When Timothy and I left the house for our little walk yesterday, I was feeling a little down. And I couldn't figure out what was wrong - which perhaps bothered me the most! I think it was like feeling foxtails in my socks and not knowing where they had come from. What was going on? Was it grief again? Something else? I couldn't put my finger on it. So we went for a walk and that's when we found all of the flowering weeds.
I started reflecting on how things can look like one thing and grow into something that hardly resembles its previous existence. Like the ladybugs or the weeds. Who would look at flowers and automatically make the connection between the seeds that grow from them? Not most of us, unless we have had reason to learn.
When I taught 2nd grade, we did a unit on flowers. It was quite fascinating (I love science!) and the main point I kept reminding them of was that flowers existed to produce seeds. Their very purpose was to be pretty and attract pollenators so seeds could grow... with or without fruit surrounding them. The plants don't really care. They just want to reproduce. (Well... not that they want to... but it's what they're made to do.)
And it's a cycle. The seeds grow plants which grow flowers that produce more seeds that produce more plants and flowers and seeds, etc. Who knows where it starts or ends?
So back to my gloomy mood. I asked God to help me see what thoughts were either the seeds that had been planted or flowers that had produced seeds of discouragement or something else and I started recognizing little thoughts that probably bloomed into gloom.
"I'm never going to get caught up on the laundry."
"We always have to file for an extension on our taxes."
"This kitchen is a disaster."
"I can't do this. It's too hard!"
"I don't feel connected to God."
(And at the moment... "What is wrong with the formatting on here??? Why can't I fix it?")
Most of the time the thoughts are so quick and fleeting I hardly notice them. So I'm praying God will help me take even the most subtle of my thoughts captive to Christ so we can sort them out and correct them. Weed out the wrong and replant the right.
"It is hard to get the laundry done, but we have clothes to wear tomorrow."
"We'll likely have to file for an extension on our taxes again, but we'll get it done eventually and it's okay."
"Maybe the kitchen can be rearranged so it works better."
"Nothing is impossible with God. Challenges help me to grow."
"Nothing can separate me from God's love and as long as I'm on this earth I will always long for more connection with God. And praise Him that I long for it!"
(And "who cares if some of the text is a different color? I'm not going to spend extra time obsessing and being frustrated about it!")
And I'm also asking God to help me recognize and be grateful for the things HE has planted in my life that might currently look like caterpillars but are going to turn into butterflies. Seeds of grief that will bear the fruit of joy. Trials that will give way to triumph. Trouble that will be transformed into eternal glory.
"17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Heavenly Father, fix my eyes on what is unseen and what is true. Fix my eyes and my heart on You...