My family has lived in the same area and the same home for 20 years now. Through much trial and error, we have established our outdoor shrubs and decorations. My husband and I have an agreement that he handles most of the outdoor chores and I handle the indoor ones. Through the years our azalea bushes had grown and were flourishing, but as any good gardener knows, they must be pruned to further enhance growth and beauty. So, recently when my husband had a burst of energy, he went around and pruned all of our shrubs. He did a great job and things looked fantastic in the yard. The only minor issue was that azaleas need to be pruned no later than July to bloom the next spring and this pruning took place in November. I resigned myself to a spring with no blooming azaleas, but very thankful for a wonderful husband who willingly cares and works around the house.
Imagine my surprise when this azalea plant, against all odds, grew and put on tiny blooms. Wow! It was tiny, but resilient and the blooms were brighter and lovelier because of it’s tenacity and how it overcame the odds to produce a bloom.
There is an old saying, “Bloom where you are planted,” which can ring true for us as women while we keep and manage our homes. Oftentimes it takes tenacity to overcome situations in our lives – financial issues, home and family struggles, loneliness in a new place, the drudgery of day to day chores, and work are just a few things that can zap our energy and love for the home. There may be some painful areas that we need to have pruned in our lives to function more efficiently. But if we keep the focus of what we are called by God to do, and determine in our hearts to be the best at what we are doing, we can reach toward the Son and allow Him to fill our heart and lives with what we need to overcome our obstacles.
As we are filled and renewed, we also will bloom! We will bring a freshness and beauty to the home that comes through sometimes pruning and determination to bloom. There is a rare beauty found in the heart that overcomes, and this will be a brilliant light that shines in our lives and homes.
When we focus our attention on being able to bloom, we may need to ask God for the wisdom for what we need and what we don’t need. As my little azalea zoned in to receive the sun and rain to grow, we may need to narrow our focus and cut out things that hinder our blooms. Time management, priorities, cleaning skills, cooking skills, hospitality, child training and striving to be a godly wife may be places we excel at or could use some extra training in for our ministry as keeper of the home. There are unlimited sources of encouragement for women today. Of course the first and foremost source of wisdom is God’s Word and truly, Titus 2 is a wonderful place to evaluate where we are and where we can build upon. Encouragement and fellowship can strengthen us as women and help provide creative ideas and helpful hints.
May we be encouraged to determine to bloom where we are planted and make the most of every gift, talent and ability we have received in our lives and homes. May the fragrance and beauty of the Lord surround us always.