cold front clean up

 

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I spent pretty much the whole day working outside. After not feeling great, the fresh air and beautiful weather were a nice change from being cooped up inside. So I worked a little, stopped when I needed to, then worked some more.

Our flower beds needed SO much attention. They bloom and flourish all summer and fall, then we get a cold snap so they sit tight for a bit, then bloom and flourish again when it warms up (because in Houston it ALWAYS warms up😜), then a freeze happens and freaks the plants out and lots of it turns brown and gross. Then, it warms up again and feels like things should bloom and flourish, but all the dead brown stuff now seems glaringly ugly. It felt really good to cut things back and clean things out and pull away all the dead, yucky stuff.

This is so life right?? Things are rocking and rolling along, growing full and lucious… then we hit a brief spell, cold snap if you will, and we just sorta sit tight until it passes. When it warms back up… when things go back to that familiar place…. we go back to blooming and growing fuller and fuller. Then a big something happens, just like the freeze, and it stops us right there in that moment. All that fullness and fluff can get worn down, and we need to clear it out to make room for the bare bones of what we build our life own.

For me, that is God’s truth and those people in my life I love.

As much as I wish for cold weather this time of year, today I’m thankful for the cold snaps and warm ups, for the dead leaves and branches that clutter the ground, and for the lesson that cleaning out the yuck can be good for the soul.

80 degrees in January? Okay, God… I’m listening…❤

 

words matter

I was wide awake in the middle of the night with a restless puppy. If I get woken up like that, I’m up, at least for a good hour or two. #frustrating. So, I did a little Pinterest searching. Better than Amazon prime shopping, right?!😜.

I came across this great article about positive/negative words and how they affect plant growth. This experiment is not new- it has been around for a while and is a great illustration showing how words matter. How we speak to others matters!

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In the blog post I read, the author explained how the plant on the right was talked to with positive, loving, encouraging speech. In fact the container was even covered with positive words written out on it. On the left, the negative. Put-downs, hate, discouraging speech was spoken to it and negative written words covered the container. And you probably guessed how it turned out.

Our loving, good, positive words bring life to others. They build up and contribute to a life of thriving. And when we choose words that tear down? It’s stifles. It can make others feel weak. It takes life out of them.

This past week we have probably all witnessed this. It’s been a tumultuous week of feelings  swinging vastly on the pendulum of emotions. One simple click of “post”, “send”, “tweet” has brought forth words of all kinds. Words that encouraged, words that offended. Words that showed grace, words that ripped apart.  Words that left a sting.  Words that extended a branch.  Words that affected.

BUT… we often reflect outwardly what we struggle with inwardly. At least I do.

I had never considered this illustration with how I speak TO MYSELF.  I can be so guilty of this. I get in a routine and I do good with my healthy choices, my time management, my effort in relationships. And when I do, I feel good about myself. I speak nicely to myself. My inner voice is all rainbows and unicorns.🌈🦄  And I tend to approach things with that same attitude

But when any of those efforts slide? When I splurge on bad foods, skip the workout, spew forth a thought without thinking, or put minimal effort into my marriage or parenting when I know better?  I don’t cut myself much slack. I don’t extend myself much grace. And the negativity begins. My inner self-talk becomes putting myself down. I find fault with everything I do. The rainbows turn to clouds and unicorns to something more like angry birds. 🐤😡🐦 And I begin feeling a little like this withering plant. A little more lifeless, a little more crumbly.  And that is how I find myself living my day to day- with a negative vibe in things I say and do.

We, of course, need to pay attention to how we speak to others and always seek to speak words that bring life.  Words that show respect. Words that don’t intend harm. But… we often need to get to that place by first looking in.

Have you paid attention to how you speak to yourself? Being content on the inside means there’s a greater chance you will spread that joy and good feeling to others on the outside. As you try to be healthier, help others, and live better, are you considering your self-talk? It matters! When you stumble, remember… Be kind to you. Show grace to you. Love you! Be intentional about this. Practice this. Live this. The picture illustrates so well how you’ll grow and thrive when you do. And when you get your heart feeling good on the inside, it’s becomes so much easier to spread that encouragement outwardly.❤

winter bleak

 

img_0252Stark, bare, utter, complete
It’s what I see in the winter bleak

Simplicity… He alone in us
No extra fluff, no extra fuss

This morning’s hues of purple and pink
Are a bonus gift, like a nod or wink

Or really, it’s like a big, warm hug
Reminding us of His royal love

This season speaks straight to my heart
Of Him always in us- never apart💜

Thank you, God, for the gift of these skies this morning!