Friday, August 30, 2013

Like a sunflower....that follows every movement of the sun

Like a sunflower...that follows every movement of the sun...so I towards to you and follow you, O God!


Did you ever notice how sometimes “unplanned” or “unexpected” things turn out to be a pleasant surprise? Sometimes,  the arrival of unexpected company, although they may show up when you are in the middle of something, on your way out the door, or worse yet…when the house is a mess, can turn out to be a truly enjoyable afternoon.  Or maybe a detour or road block on the drive home from work, although it may be annoying after a long day, can turn out to be a relaxing time spent alone with your thoughts or may lead you down a country road where you see a deer or a field full of wildflowers….or provide you with the “unescapable” time to chat with your teenager.  If I truly believe that God always has my best interest in mind….and He knows what I need at any given moment…(even if it doesn’t fit into my “schedule”), then I must try a bit harder not to get so frustrated when things don’t go exactly as I plan them. I need to be a bit more patient and try to recognize the hand of God in all my daily comings and goings.

 

This morning I was reminded of this when I went out before dawn to water my garden and I discovered these two sunflowers in bloom. Those four plants sprouted in one of the new perennial gardens I planted earlier this summer. I have no idea where they came from; I suspect a squirrel or chipmunk had raided my birdfeeder again! I honestly didn’t even know what they were because I have never grown sunflowers before so I didn’t recognize the plant until it bloomed, but as it grew, I began to suspect that it wasn’t a weed and even though it sprouted unexpectedly right on top of one the smaller perennials that I had purchased, it was a true delight to see these blooms smiling at me first thing this morning. 

I went back in the house to finish my coffee and began to ponder… “What am I supposed to learn from these unexpected, unplanned flowers”?  I have never witnessed it, but I have heard/read that sunflowers are unique in the plant world and that they are called “sunflowers” because they actually turn their heads throughout the day so that they are always facing the sun.  Sounds like they have the right idea….to always turn away from the darkness and keep facing the light….so that they may get the energy they need to bloom.  Hmmm…..

 
Sounds like a good plan to me! Over the past 2 ½ years of this journey to better health, I have experienced both highs and lows….triumphs and plateaus….good days and bad.  There were days when it was harder than others to resist temptation…but I did anyway. There were days when I absolutely 100% DID NOT want to go for a walk or do something physical….but I did, in spite of the chilly temps or aching muscles. There were days when I was discouraged and thought of giving up….but I didn’t.  There were a lot of times when others tried to discourage me.....sabotage me….got jealous or frustrated because I wouldn’t eat….just a bite….., but I didn’t let them dissuade me. I’m often asked how I stayed focused…how I got past those moments of discouragement and doubt…how I kept going. My answer is always the same:  ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD! There is no other explanation and day after day, I have to continually…every moment…every meal…every day, turn to God for strength, for I know that I am addicted to food and there is no way, no how, that I can win this battle on my own!!!! Fortunately, in my weakness, GOD is strong!

 
There are always times in our lives when the “sun” or the “light” or “any sort of joy, love, or happiness” may seem to be non-existent, either because of sickness, despair, doubt, grief, loneliness, depression….whatever, and we may feel like the “darkness” or “pain” will overtake us. I encourage you, like those unexpected sunflowers, to always keep your face toward the Light…always keep your focus on God….always keep your eyes on your goals…….even turn your head completely around if you need to, and don’t get swallowed up by the discouragement and DON’T….EVER….GIVE….UP!

 

This holiday weekend may be full of “unexpected” or “unplanned” and perhaps “stressful” moments, but I am I going to try my very best to stay positive…to go with the flow….to keep looking for the unexpected blessing….and to stay focused and motivated. I encourage you to do the same!  We can’t control what OTHERS are going to do or what the weather may be…but we can control how WE will react. And be sure to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time so that you don’t find yourself giving in to poor choices because you weren’t prepared.  Have a relaxing, restful, and SUNSHINE filled weekend!