort zone for us.  Fear grips us, holding us from going forward. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown. Whatever it is that is that is keeping you from going forward becomes like quicksand; first by gripping our feet, but then eventually swallowing up our entire body so that we become immobile, helpless to go anywhere. I know, I've been there myself.

During the past two weeks following my recent divorce (which I finally had the courage to have finalized) I have seen the above phrase no less than three times.

Coincidence? I don't think so. I believe that when we finally take the leap faith to LET GO and GO ON, there will be road signs confirming we have made a step forward in the right direction. Sometimes we don't even know what direction that is~ we are just taking one step at a time, one day at a time and just moving forward to whatever God has planned for us. I read a quote the other day that said: "God will direct our paths, but we have to be willing to pick up our feet and take the first step. 

What are YOU currently facing today? What specifically is holding YOU back?
Be Brave. Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be Fearless. Most importantly;
 LET Go and Go On. Move forward and don't look back.

Blessings to you and your journey wherever it takes you! :)