Posts Tagged ‘growth’

Moving Into The New Season

What a beautiful day, here in Florida.  It’s warm, sunny and in the 70’s.  It has been some time since we have seen our typically enviable weather.  Just last week, the winter wear came out again.  The strawberry farmers had sprinklers ready as the temperature dropped back down near freezing.  And houses adorned their crowns of white frost.  This has been a particularly abnormal season of lower temperatures.  Those sustained lower temperatures have played havoc on my vegetation located in my yard. The plants usually withstand the cold in their dormant state and then perk back up.  This season, some yards resemble a nuclear holocaust as Christmas palms stand waving their dry, drooping, brown, dead fronds in the breeze.  Many people began working on reviving their yards a week or two ago, only to be hit with this recent cold snap.  Today, I attacked.  The warmth of the sun beating down, breeze gently blowing, pruning shears and tree saw in hand, I methodically moved from one planting bed to another.  Cutting back yellow shrubs turned brown, cutting the heads off of the bird of paradise with a guillotine type action, stripping fronds from the palms, and leaving a pile of debris spread across all areas of my yard.  It was time to move into the new season.  Yes, there is a chance of another cold snap but not likely one that would take out the plants.  In moving across the yard, I examined each type of plant for early growth, past growth and potential for new growth.  The formerly yellow bushes and crotons now resemble brown sticks protruding from the ground.  The queen palms with their lower fronds cut away now stand as if stretching to touch the sun.  Each will now survive, thrive or die.  In some cases, the cutting was done in an attempt to save the plant. The hardest part about pruning was now at hand. It was time to gather the dead. Standing and looking from the center of the yard now looked like a war zone.  Gathering the remains was a delicate job as Washingtonian Palm fronds are lined with a row of thorns that could outdo any shark mouth. Roebelenii Palm fronds could be used a blow darts with their needle-like piercing ends.  Just when you get them all carefully gathered and stacked, the wind blows and the debris scatters.

All of this, because we are moving into a new season.  The safe thing to do would have been to go inside and leave the plants to their natural course of action.  Some would die, some would not grow, some would not be worth having in the yard.  To reach their fullest potential for survival in this new season required of me to make a move.

Our lives are this often this way.  The season in your life is changing but you might have to trim the dead away.  You might have to cut some things back to nubs.  You might have to take something that was looking right and cut it back for it to grow to another level.  Then there is the debris field.  Cleaning up what you trimmed in your life.  Some of those friends that you cut away, may be like thorns as you try to shape up your new season.  And even when you get the debris stacked, bring a little wind of change sometimes stirs those old, decaying, growth stopping pieces back up, only to cause more work.  You could leave everything to progress on its own but will most likely see poor growth, no growth or death in areas of your life.  It will be a good place for those weeds in your life to choke the life out.  But make a move into the new season and see what begins to bloom and grow.  Move now and see results that will be lasting.  Move now and with your help, others will be motivated to begin the pruning process to advance growth, life and fulfillment in their lives.

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It All Started With Sandpaper

My pastor was talking today and I then began seeing that little sidetrack.  It all started with – sandpaper.  Well, building around that, came this and I have to write before it leaves.  It may not all fit smoothly but here you go….

We have never really bought furniture for our home.  We have added a few of those, “no payments until the year 4028” pieces but not a whole room with all of it’s end tables and all.  One of the items that was in our home at one point was a little antique telephone chair thingy made of wood and a cloth padded place to sit.  It kind of resembled a bench that was rounded on one end with a cove to put the phone.  Anyway, had a dark stain and some trim work done to it.  It had been through some life but was and is in great condition.  Some of the new furniture that is out, the stain has a clear coat and shines like glass and is sooo smooth.

Have you ever thought of where the furniture started?  I’m not talking of what store or even what state.  I mean STARTED.  The point that the seed fell to the ground, embedded in the dirt, popped through the shell casing, roots attached,bursting through the ground cover,growing to be a sapling,weathering the seasons to thicken and grow tall, standing majestically waving through the breezes,holding on to the ground through the force of wind,enduring times without water in droughts,surviving during fire,tolerating the bugs, providing comfort and shelter for the life in the area.

All of this only to be cut down in it’s prime. Dragged off and put on a truck or sent down a river with others like it. The processing takes it through the stripping off of the protective bark and then cut into many different sizes and lengths.  Loaded back up, it is sent to various places where it is bought up for specific purposes.  Some are used in building homes.  There they give structure and support.  They carry the load.  All and more but never to be seen.  Drywall that is then coated with paint covers the inside, while brick, block or siding surround the outside.

Some wood though, is hand picked by a craftsman.  The craftsmen take time to look at the shape and cut of the wood, determined from the processing that it went through.  The craftsman also will look at the grain.  The grain is actually the indicator of what the wood went through.  The alternating dark and light colors representing a year’s growth and if that year had drought or fire or pest.  All indicated in the grain.  The grain is the beauty in many works.  The craftsmen will take the wood and shape it.  Balsa wood is good for bending and shaping, pine wood is soft and cuts easily,oak is a hardwood that makes good sturdy pieces.  Once the piece has been created, it will be finished, painted or left plain.

Before the piece can be finished, the surface must be prepared.  Imperfections will be sanded off with course sandpaper.  The piece will get its shape from the course sanding.  As it gets it’s final shaping, a fine sandpaper will be used to smooth the piece like silk.  The years begin to blend together creating an artistic piece in itself.  The piece is ready for a coating.  The coating will sometimes bring out the art of the grain, and others it will completely hide.  After the coating, a sealer will make it shine like glass.  If the sanding was not done and done properly, the coating will have imperfections,bumps and uneven coloration.  The coating may have to be stripped and the sanding continued.

Once finished, the piece will be bought, used, be a part of the life of someone, out exist those that saw it’s beauty, be passed on to the next generation who decide whether it is a keepsake or a relic to display, to use or pass on.

Where did you come from?  You exploded on to this scene and grew,were handled, processed,shaped,sanded,coated.  God knows where you were planted.  He knows what life challenges that you have gone through.  He saw when you were cut and processed.  He knows how life has shaped you and coated you.  Now let the master craftsman strip the coating away.  He will need to sand the imperfections with a course grit that may go deep at times.  He will work it and work up to the fine sanding, which actually more grit per square inch. What you went through will still be there as the grain is.  He will make it shine and tell a story so that you are a life that is passed on to generations.

And So It Begins