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Joyfully Pushing It

Some people have it. And some people just don’t have it. Some would call it a talent or a knack for it. But I would rather call it a gift. And I happen to be one of those who doesn’t have it – a green thumb.

Growing up as a city girl, the close encounters I had with plants were those times when my mom would ask me to water them. Back then, for me it was just a task to be done. It was not something I look forward nor was it something I dreaded doing. In fact, I had my high moments with them during summertime when it’s so humid. As I water the plants, I would also drench my feet and arms, voila instant remedy for hot weather.

I used to have a love-hate relationship with plants. I love staring at plants – the greens are so refreshing and when they flower, they’re a sight to see. What I hated then was planting because I didn’t like getting my hands intimate with soil. The mere thought of it gave me goose bumps. I didn’t like the feel of soil on my hands. And definitely, I don’t like getting my hands dirty.

But those are things in the past. I mean a not so long ago past because just recently (I guess three months ago), I had a 180 degrees turn around where plants are concerned. Thanks heaps to our Church Pastors who made me see the life and true beauty of plants.

Before this new set of pastors came, our church office didn’t have plants and I didn’t mind at all. I didn’t think it would make a difference. However when the pastors took over the office, they made some minor changes but the transformation was astounding. They placed pots of Sansevieria inside the office. I could see and feel that the office began to breathe life. Suddenly the ambience is welcoming. And so that was the start of my conversion from a passive to a passionate plant lover.

I started repotting dwarf Sansevieria on some coffee mugs, just to get the feel of it. As my mugs of Sansevieria thrive, I began to have this craving of becoming a green thumb. I would scout for fotos in Pinterest of cacti and succulents. Before I knew it, I was already buying loads of them.

I am not yet there but I’m joyfully pushing it – becoming a green thumb. And I must say that finding pleasure in plants is truly therapeutic. When you selflessly give time in caring for them, the feeling is priceless when you see them flourish. It is probably nature’s way of saying, ‘thank you for taking care of us.’

And as I’m joyfully pushing to be a green thumb, God is also empowering me to pursue my good intention. On my own, I simply cannot make it. But with God I know I can do all things because He’s the one who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

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I am far from being a green thumb but God surrounded me with people who encourages me to carry on. I am thankful that my hubby is very supportive. I am thankful of friends who would give me a tip or two. I am thankful that God made all things wonderful. And most of all, I am thankful that with God all things are possible.

IreneA

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No Ordinary Comfort

July seems to be a catching up month for us. My hubby and I have met and caught up with some beautiful (inside and out) people.  In most of these occasions, both of us were blessed to reconnect and share insightful experiences.

Last Friday just before flying back to Singapore our friends and co-workers in God’s Ministry, Rene and Flowela had a quick yet flavorful (both on food and conversation) lunch with my hubby and me.

We had fun reminiscing our times together in the choir.  We got misty eyed as we recalled the struggles that almost jeopardize our friendship.  Yet what awed and humbled us the most was Flowela’s revelation.

Most people (Filipinos particularly) venture to work abroad in the hope for a greener pasture, Rene and Flowela together with their two children left Philippines and tried building a new life in Singapore.

While we heard of so many success stories of people working aboard, their story was a revelation. A revelation of God’s faithfulness and the strong yet gentle arms of God that reassuringly cradle His children.

Flowela recalled being pulled out from their comfort zone when they got to Singapore. With no relatives nearby, they were basically alone and have to fend for themselves.  She said life wasn’t easy and they were constantly challenged.

However, their life had a turn around when they began seeking God first.  Flowela shared that although the change was not overnight, on hindsight they now appreciate the chastisement that goes with the change. They were purged and squeezed of everything. And when they were down with nothing, God started pouring out His blessings to them. They began to see the hands of God working in and on their lives mightily.

Even though Rene is the only one working and earns an average income they always have enough.  Flo recalled with a smile that they are constantly amaze when on some occasions they would have an unanticipated financial needs; they would pray for it and ask it in God’s name.  And strangely, in a day or two someone would just extend a help. Amazing!

Despite the challenges that come their way, by God’s exceeding grace they continue to soar above them and  constantly claim God’s assurance, ‘Yet there is one ray of hope: His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; His loving-kindness begins afresh each day.’ (Lamentations 3:21-23)

As we parted ways, I reflected on our conversation and some thoughts impressed on me. First, God truly works in mysterious ways.  He has His ways of meeting everyone’s need.  All we need to do is to earnestly pray, trust in Him and allow His mighty hand to work.  Second, as we seek Him and when we allow Him to take the wheel; He would purge and squeeze us until we’re down to nothing and then God would abound His blessings to us. And lastly, God takes us out from our comfort zone and takes us to a place of no ordinary comfort, an exceedingly peacefilled and joyfilled comfort.

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IreneA