Crispy fried mums

Jason bought us some mums the other day to spruce up our house.
Because, well, fall.
Truly, nothing says “autumn” like planting mums in 97 degree heat.
mums

We immediately put two of them in a pot, but being the distractible bunch that we are, we left the other two in their containers from Lowes.
A couple of days passed and the mums started losing their mum-iness and instead started looking a bit under the weather.
Okay, they were crispy.
Hey, I do well enough to keep my kids alive.
I don’t have time for plants, y’all.
Jason decided to transplant our little mummies into a bigger pot and give them a sweet talk.
Later that afternoon the most amazing thing!
They looked great!  So healthy!  So alive!  Thank ya Jesus!
Again, God spoke into my heart.
“Your environment matters.  Tend to what I’ve given you.  Be aware of where you are, who you’re with.  You’ll soon reflect those surroundings.  Good or bad.”
Suddenly, God’s voice sounded eerily like my mom’s, “If you lay down with dogs Jill, you’ll get up with fleas!”
I think it’s so much more than that though.
Were you once Polly Positive and now you are simply Negative Nancy?
At one time were you Encouraging Emily but it seems like you sound more like her cousin Critical Cathy?
What’s changed?
Your workplace?
Your friends?
The songs you listen to?
The books you read?
The movies you watch?
What is pouring into you?

“My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?  James 3:11 Message

James must’ve known Facebook would be invented.
Are you a raspberry bush expecting to grow apples?
Ask yourself, “Is ugliness coming out of me because that’s what I’m putting in?”
It can be a hard question to ask.
It’s hard to cut favorite shows or people out of your life.
But something I learned is that I can’t expect God to bless my leftovers.
My scraps.
And the realization came hard that if what I’m doing doesn’t bring glory to God, then I gotta say, ‘Bye Felicia.’
In the famous words of Johnnie Cochran…”If it doesn’t fit…then you must acquit.”
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I can either soak up the good stuff around me or I can bake under the sun and wither away until I’m wilted, crispy and well…dead.
We have so much control over our lives.
God’s a gentleman like that…
Each choice we make leads to a series of good events…
Or it may lead to a series of unfortunate ones.
Do you feel stuck?
Wilted?
Hurting or unhappy?
God has SO much for us.
It hurts His heart so to see us defeated day after day after day.
I imagine Him sitting in Heaven just aching to grab us by the shoulders or hold our sweet faces in His hands and say, “Come On!  Let’s make today DIFFERENT!!  I have SO much for you!”

Just spend some time with Him.
Turn down some of the distractions, some of the ugly, some of the noise.
Just ask Him.  He’ll let you know what needs to take a walk.
Your happiness may come from that very next choice.

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