Potential  ::  Thrive  or Just Survive

Potential :: Thrive or Just Survive

It looks so small — almost as if it’s shrink wrapped to preserve the beauty within. Tiny buds perfectly placed on the top of green stems. A mystery waiting to unfold to those who take the time to look.

What will it become? What color? How long will it last? Will it have a fragrance? is there a purpose beyond the bloom and beauty? Medicinal? Herbal? Joy? Beauty and color to bring indoors to decorate our tables?

Almost every day I take a walk through our gardens at our little cottage. I look for new life. New growth. Changes in the landscape. Unfolding of delicate buds and blossoms. Watching for intruding weeds and pulling them out before they choke out the intentional beauty planted.

(Cutting from Grandma Carrie Waters’ hydrangea transplanted 4 times over and still showing off its blooms.)

When given the right amount of nutrients, air, water and sunlight, these plants have the potential to flourish and bloom every single year …faithfully living up to their Creator’s design. Their purpose is not questioned …just enjoyed for what it is. There’s no question of identity or role — just doing what they were made to do. No more …no less.

(Purple Coneflower, also called Echinacea shared from another friend)

There is so much potential in every single living thing.

If plants need nutrients, air, water and sunlight, what do you think you and I need as humans to flourish and bloom? What ingredients need to be regularly added into every day life in order for our lives to thrive and our potential to unfold in the way we were created and designed to do?

Breaking it down to 4 top priorities to sustain and survive, what would those be for you?

Food. Shelter. Clothing and…

And the thing we desperately need that flowers can’t fully express is the need for love and relationships. We can “survive” on food, shelter and clothing but can we thrive?

Thriving is very different from surviving. Thriving has to do with flourishing …prospering …growing …healthy living …advancing …developing …progressing …moving forward in spite of circumstances …and my favorite, simply — doing well. (Thesaurus.com )

God has given each of us the potential to thrive not just survive.

I wasn’t sure I had planted my little coreopsis (see first picture) in an area where it would thrive. Only time would tell. I couldn’t even remember what it was supposed to look like but a recent walk around the garden revealed the potential for beauty that had been stored up inside this plant all winter long …

Coreopsis (Tickseed)

Evidently all the right ingredients were in place for this created one to flourish and thrive.

What if we all took a little gardening moment to check the soil of our heart to see if all the ingredients we need to flourish and thrive were present. Do you have healthy food? Shelter? Clothing? What about the one that may be the most important …loving relationships?

Jesus invites us first of all into relationship with Him. He longs to be with us and us to be with Him. He thrives on walking with us in our daily lives and having conversations no matter the weather or the situation.  He and His Father and the Spirit are in perfect relationship and They went to great lengths to share that with us.

But it wasn’t just about our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It was always intended to include more.

They wanted us to enjoy relationship with others here on this earth. Relationships that bring life and joy and health to our bones. Love embodied in others shared freely back and forth. Love given. Love received.

None of us will truly thrive without those healthy relationships. We may survive but we won’t thrive. Our growth will be stunted…our progress thwarted. It’s like a flower growing hearty green leaves but never producing the beautiful flowers they were intended to display.

I found this out the hard way. Words better describing my state of  being were — declining …unhealthy …failing …emotionally exhausted …lonely …depleted.

Sometime you find a conversation with a long-time friend is what it takes to realize how much life a good, healthy relationship can breathe into your soul. Or talking to your daughter or son or close family and you  feel like someone has hooked you up to much-needed oxygen.

There was plenty of food, clothing and shelter and a large supply of people in my life but there was a missing ingredient of those closest, loving, healthy relationships.

It’s not the number of friends you have but the friends who number you in their can’t-do-without list.

So how’s your relationship with Jesus? Are you walking and talking it out with Him during the day? What about your “can’t-do-without” list of friends and family? Are you investing in time with them? Sharing fresh oxygen?

We have potential to thrive. Let’s don’t settle for surviving. Get your ingredients together. Bloom with me, my friend!

“For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.”

Psalm 56:13 (NLT)

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

Go for it! Leave a comment. :-)