Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Garden Spots

Flourish:  to grow vigorously in a favorable environment

I can't say the word "flourish" without thinking of my grandfather's garden in Dawson Spring's Kentucky.  As a 9 year old little girl, I remember running through the rows of flowers chasing the butterflies and staying away from the bees.  I remember the fragrant smells, the magnificent colors, and how happy I felt as I played.   Just thinking about it transports me back to this beautiful, peace-filled, safe haven, where I just enjoyed being a little 9 year old girl.  You could say, during the 6 months we lived at his home and I played in his garden, I flourished.

There are other environments that come to my mind that I can say have caused me to Flourish.  One such garden looks very different.  It isn't filled with rows of flowers.  Butterflies do not float through the sky, nor do I fear the sting of a bee but I can say there is a spring of water that washes over me and soothes, comforts, and produces a joy I cannot find anywhere else on this planet and it is very, very beautiful.

My parlor with my Bible in my lap, my journal beside me, and a box of tissue close by is the most beautiful of gardens I have ever experienced.  That's saying a lot because I have seen some of the most gorgeous gardens in the world.   You see this garden isn't about what happens within me when I physically see the beauty God has created.   Instead it's about what happens deep within my soul, when I encounter the One who made everything, including me, inside out.

Psalm 139 is the food that noriushes me during my visits and I am never alone in this garden because I enjoy the deep friendship of my best friend.  He's always waiting for me in this garden called my parlor.  He has walked beside me since I was born.  As a matter of fact, He knew me before I was ever created in my mother's womb.   I read Psalm 139:15 and it reminds me that my Friend knows everything about me and Psalm 139:1 reminds me that He keeps track of me; where I am going, where I have gone, and where I am today.  Now that's a friend!

When life has gotten rough, I go to my garden chair and the Creator of all things good, my Friend, is waiting.  As a matter of fact, He reminds me, somedays He's been waiting a very long time.  Regardless of how long it's been since our last visit, He joyfully welcomes me.  He speaks to my heart and reminds me that because He created all things, there's nothing too big for Him to handle.  I feel His presence.  He wraps His arms around me and I can just be me.  I can cry.  I can laugh.  I can yell.  I can sing.  I can sit and say nothing.   And, I know He will always be patient.  He waits for me to ask Him for His help.  He's a great Friend!

Sometimes, I'm so busy that my visits are quick.  I only have time to talk.  Other times, I can sit for hours and just listen.  Regardless of the amount of time, our talks are always like water washing over my soul; energizing me, soothing my wounds, and healing me from the inside out.  

Yes, every time I visit this garden, where I find nourishment to my soul, I grow in love not just for my Friend, Creator of all things, but for others.  I also grow deeper and deeper in the understanding of who I am, why I am here on this planet, and what I truly enjoy about life.   So, why wouldn't I flourish in this environment.  After all I'm spending time with my Friend, my Savior, my Father, my Comforter, and my Creator.  God of the universe.  I am so special to Him.  He is so very special to me.

How about you?  Where do you Flourish?  Do you have a garden spot where you can be nurtured to grow into the woman God has intended you to be?   A place where His Word is food to your bones, prayer is water to your soul, and His sweet and overwhelming presence sustains your very breath.

If so, tell us about it.  

If not, or it's been a while, here's a good place to start (again) - find a quiet place with a comfortable place to sit.  
1.  Start by saying, "Holy Spirit, please make this my garden spot and meet with me today."
2.  Grab your Bible, and read Psalm 139 or click on this link - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139 
3.  Grab a journal or a piece of paper
4.  Read over the verses
5.  Pause long enough to let the verses sink deep into your soul
6.  Write down one of the verses that means the most to you
7.  Think on it over and over again

Then wait ... I promise if you wait and be quiet long enough, my Friend ... your Friend, will speak and then in your garden spot you will begin to Flourish, too.

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