Happy Earth Day. Go hug a tree, I mean it, those babies provide so much for us - fresh air, heat in the winter, shade in the summer, maple syrup - trees are awesome!
I spent some time this week thinking about all the goodness put on this planet that God intended for us to enjoy and well... according to genesis everything was also created for us to take care of. I don't want to sound all hippie-dippie but I've learn some good lessons while caring for the earth. Somewhere along the way I became a crazy plant lady. Stick with me here, I know it sounds like I'm just crazy, with or without a love of flowers and plants.
So, "Fleur de Plant" is my little side kick, I've had this plant for almost a year and a half now. I love and baby this plant. Fleur de Plant is the fun name for my Kalanchoe plant (mostly because I'm not totally confident how to say "Kalanchoe"). I got this plant from the King Soopers by DU in Denver and looking back at a picture of when I first got it, it has FLOURISHED. I think that it's impressive growth is mostly due to the succulent-like nature of it and little to do with my plant-momming skills.
It might sound beyond silly but I've learned a lot about patience from Fleur and to be completely honest, Fleur is the perfect visual representation of the last year of my relationship with God.
I water Fleur daily in order to keep the soil damp and more often than not, Fleur is just a lush, green, happy plant BUT 2-3 times a year (since I've had it) these little buds pop up and out blooms the most beautiful, tiny, bright flowers. The pink and orange colors of this plant are absolutely beautiful. I didn't think colors like these occurred in nature. I thought they were artificially colored at first but they continued to bloom and amaze me. Then the "season" passes and I prune the dead ends and it goes back to normal.
The first time this happened and it didn't bud out right away, I thought I killed it but I continued to water it and turn it towards the sunlight anyway . It was so long between blooming seasons that I was annoyed that I wasn't being rewarded for all my hard work (hard work = watering a plant everyday... my "Millennial" is showing).
After months of waiting and watering day after day, there it was. A tiny little bud. Before I knew it, Fleur de Plant was absolutely covered in buds that eventually bloomed. YAY! Not only did I not kill it but the plant is even bigger and healthier with more flowers than before.
How does this connect with me and my relationship with God for the last year? Well, to be completely honest, this past year has been tough, bad things happened around me, I felt new kinds of heart break and hurt BUT I kept nurturing my relationship with God. During the times that I wasn't flourishing I was still in the Word of God, feeding my soul and each morning I made the decision to get up and turn towards the Light.Months passed and I still didn't seen anything big happening. Things were certainly happening around me, my friends were flourishing so I knew that God was still out there listening and making things happen.
Then all of s sudden, there it was. A little bud. The fruits of my labor or in my case, the beginning of a flourishing season. My obedience was being rewarded. Now, don't get me wrong, we are called to obedience because God says to trust him and because of love, not because of reward. If I only obeyed when I knew a reward was around the corner I would've stopped watering Fleur and turning towards the light a long time ago when I thought hope was lost and my plant was dead.
I never know when Fleur de Plant is going to bloom, nor do I know when God is going to call on me but if I stopped watering Fleur and stopped nourishing my soul through the love and word of God then one thing is certain, my plant would die and so would my relationship. Neither would get to flourish because they're no longer being nourished.
I don't think I quite understood how much of an instant gratification person I've become, but when you're a crazy plant lady, like me, you learn very quickly that your plants don't bloom when you want them to. After long seasons of waiting, though, you do reap what you sow. It's just the waiting that is a bummer, but you learn there is beauty in the waiting too.
I'm going to go enjoy this beautiful (rainy) Earth Day and I hope that you do too. I pray that you know that God made everything from the mountains to the trees to the mysteriously vast oceans for us to enjoy and to take care of. He made all the things on Earth and in the Heavens with YOU in mind. Be a good steward of the awesomeness around you and know that YOU are SO loved.
by Kait, with love.