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Thursday, August 27, 2020

All of That For Just One? A Story of (Worth It) Work

 I don't know about you, but I'm a visual learner. I always learn best by seeing. I always "hear" God best through seeing as well. The tiniest, everyday things can be monumental in my life as a I grow in character and faith. 

This past Mother's Day was a tough day for me. Yes, it was full of all the hugs and kisses and love from  my kiddos. It was also my first Mother's Day as a Foster Mom. I knew that my day was filled with hugs from someone else's baby and she was probably missing him something awful. Just the thought of that burns in the back of my throat all over again. What a great and heavy privilege.

Before this day, the hubster had gone out and bought me loads of Sunflower seeds. The packs told me how to plant/water them and said they would grow to about 6 feet tall. Oh, I couldn't wait to see them. I decided to bring the kiddos outside with me on Mother's Day to plant them - just before the rain came and watered them for the first time. We had such fun racing the clouds that hung heavy and threatened us in a "Fee Fie Foe Fum" kind of way. We giggled and squealed as we tried to plant as quickly as we could.

Then came the rain. 

Then came months of really hard things with the Covid-19 restrictions and missing my friends and family. Add to that allllll the things our Foster son was processing as his visits with his family continued to be held virtually.  He had new memories and opinions he was trying to process and we had some difficult days. Add to that all the evidence of brokenness in the world right outside my door. 

It's easy to say, sunflowers growing in my yard was something I was looking forward to as a visual of joy. They're my absolute favorites. 

Cut to yesterday. August something or other - it's all a blur at this point, am I right?

I've been the worst gardener this year because - Covid - 4 kids - Foster care - life. I actually made it out to the side of my house yesterday and was hoping to see some sunflowers. My surrounding neighbors have some beauties growing, let me tell you. 

I looked out toward the fence line and at first thought there was nothing there - not a sprout, not a hope, not even a chance. I looked again and saw this little guy. 

It was all tiny and low to the ground but it was a sunflower, nonetheless. 

One sunflower.

One, 1 foot tall, where's all the petals?, not near 6 feet or heading that way, sunflower. 

Can you feel my disappointment?

I was honestly mad. I was mad that I somehow failed to grow even sunflowers. I was mad that all my time has been eaten up and my introvert self can't even break away from things enough to handle her garden. I was mad that after planting so many seeds in 3 different areas in my yard, this. THIS! One itty bitty sunflower - what evidence of how pitiful this season has been. Right? 

No. Not at all right. Not even a little bit.  

My knee jerk reaction and frustration wasn't real - it was exaggerated. Grossly exaggerated.

I nearly missed the TRUTH that on my fence line was growing a sunflower. It was full of beautiful coloring and it was just the right size to bring inside and put in a vase. I also missed that on either side of it were smaller buds just waiting to bloom.  

I began to smile and I headed straight to the garage to get my pruning sheers. These beauties were going to come with me. I had waited so long to see them and see them I will. 

Ready for the lesson I learned by seeing? 

Planting seeds - doing the actual work of planting, watering, and waiting in anticipation is worth it no matter the size of the harvest. I had fully expected to see many, tall sunflowers. I had one tiny result. But without the work, I would have had nothing at all. I simply can't conclude that this beauty wasn't worth the work. 

Take this sunflower and apply this same thought to people. I can't conclude that all the work of pouring my heart, prayers, love, counsel into people isn't worth the work. I may hope for many, Big God results but even if all I can see is a short little beauty just sitting there being who they were made to be to the glory of God, regardless of my expectations, the effort is worth it. 

Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV) "For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that proceeds from My moth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it. "

Trusting God, who sends me out to lead worship or offer encouragement or smile at a stranger, means that I trust that He's in control. What I offer to Him in obedience will accomplish what He pleases. 

It's good to be hopeful and expecting of big things but it's important to be grateful for the small and good and imperfect.

I will remember this every time I look at these sweet sunflowers. 


1 comment:

  1. Love that you’re writing again. Thanks for sharing the little life lesson that come your wat❤️❤️


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