One of my friends posted this quote on Facebook about two weeks ago:
“When your memories are greater than your dreams, you are already beginning to die.”-Kris Vallotton
Whoa. That’s a checkpoint for sure. As a parent, I get consumed by dreams — for my kids. But in sitting with that quote in prayer, I realized that I had been thanking God for a lot of my memories — things that He had done — but I hadn’t checked in with God lately about His dreams (which I want to become my dreams), in quite some time. When I decided to have N. six years ago, I gave up on the dreams I had. I quite literally felt like some of my dreams would die and two of them would just have to be shelved until later. And in time, I was honestly, really, okay with that.
But three weeks ago, my pastor and a friend were praying for me and my pastor said that he got a vision that I “had two containers up on a shelf” and that, he felt, God was saying that it’s okay to take those things down now. That should have been an exciting word, but it kinda through me into a bit of despair. What were my dreams? I hadn’t looked at them in so long. Do I still want them? Do I have faith that God could even bring them about?
I don’t think it matters if I follow those same dreams or not. The result of just thinking about them clued me in to places where my faith was lacking. My faith in myself and my faith in god. I realized how fear was crouching at my doorstep. just waiting to devour me yet again. And so, I did what any healthy person would do: I fought back. I started looking into the two dreams I had. I prayed about what God would have me do. In essence, I accepted that I might (wink) need to expand…again…even if just a little.
I understood this enough, but when I got this excerpt from the book Simple Abundance in my e-mail this morning, much more opened up. I found it helpful. I hope you do too. (*Note: In reading the description from Amazon, I don’t think that I would endorse this book. But the essay was helpful).
Repotting: Giving Roots & Yourself Room to Grow
Uh oh…dropping leaves. Whatever can be the matter? The plant has been watered, it basks in the light; it’s neither too hot nor too cold. I pick up the pot and look at the small drainage hole in its underbelly. Tiny white roots are frantically pushing through in a futile attempt to escape confinement or at least find a little more breathing space.
Pot-bound. Did you know that plants need to be repotted at least every 2 years? Even if the roots don’t need more room to grow, the old soil should be replaced because all the nutrients have been consumed. The interior of the pot is a wasteland.
We, too, need to consider repotting for growth. But when? When we wilt even before the day begins. When we can’t seem to visualize or dream. When we can’t remember the last time we laughed. When we have absolutely nothing in the next 24 hours to look forward to. When this happens, week in, week out, we need to realize that we’re pot-bound. We need to gently loosen the soil around our souls, find something that sparks our imagination, quickens our pulse, brings a smile or a giddy lilt to our conversations.
But repotting doesn’t mean we have to leave the marriage or quit the job (PAM’S ADDITION or leave the church or move across country or tackle a huge project). It just means we need something new. Why is it too late to go back to college if you do it one course at a time? Maybe this is the summer to learn to speak French or to start your own gift basket business? Perhaps you can get the sewing machine fixed, try making blackberry cordial, or take up fencing. What’s stopping you from writing for that grant, applying for the fellowship, pulling together that one-woman show, attending that lecture series, publishing your own newsletter, or just sending for that intriguing mail-order catalog? (Again, Pam’s note: I’m not endorsing overwhelming yourself with DO, I’m merely saying that simplifying and going after one new thing might actually bring a bit of rest to your soul..if it’s what Jesus is offering).
As I work with my plants, I see that the roots are just stunted. Gently, with my fingers, I untangle them.
Leaf. Stem. Root.
Mind. Body. Soul.
Three on one. Spirit’s seamless thread of mystery. I have often thought that if I could just discover where one strand left off and another began, I could understand it all. As it is, I understand little, yet somehow I know.
I set the plant into a slightly larger pot. Not too large; we must not overwhelm but encourage. So too, I must not take on the world but simply each task before me. Now I add rich potting soil. Water. Slowly I take the plant to a shady spot for a day so that it can become adjusted to its new environment. But even at this moment, the stem seems straighter, the leaves uplifted.