Cultivate Your Garden: Languish or Flourish?

So honored to say my first ever speaking event happened today. I survived.
I was up all night I was so nervous. Dreaming of awkward silences and forgetting the whole point of my message while staring into the crowd. It went fairly well I think. I wanted to share with you in words what I spoke about in hopes I could better communicate. So here we go...

Hello, I am the worst gardener that ever was. I kill all things. I was asked to talk about gardening and how it relates to motherhood. The first thought that popped into my mind was a book by John Ortberg called "The Me I Want to Become" where he mentions Languishing or Flourishing and it really transformed the way I think. I would love to share it with you and switch it up to fit us mommas.
This is more for me than for you today. #sorrynotsorry
I am sharing in hopes you feel the same and can grow along side me.

Let me start with a story about how I languished-just two short days ago.
My husband was out of town and I was left with all four little people. The one year old set my alarm for midnight (thanks Karis), a boy peed his bed, and then I had a teether. I was then woken up by two boys screaming and running into my room at 6:04 am fighting over a lego. A lego. Let me say I am not a morning person to start. Spilled milk. No time to shower. The baby pooped just before we were to leave. I have GOT to be on time to work- we have a new girl I need to be a good example. The days goes on. I pick them up from school and we get home falling into the door covered in backpacks, lunch boxes and hungry, tired boys and I trip over a Transformer in the hallway.
"I am so SICK of tripping over these toys!"
"These boys are so loud!"
"I can't even make dinner without this baby climbing my leg!"
I start to yell.
I start to steam.
I text my husband mean words.
"I am so tired of this."
"I am so alone."
"I am no good at being a mom."
"I give up."
I pretty much sat on the couch all night, snipping at my kids and barely making it through bedtime routine. I was languishing. See how what we say grows so, so quick? I was just letting those weeds of contempt and negativity grow and was wallowing in them. Languishing.
I have languished for moments and days and even weeks, sad to say.
I don't want to live like this, I don't want my kids to see me live like this.

So how do you flourish?
There are many ways. Here are two that have worked for me.
Imagine a beautiful garden, filled with blooming flowers.
What does it need? Sun and water- to name a few.
First, think of Jesus as the sun. The bright shining sun. He wants us, His daughters, to feel the warmth of His face shining on us and to fill us up. He designed us to flourish. "If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come" 2 Cor. 5:17 says.
Start small- when you see a negative thought, a weed, pop up--pull it before it grows. Pull it by just saying, "Jesus" and breathing deep. Pull it by finding a Bible verse you can repeat over and over and over again until your mind is set on things above not the anger in tripping over a toy. Pray, read the Bible, sing a worship song, look to the sky and thank Jesus for something. Start small because I know as moms our time is so very short. Let Jesus shine on you.

Second, Self-Care is the water.  We put ourself last don't we? When is the last time you bought a shirt without feeling guilty? Taken a shower alone? Peed alone? Painted your nails or gone out with friends? We constantly pour ourselves out over and over again until we are on E and we still keep pouring. Caring for yourself is NOT selfish. The more filled up you are the more you can pour out. Again, start small. Paint your nails, exercise, read a few pages of a book, rest after bedtime, follow a dream, sing, paint, write, call a friend, go on a date with your husband. Do something that makes you feel alive, full, and loved. Then oh the love you can pour out will just overflow momma. Overflow.

Don't we want our babies to see a momma who flourishes like this picture above? Be encouraged. You are a new creation- you are already that beautiful flower- you and I just have some weeds to pull. Little by little, day by day we can flourish. If we feel ourselves starting to languish- just STOP- take a deep breath and ask yourself---Am I languishing here or flourishing? We really can become all God created us to be. His daughters who bless others, have holy confidence and gentle hearts and look to Jesus in all things. We can be filled with joy and peace and be more patient with our kids. It takes time to flourish, but each step is beautiful. You are beautiful in in each step. There will be days of languishing in between, and that is okay, give yourself grace momma. Lots of grace. Keep pressing on. Let Jesus' face shine on you and take care of yourself every day. You will grow. So go on girl- go flourish!

VIDEO here if you would like a snippet of my nervous pacing ;)


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