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.
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!!
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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!