5 Lessons Learned in a Sunflower Maze

As promised yesterday, here 5 of my Lessons Learned (or Re-Learned) in a Sunflower Maze– in no particular order.

Lesson Number 1–Old ladies DO have important things to say!

When I was a very young Mom, my honey and I took our very young boys on a White Water Rafting adventure. The woman who gave the instructions for our trip was an “older” lady who just did not impress me as someone I needed to take rafting lessons from so I kind of tuned her out. I figured I could handle this simple bubbling river. My husband got in one raft with one son and I got into one behind him with the younger son. About half way down the river as I was falling out of my raft backwards, I was desperately trying to remember what that old lady said to do “if you fell out of the raft”. My husband was oblivious to my pending demise or our son’s screaming, as he was many bubbles beyond. A superhero in the boat behind us actually jumped out of his boat to rescue me. I have never forgotten that old lady or that lesson, so I listened to every order that came from this cute “woman of wisdom” as she advised us on the risks involved in being lost forever in a field of sunflowers.

She turned out to be right.

Lesson Number 2–Do Not enter a Maze if you are in a hurry to be somewhere else.

God is continuing to teach me the lesson of SLOWING DOWN to enjoy every moment, every flower, every breeze–although I often ask Him to HURRY UP.

Some of the dreams that I have wanted to come true yesterday have turned out to be so much sweeter today.

For example, I thought many years ago that I wanted to Travel, Speak and Write. I have had books written in my mind for at least 10 years. I thought being somewhere new, sharing some new message, with some new friends would be the coolest thing in the world but God had other plans. He had me stay right at home, raising a family of future leaders, running and serving in a local ministry, writing a partner newsletter, speaking at an occasional Bible study, women’s event or ministry fund raiser until all my children were grown and on their own. By the time He set me loose I was beginning to look more and more like one of those “old ladies”. The good news is, I didn’t miss anything with my kids. I have had the honor of serving a local ministry for almost 25 years. I have far more to say now than I did all those years ago, even if it is about what NOT to do. Now, I go with joy but I can’t wait to get home every time.

3) Lesson Number 3–There will be DEAD ENDS on every worthwhile journey! My sage advice—TURN AROUND and try another route.

In spite of the aMAZING fun I have had over the past 3 years as God has placed me in a whole new MAZE of Ministry, I have run into some surprising and hurtful dead ends. I have had people disappointments; I have seen behind the scenes ministry behaviour that shocked and saddened me; I have experienced rejection when I least expected it and I have seen a “business” side of ministry that I never had to face in my little local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Some turns are best not taken. I am learning that when I run into what seems to be a dead end, unless God clearly tells me to stay and wait for an opening, I turn around and look for a new path!

Lesson Number 4–Some things that look DEAD hold a bucket load of promise!

So many times when we think something is just not going to happen like we dreamed, when we are tempted to give up or call it dead–new life springs up from the falling pieces. What God is doing through a Bible Study I wrote 25 years ago, Surrendering the Secret and my NEW  Imagine Me…Set Free Conference is NEW LIFE, NEW SEED for me. I am watching in A-MAZEMENT as God allows the very dreams I saw coming together in a different way come to life. I am humbled and filled with awe to my very core. Every day I wake up and give thanks for what He is doing I never could have even imagined! The owner of the Sunflower maze explained to me how at the end of the bloom season for a Sunflower, it tips it’s head and drops what appears to be dead seed on the ground. Before long, up comes a brand new flower. They never destroy the dead heads, they simply let them drop new life!~ Cool.

Lesson Number 5–Paths are Rough and Bumpy and There will be SNAKES!! Expect them.

I wasted many years thinking that challenges, rejection, troubles, critters….meant I was on the wrong path. God has shown me over the years that EVERY path has snakes somewhere. Either the design kind of the slimy kind. My deep spiritual analogy of SNAKES are those things that make you WANT to turn back from your dream.

Lack of finances.

Negative reports.

People who want to discourage you or even attack you.

Things that TRY to scare you from your dream but when you are looking for them, when you are aware, you spot them first and scare THEM away with your fearless bravery (or your son’s fearless bravery–whichever 🙂 Somebody just needs to take the upper hand–clear the path and move on.

Bonus and Final Dream Lesson Learned in the Sunflower Maze–It’s the Journey, Not the destination that carries ALL the Prize!

It’s worth the heat; it’s worth the dead ends and the dead blooms; it’s worth the slow pace; and it’s worth the gray hairs!!




Remember my June book giveaway? Here’s another way to WIN one of my special Sunflower trademark gifts.

YOU take it from here. Leave a comment and link to your BLOG and share your top 5 Life Lessons!!

I would also be grateful if you would share my blog on your Twitter or Facebook! See those little icons below? If you have a FACEBOOK just click on the FB icon and this blog post will show up on your homepage. Same with Twitter.

Anyone who links to my blog this month will have a chance to win a free book AND get a special Sunflower Gift I reserve just for Imagine Me Conferences!

Summer Blessings my friends! Look for a BLOOM today!

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  1. What a beautiful post! I’m glad you all had a great time in the maze. We did a maze one time and I thought we were going to die before we made it out. Some of our family members {I will not mention names} took the escape route. 🙂


  2. I so get it. I won’t judge 🙂
    We had a few who bailed as well–all but one was under 6 🙂 Those of us who stuck it out got VERY lost a few times!

    Thank you for the Tweet/FB shout out!

    Just an FYI—It’s one of YOUR Creations that is my SPECIAL GIFT!!

    Ya’ll check Kim’s site out!!

  3. This is an a-mazing post Pat! What great life lessons!! Love the sunflower maze and I think we are going to head up there this weekend.

  4. I’m just telling you the minute I saw that snake there would have been a new trail outta that maze!!! Love these lessons…so much for me to ponder on and embed deep in my heart. Love ya, girlfriend.

  5. I love these lessons!! I’ll get cracking on my own top 5 list. And thanks for the visit to my little blog – you made my day!

  6. Leah–who said there WASN”T a NEW trail blazed?? 🙂

    Lisa—I can’t wait. We all have so much to learn from one another girl!


  7. Oh wow, Pat! I am in tears after reading this wonderful, beautiful post! This last week I have been walking a “crisis point” maze with my youngest daughter. When I left Artesia in the wee hours last Sunday morning, I never dreamed that I would be in a hotel in Little Rock, AR, this morning on my way to a facility in the Ozarks of north central Arkansas. There have been some definite dead ends and snakes along the trail this week……..but God has lead us through and we are feeling much more encourage at the prospect of finding our way out of the maze. Then……….like He always does……….He sends words of wisdom and encouragement through a special friend! Thank you so much for listening to His voice and sharing it with me today.

    You are a blessing in my life, Pat.


  8. My darling sister Deb,
    Oh my. You kind of saw that cloud on the horizon didn’t you girl?
    I love you sister. I am praying for you and trusting God for the BLOOM that is on your horizon.
    He is faithful. He is able. He is THERE!!
    my hugs and prayers,

  9. Pat,

    You are a wise woman indeed! I am right behind you on that bumpy path of life and I have also discovered that the journey is the whole point! You are blooming like crazy and I know you won’t let a silly little snake scare you off! And just like the sunflower follows the sun, I have seen the “SON” shining through your life!

    Love you, Cheryl (And I did not get paid to say that!)

  10. Cheryl—NO ONE could begin to pay you what you are worth!! You and Jenn make my life work! I love you ladies. Thank you for the kind words sweet friend.

    ms Lisa—YOU ROCK GIRL!!!

  11. It is 11:45 I had supper with Paula & Peggy and they were talking about your blog! So I said let me read this before I forget !!I can’t believe how you can maake things jump off the paper with excitment and all I had to say is that it was so HOT !! Love you

  12. Pat, what a wonderful blog post and some much needed lessons!
    I have been thinking about the wise gentle words you said to me at the WINGS retreat, thank you!

    I feel like my life is a maze right now and I keep hitting those dead ends, I am asking God to show me the way and he is, but I am overwhelmed. I am going to think about my lessons and share your blog, what you are doing is brilliant and God’s light is SHINING BRIGHT!

  13. Sarah,
    Thank you for stopping by and your sweet words. God does amazing things at the Imagine Me Conference. I loved hearing your story about Trevor. Stay the course sister,
    God is ON IT and IN IT!!

  14. Love this post Pat and the photos too. Love to share the Layton name with you and love for Jesus!
    Here are 5 Life lessons I learned recently while beging confined at home. As you know, life has taken an unexpected turn – God is faithful…
    Love you sister and thank the Lord for your faithfulness,

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