Acts 20:24 –But I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work the Lord Jesus gave me to do. And this work is to tell the good news about God’s gift of undeserved grace.

Gratitude Day 823

I love live plants. Fresh flowers. Actual living things in my presence. Yes, you will find artificial “plants” and “flowers” in our house. But there is something that gives my soul a smile when I look at a living plant in the dead of winter.

Considering we moved in January in Wisconsin, I carefully decided what actual live plants I would move. I moved them a few days before our actual moved when I was going to our new-to-us house. We made sure our vehicles were full when we made those trips. This particular trip, I place the plants in laundry baskets, covered them with blankets and put them in a warm vehicle.

Once at our new house, I placed them on windowsills so they could get as much light as possible. We had a very gloomy winter. Being moved is stressful on a plant. I wanted to encourage them for as much success as possible. They got an extra dose of ferterlizer. I carefully watered them. And waited to see how they would respond.

Moving any plant at this time of the year and keeping it alive was a win. Actually, every plant I moved has survived. About half of them have found their permanent home. The rest? Still waiting for that dose of inspiration when I know just where they should go.

I place one particular plant in our main living area quite early after we moved. The room has good light. I kept checking to see if he was getting enough water. Little new leaves grew from the center of the plant. But the older leaves and stems? Well, they just didn’t seem to be doing well. So, one day, I decided to prune back these ok-but-not-so-great stems. I cut out all of the older stems and leaves, leaving just the newer ones that seem to be healthy, dark green and look so pretty compared to the older and struggling ones.

As soon as I cut away those old leaves and branches, it seemed that those new leaves began to smile. They stretched themselves out and suddenly filled more of the pot. They grew quickly and flourished. It was AMAZING how quickly the plant changed once the old leaves that were dragging the whole plant down were pruned away.

Every day, I walk by that plant multiple times a day. In the morning, I walk over and greet it while the coffee is brewing. I check the soil and see if it needs a drink. As crazy as it sounds, this little plant is growing to new heights, all because the parts of it that were unhealthy and dragging it down were clipped away.

It’s reaching new heights. Because some things were snipped away.

Friends – this is what has encouraged me in my search for Simple Is Better life that I’m working on embracing. I get it. Change is hard. Letting go is hard. Giving yourself permission to let yourself grow is hard.

But not doing anything and staying where you are? You may be hanging onto unhealthy parts of your life that are holding you back from becoming the person God longs and loves for YOU to be.

When we hang onto clutter and physical things that take our time to manage? We maybe putting energy into things that are not live giving. As we let those things that drain our energy – relationships, poor habits, too much time getting sucked up by rabbit holes, and lots of other potential things – we lose energy and attention for the things that really ARE important to us. If we ignore those things that we know do not put us in a healthy place with ourselves, God and other people, then we simply are hanging onto the unhealthy parts of our lives that simply need to be removed.

I get it. Doing this is not easy. It takes a brave person to get honest with themselves and say, “I want to create a version of myself that I love, God loves and those around me are inspired by.” But hanging onto those branches and leaves that are comfortable but holding us back? Oh, it’s time to LET. THEM. GO.

Friends – PLEASE do NOT try to tackle EVERYTHING overnight. Pick one thing, like letting go of some clutter in your living space and start there. Or try to let go of the habit that has bugged you for YEARS. Maybe it’s ADDING something into your life that you have longed to do for years but just didn’t make time/space/a priority. My guess? As you begin to make small changes, one at a time, over a period of time that suits you, there will be a day when you look back and say, “I’m a healthy version of myself. I have grown. I am the living example that old dogs CAN learn new tricks.”

And be proud of yourself. Find joy in giving yourself a break and letting something simply and easy come into your heart and soul and become a deep-seeded core value in your life that you no longer make excuses for.

Why do this? Because YOU are a beloved child of God. You are a spiritual being that yearns to connect with something beyond yourself. We live with this false narrative that something in and of this world can fulfill our life’s longing when really, our souls and spiritual nature need to seek a connection with our Maker. The One who created us, loves us, redeems us and gives us so much more grace than we can ever extend ourselves. The God who overlooks everything and still loves us unconditionally. The One who already knows everything about us, knows us better than we know ourselves, and still loves us to the ends of the earth and beyond. A love that has no conditions, expectations nor limits.

Friend – place your hand on your heart. Feel it beat. Close your eyes for a minute. Feel that spiritual side of you? It desperately wants to be in touch with God, the One who loves you no matter what.

Too often, we make life a bit too complicated. We get hung up on things that may, or may not, be imperative. Yes, we can dumb down religion and faith. Yet, maybe simple is OK. Filling our hearts and souls with the simple love and grace that God gives us is a great place to start. And what I yearn for you today. Tomorrow. This week. This life.

What is my inspiration for myself and you today? Take a few minutes, an hour, a bit of time where you can sit with God. Feel God’s love. Know you are God’s beloved child. God has overlooked everything you have done that hurt God and other people. And God is ready to inspire you and encourage you again. You just need the space to simply allow yourself to feel it. Live it. Yearn for it. Believe it.

This weeks Bible Verse:

For the reminder that I am a spiritual person who needs grace, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Holy God – Why am I hard on myself? Why are my expectations too much? Help me connect more deeply with my spiritual soul and then connect with You spiritually.  May I spend less time and effort thinking that things that fulfill my longing. Help me connect with You as my Maker and relish in all the grace that You give me day after day. Amen.

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