Y’all, I love how God works. Have you ever felt like God has put together your own personal Bible study for you? You know those times when everywhere you look, you hear the same message from different sources? I’m in the middle of one of those times and it is incredible. I’ve been reading in two completely different books and yet have been having each one’s message confirmed in the other. One is a devotional book, Whispers and Wildflowers by Sarah Beth Marr, that I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing (you can check out my review here if you’d like) and the other is the Bible study book, Gideon by Priscilla Shirer, that the ladies’ group at my church is going through. The things I have been reading in both books have been pointing to the same things, the same truths. And I love that. Although, I’m not sure what that says about me—that I need to have it in surround sound to get it? 🙂
So, that truth (well, at least the main one) that it’s been pointing to—believe it or not, it’s actually been pointing to one of those cliché sayings that I tend to be a bit cynical about. Guess my cynicism is really getting a beating lately. And that’s a good thing. Like I said before, sometimes my cynicism is a good thing—it helps me to be careful about what I let myself get into. At other times, though, it really keeps me from being able to accept some of the simplest and most beautiful of truths because they’re so “cliché,” so to speak. So, this cliché that I’m speaking of—“Bloom where you’re planted.”—is one of those clichés that I have tended to overlook the real truth and value in in the past. But I haven’t been able to ignore it recently as I’ve been getting the message in surround sound and prompted by the Holy Spirit. When He speaks, it’s pretty hard to ignore.
It’s easy to want to look to head to the next season, the next stage, especially when the one you’re going through at the moment isn’t the most pleasant. Some days, I really look forward to the day when all our children sleep through the night and don’t end up in our bed. I look forward to the day when I can get things done without constant interruption or without a baby following me around screaming because she’s not being held. It’s easy sometimes to daydream about the next part of life because it seems like it will be better or easier. Other times, we’re so busy worrying about what might happen in the future that we are not fully present in the here and now.
I also struggle with wondering how I can possibly be making an impact for the kingdom in the position I am in. I’m a homeschool mom to 8 children. I hardly ever leave my home. Who else am I ever going to be around to impact? I know that I am here to impact my children, but sometimes I feel discontent because I want to have an impact beyond my family, and I get so focused on that, that I am not fully invested in impacting the sphere of influence God has already given me.
In Whispers and Wildflowers, Ms. Marr discusses the idea of “cultivating” our lives. She talks about what it means to cultivate—“to prepare,” “to promote or improve the growth of,” “to develop,” “to refine,” “to foster,” “to devote oneself.” Ms. Marr states that, “As we slow our pace and take time to develop, refine, and foster our right-now life and devote our hearts to the current season, we find deeply rooted contentment.” When I make the choice to focus on the “now” where God has me and choose not to worry about what the future may or may not hold, that’s where I begin to find peace. I let go of the mad rush for the next stage of life, I let go of worries I have about the future and I trust the Lord. Trust Him that where I am at is where He has placed me. Trust Him that He has me in the season I’m in for a purpose. Trust Him that He has plans to use me in the “now.” Trust Him that He has my future in His hands. Ms. Marr puts it like this, “As we trust in Him and do good—do the things He has put in our path today—and dwell—be fully invested where He has us—He will cultivate contentment in our hearts.”
And she’s right, it’s so true. I’ve seen the evidence of this in my own life when I choose to be fully present and engaged in the season I am in. As I read through that day’s devotion in Whispers and Wildflowers, I was convicted and reminded that I need to cultivate time with my children, learning who God is designing them to be, teaching them who He is, and truly knowing my children who are precious gifts from Him. I need to be diligent and focused on investing in the season I’m in, which right now is in helping my children grow to be who God created them to be.
In Gideon, Ms. Shirer says “As mothers to our children, as employees in the work place, as part of His body in our local church, or as influencers in our communities, God has deliberately positioned each of us to be His representative, beckoning our ailing culture to Him—one person at a time.” She goes on to talk about how God is there even in the ordinary, even the mundane moments and parts of our lives, but we often miss Him there. I believe the reason we so often miss Him there is because we aren’t truly present in the “now” season of our lives, in the ordinary moments of the season we’re in.
And what an incredible thing to realize—that God wants so much to be in fellowship with us, that He loves us so much that He desires to reveal Himself to us even in the day to day parts of our lives. He not only wants to reveal Himself to us in those moments, but He wants to use us. He has plans in place to use us in those moments. And He has plans to use those moments in our lives. Ms. Shirer shares, “Today’s tasks—even the most mundane of them—are often preparation for tomorrow’s calling.” We need to be fully present and truly invested in those tasks of today, of this current season, so that preparation work can be made complete.
Ms. Shirer also points out that “. . . what lies ahead in your journey is not nearly as critical as where you are right now. Wherever you are now is where you are meant to serve now.” and “Your greatest impact will be done here—in the ordinary rhythms of your daily living.” The work God has for us begins in the sphere of influence closest to us and spreads outward from there. Sometimes I get so busy trying to make an impact on those “further” away, those beyond my closest circle that I forget how important the impact that I have on the ones in that closest circle is.
The season you are in is the most important and best one for you to be in at the moment. God’s got something for you there. There’s a reason and a purpose for the season you’re walking through. Don’t give up. But maybe give in. Give in to the season you’re in instead of waiting for or worrying about the next one. Make the decision to be present in the current season, looking for God even among the ordinary and mundane and impacting those closest around you. “Bloom where you are planted.”
For me, the season I’m in, the closest sphere of influence I have, is about my children and I’m being reminded of how important it is for me to be present with them, to be real with them, to be fully invested and engaged in this season. Even before I started either of these studies, the Lord laid a word/phrase for the year on my heart for my family—lead them the cross. Even then God was reminding me where my focus needs to be for this season—pointing them to Him, being intentional about engaging with them about the Lord and the desires of His heart for us, teaching them how to see Him even in the day to day of life. And I can trust that this current season is the best season for me at the moment, the one where I will have the most impact right now because it’s the season God has placed me in.
Y’all, I cannot possibly begin to do justice to the ways God has spoken to my heart over the last few weeks with these two books. (I encourage you to check them out for yourself.) There’s just so much that He’s pulled out of these two studies to teach me, remind me, and use to guide me into what He wants for me in this season and I had to share a little bit of that here with you because I’ve been so blessed by what He’s been doing. I don’t know what season of life you’re in, whether it’s a pleasant place to be or if it feels like struggle, but I do know that no matter what the season is, God is there in it with you and He has purpose for it. I pray that you will be able to be truly present in the “now” season and begin to “bloom where you are planted,” finding contentment in trusting it all to Him.