Determine to Bloom Anyway

Thirteen years ago yesterday, I let go of my mom’s hand for the last time on this earth. At age 70, she graduated to heaven because of a stroke caused by cancer treatment complications. My mom loved growing tulips and irises, really most any flower (I can still see her scattering mothballs in her flower beds to deter the neighbor’s cats from “visiting”). Bernice was one determined gal and would not let a few felines disrupt her floral beauty.

IMG_3057Since Mom’s passing, I’ve valued growing my own flowers. Last week I noticed the first tulips in my yard poking through winter’s crust. Spring is coming! But there’s more to the story. Last summer a friend added weed-barrier cloth and piles of new landscaping rock to the yard, but I forgot to dig away the rocks so my tulip bulbs could survive above ground. No problem—the tulips pushed, poked, and pulled their tender shoots through the semi-frozen, rocky earth anyway. Talk about brave, resilient, and determined!

Seeing these baby tulips coming to life, reminds me to take note of my own determination. Am I willing to push, poke, and pull my way through barriers that hold me back? Some rock piles in my life are fear, frustration, and fatigue. I can wilt under these weights and not rise above my circumstances. How about you? What rocks are holding you back these days?

I like how the apostle Paul commended the church of Thessalonica’s press-on lives. “We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you” (2 Thessalonians 1:4)

What would it take for us to live “steady and determined,” or more like a tulip—tenacious, resolute, and intent on adding beauty despite the rocks and debris in our way?

Live steady and determined. Push, poke, and pull your way through. Bloom anyway.

Brave and Resilient Tip #61: Forget the rocks. Determine to bloom anyway.