Dormant During a Drought but Not Dead

Karen Arnold, Tree, Trials, Tribulations

There was a woman holding a cauldron containing many years of turbulent trials and tribulations. She would be awakened in the middle of the night by interruptions from her sleep causing her to be riddled with anxiousness and fear. Every morning she walked to her window looking out at a young oak tree growing in her yard that has now matured gracefully.

She would peer out that window and watch the resilience of this tree whether it was budding in the spring, flourishing in the summer, shedding its leaves in the fall or enduring the weight of ice coating every branch during the winter.

This lady felt drawn to looking at this tree practically every day, regardless of what season it was in. Perhaps this gave her some sense of solace or perhaps some form of inspiration. She really didn’t know why. But, one day while she was grappling with her challenges that only seemed to multiply instead of subsiding, she unknowingly stood staring outside at this oak tree and wondered how it endured and grew resilient in spite of the elements that challenged its wellbeing.

Ken Kistler, Oak Tree, Encouragement

She sat down and thought about her life’s challenges and what a rollercoaster ride she felt she has been on through the recent years. She prayed for guidance and asked God to give her wisdom to be grateful for what she had and to focus less on those things that were out of her control. The strength and endurance this oak tree embodied through good weather and bad spoke to her spirit, and gave her a sense of peace and calm to reexamine her life.

She realized she couldn’ change the course of many things that had happened and were happening which shook, rattled and rolled in her life right now. Deep down she knew she had to readjust her attitude if she was going to thrive, survive and overcome these strongholds. Like that tree, in those seasons when it seems like it’s been attacked and left for dead, she too was just dormant and had to be strong as she waited for her tumultuous seasons to pass. Soon she would once again flourish in her appointed season and produce her fruit with courage and boldness.

Life: What is Your New Normal and How Do You Handle It?

Malia Autio, Birds, Life

Life…unpredictable…everchanging…gratifying…disappointing…victorious…tragic…

We aspire to achieve great things in life as we get older. We dream of success and financial security, yet in unexpected ways occasionally life throws us a few curve balls and sometimes we strike out. These curve balls can suddenly redefine our normal and challenge every fiber of our being.

Life happens. Life goes on. The dynamics in the course of our lives takes us through some of the highest of highs and at times some of the lowest of lows.

Life as we knew it from a toddler, to teen, to adulthood gradually or suddenly shifts. We can’t control it no matter how much we think we are in control. We have to roll with it whether we like it or hate it. We have to make adjustments to adapt as needed especially when we feel discouraged and downtrodden. Each of us deals with life’s hiccups, snafu’s and valley experiences differently. Personally, my mantra begins with prayer and meditation which works for me. Still, there are those times when things are normally dysfunctional that you must make some serious changes for a new normal before the existing normal takes you out! That’s survival.

So what’s normal? Is it something, some place, some situation, someone or some level of comfort we are used to? Normal is really never normal because with each new day there is a newness of life and an opportunity for change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst.

Tony Melena, Life

So, just how do you handle your new normal(s)? Be aware, stay focused, remain encouraged and embrace gratitude, even when things seem to be flipped upside down. It’s sensing when to hold on and when to let go, as life goes on!

#WhatIfWednesday: Ever have one of those days?

X posid, Jousting

Let’s face, we all run into those crazy days when you need the extra energy to get back up from whatever attacks you physically, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally. It takes every bit of energy you can muster to get up and stand when you felt like you’ve been in a jostling match.

Peter Griffin, tug-of-war

Then there are other times when you feel like you’re in a tug-of-war with something or someone. There will always be someone ahead of you trying to push you back. Then, there are those behind you trying to pull you back. 

No matter how much we are tugged, pushed, pulled or beaten down, we try to find the courage to use every ounce of energy to brace ourselves, to get back up, brush ourselves off, and stand with conviction.

Today on What If Wisdom Wednesday: Focus, not Frustration

Linnaea Mallette, Focus, Faith

Do not allow frustration and the fear of failure to defuse your focus and faith.

These days there is a lot of background noise disturbing our spirit and peace.

I believe God can make a way when your path is gripped by blinding dense fog; a way that seems impossible to cross because you’re unable to clearly see the path straight ahead, for you to walk through without fainting.

As the Morning Turns

Inspiration, MALIZ ONG, Trials

A new day…yes here I am, welcoming a new day. As I routinely do, I open my blinds to reveal another morning of life. This morning the sky is filled with low hanging gray clouds, you know the stormy and intimidating kind? Yet, as I comb the mass accumulation up above, a glowing brightness pierces a spot in this dreariness. The bright morning star may be shielded but its presence is not hidden. Then there was a patch drifting above the billows of gray revealing a hole where the blue sky peeked through.

A smile emerged from my lips as a ray of hope pierced through the shadows reminding me that gray storm clouds will certainly come again although they will be different the next time around. Still even the next time, no matter the intensity, those storms will pass away swept by the breath of light and life.