Between finishing college, my anxiety troubles, and financial strain, there were enough reasons not to plant flowers this year. But to my great surprise, some flowers sprouted up all on their own in one of the planters! They have been so pretty all summer and have done quite well, in spite of my complete neglect. As I walked by them today, I thought how wonderful it was that God had them just sprout on up without me doing anything to make that happen. And then I realized how God has been making things grow all over my life lately, quite apart from my own strength or works. Back in January, I had gotten pretty convicted about how I used my time. So, I went wacko, making weekly, daily, hourly schedules, a huge home management binder with cleaning lists, daily tasks, blah blah blah. I even [daily moment of humbling just ahead, folks...] laminated little index cards containing the schedule (cleaning, devotions, cooking, exercise, Griffin stuff, etc.), one for each day of the week. Yes, I did that. Yes, I still have them. Anywho...moving right along then... I got so focused on work, work, work, do everything right, don't mess up, do this, do that, and I totally missed the forest for the trees. God was prompting me to give my time to Him, not give my time to everything else. Sure, the schedules and lists were intended to help me be a good steward of the time God has given me, but it ended up being a task-master, rather than a help. The reality was, I was trying to change and do on my own, out of my own strength. This past spring/summer has been a painful season of refining, a season where I was brought so low that anything that has grown in me has been completely, 100% from the hand of God. And I know that because I was incapable. Even though I've recovered so much, I know that I am still incapable, that I must continue to surrender myself, my time, my body, my mind, etc. to the Lord if any real growth/change/renewal is going to take place. So, I took a picture today of that little pot of flowers. I did nothing to make them grow, yet there they are, beautiful. Thank you, Lord, for making beautiful things grow in our lives, especially when we're suffering. Thank you that this has nothing to do with our merit and that we have only to surrender to you, accepting your love.