Friday, March 4, 2011

Three Ice Cubes

Sad, but I finally tossed it in the trash. The tag said my gorgeous orchid plant required just three ice cubes a week…seems simple enough. Yet, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that the last petal of the gorgeous amethyst colored flower dried up and fell off last week. I think it had something to do with the busyness in my home with a new baby and the storm of winter illnesses that rushed through our home these previous weeks. No big deal, right? I recognized this still as failure and I felt the thought begin to creep, “I am no good at this!”
I am snickering to myself, it is just a plant I know…yet I am so very inclined to think of life, which is much more complicated than remembering three ice cubes a week. I know I have struggled with these words in the recesses of my mind when I have felt inadequate, incapable, incompetent...just feeling,“No good at this!”
I am wondering how many other girlfriends out there have had similar thoughts…”I am no good at this!”

The thought seems to come from nowhere, yet I know this lie has roots much deeper than my orchid plant. Rather than focus on where the lies derived at this point, (there is a time and place for that and may we all take time to reflect on the past so that we can truly move on), I am thinking right now about how to replace that thought and others like it that bring such a death blow to our hearts and suck the life right out of us.

Who do we allow to speak into our lives…our minds…our hearts? We seem to create our own thoughts from others we have picked up along the way. I heard Patty Wyatt on Girlfriendit Radio yesterday say that we have “Balcony friends and basement friends.” She explained that there are friends we have in our lives that raise us up and encourage us and there are those people in our lives that tend to bring us down.

Don’t go calling out any names, but can you think of a few balcony friends and a few basement friends in your life.

What kind of girlfriend are you? Do you reside in a balcony or a basement?
We all need cheerleaders in the balcony to help us conjure up positive thoughts in our head. Thoughts like, “I am good at this,” need to squash and replace the negative thoughts that creep in the walls of our minds.
God intends for us to live with confidence and encourage one another.
As a Christian woman we are beckoned to pay attention and dismiss such negative talk, yet we are often timid to say out loud, “I am good at this!” We don’t want to come across as pious or conceited, do we? Where is the balance in this?

The Bible tells us that confidence is ours through Christ and that we are not competent to claim anything for ourselves or toot our own horn, but our competence comes from God. (2 Cor 3:4-5)
It helps to know that we are wired by God, worthy of great things, created to do something and be useful in this world.
We need to live like our lives matter. “Needing to matter does not mean you are self-centered and vain. It means that you are human. What you and I do with the need can become extremely vain and self-centered, the need itself is sacred.” (Beth Moore, “Beloved Disciple,” page 185).
So how do we live out a life that matters with such God-fidence?
Such a great question I think, and I have pondered it for a few weeks now and I do not proclaim to have the answers...but I am confident that God has shed some light in my heart to share.

As I look at my flower garden that is currently inhabiting some live and some dead flowers I see you and me. Some of us are flourishing and thriving—could be because of various reasons, (maybe someone remembered your three ice cubes…haha!)

And some are needing some tending to, maybe more water, a different soil, shade or more sun…there is a season for everything and maybe it is just not that flower’s season.
Flowers are only around for a short time, yet they do not need us to smell them every day in order to keep blooming competently.
Flowers just bloom because God made them to bloom.
Like the flowers, we don’t need someone sniffin’ us everyday to be competent with what God has wired us to do. Some people may think we stink and others may fall in love with our aroma, but we ought to just bloom regardless.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to spend more time with those that like my scent, and I may just say out loud, “I can do this well because God made me this way!”
How about you? Are you going to keep blooming even if others don’t like your fragrance? Plant yourself alongside some friendly helpful soil and thrive girlfriend!
And for those of us flowers that are thriving, why not water that flower next to you…maybe they need just three ice cubes a week.


Josie said...

Julie! This is a great post and I think a topic that is so important these days to talk about!(It know it's on my heart lately, anyway) I know I always seem to be seeking out people who are honest, but at the same time bring hope. I think after growing up in a super strict church background (I know, I'm sick of it too) where people weren’t real but said all the right things, it makes me cringe a bit and I long for the knitty-gritty real stuff. I think as long as people are being honest, with themselves and others, and pointing to God and real love… that’s all that matters. Know what I mean?

Not that you’re asking, but you’ve always been someone who is open, encouraging, hopeful while sharing what God has healed… Sharing the restoration – not just the awesome finished piece. ;)

Do you know what I mean? There’s a big difference out there between the two! (Putting on the face for the crowd's attention vs. being real and bringing truth and hope about God.) Some places I love these days: (I want to read her book!)

To answer your question, I think I'm more of an inbetween balcony and basement kind of girl (unfortunately). I strive to be like Romans 12:9-21 - one of my favorite passages, but never quite hit the mark. It's all a work in progress, I guess. ;)

Love you!

J-Girl said...

You are a balcony friend to me :) Thank you for sending me to His Word and for the sweet online finds :) three ice cubes I think..hee hee. Hope to connect with you outside of cyberworld here soon ;-0 Maybe over spring break? <3