Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Late Blooming Rose

The roses on the garden trellis haven't bloomed for weeks. But this morning, we find the hugest bloom, right there where no bloom should be. It's astonishing because it blooms so late. All around us, everything has bloomed and is moving on to new stages: the tips of the oak leaves flare up with color; acorns fall and crack; it's cold enough for mittens. 

This rose bush lags behind. Yes, this is a late-bloomer indeed. 

We tell our daughters about the expression late bloomer in gardening and in life. If everyone else races on by in any kind of development--social, physical, or emotional--it's no cause for alarm. Your time will come. You will astonish and bring more beauty to the world precisely because of the timing of it all. While others fade, fall, and crack, you'll just be getting started! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

When Isaiah 32:17 Floats in Your Brain

Sometimes Isaiah 32:17 floats in my brain on difficult days.

I remember the promise here that the fruit of righteousness is peace. If you look up the Hebrew word for "peace" in this verse, it's of course shalom! 

I learn that shalom refers to completeness, soundness, safety, wholeness, harmony, contentment, and a sense that "all is well" or "all is just as it should be."

If I lived out of this shalom reality, how different my attitude, how different my disposition! I receive this by faith (Christ's righteousness), but I also remember to keep in step with the Spirit because sin unsettles. It destroys that experience of harmony, wholeness, and well-being. I ask God, like David did, to expose "any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting."

The end of Isaiah 32:17 offers another fruit of righteousness: quietness and confidence forever. These Hebrew words mean "tranquil and undisturbed" and "complete security."

I receive the fruit of righteousness today. I let everything in me enter into shalom. Regardless of how unsettled I feel, I flip the switch of faith and chose to believe this reality is mine. It's here now, and I believe it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Let Yourself Mellow

Today I learn about mellowing as I age. To mellow means to soften, and it comes from late Middle English (16th Century) origins denoting a soft, ripe, sweet fruit. Mellowing means to lose harshness and bitterness. It refers to relaxed, easy-going, and low-maintenance living.

Older women in my life talk about how they "mellowed" in their forties and fifties. They ripened into a slower pace and a less frenetic schedule. They forgive easily, release bitterness, and avoid drama. Most importantly, they find themselves needing less and less to prove themselves to others, to seek importance from achievement, and to explain themselves to other people.

I like getting older. I really, really do.