For Valentine's Day, my husband sent my favorite - tulips. He ordered them from an online floral delivery (FTD) so when they arrived in the box they were carefully packed in the packaging. FTD had taken the time to pack it with a damp cloth to keep it hydrated for the trip to my house on February 14th. They carefully placed the flowers snugly inside of the box with the proper protective covering to make them stay as alive as best as possible in transit. When I got them this is what they looked like on Feb 14 in the image. Even after all the protective measures they were still a bit gloomy and dry when they got to me.
Immediately I took them out of the package, and first trimmed the ends of the stems so that the fresh water would absorb better. I added the little packet that came with it which contained sugar, citric acid, and bleach. The citric acid balances the pH level of the water which means flowers will be able to drink faster and reduce wilting. I then placed them in a nice clean vase with fresh spring water. As you can see, the very next day I had a different bouquet of flowers. With the immediate CARE that they received, they changed. They blossomed. Their TRUE COLOR came out the moment they were nourished with the elements in the vase. They were surrounded elements to cause it to grow. On the morning of the 18th I turned the vase toward an open window and let the sun shine in. The next day they had opened up and "leaned" toward the light! I topped off the water every couple of days - making sure I didn't fill up too much. Look at Feb 22. This is a full bouquet of healthy beautiful tulips. I didn't take a final picture, but I enjoyed these flowers for almost 3 weeks! That's two weeks longer than they should have lasted according to google.
Here is my point. This is a great example of what happens for anything you intentionally care for. If you study the shape it's in with you get in charge of caring for it, you will know how immediate your attention should be and to what degree. Studying expert information for proper care is important. I looked up tips on caring for my tulips and realized how in the past I did a few things wrong. I corrected that behavior and was able to enjoy it much longer. Next, I paid attention to it regularly and consistently to ensure that what I was doing was "helping and not hurting" it. I took the time to see what gave it life and what made it wilt.
What are you intentionally caring for right now? Make sure you give it the attention it deserves - including yourself. When it comes to self care, are you paying attention to the days when you are wilting? Are you making sure the elements in your environment are conducive to your healthy growth and not contributing to your stunted growth? Do you need some pruning to allow for a fresh wind to point you toward the light and cause you to SHINE?
I want to encourage you to consult the manual. Talk to the manufacturer. Ask the Lord what you stand in need of, and allow him to fill you again with fresh water and a "little packet" of his grace, and his love and his refreshing. I am taking the time today. This blog post has been in my drafts since early May. I just took the time today to get it out - I know it's because YOU needed to hear it. Be blessed my friend and remember CARE makes _____ Grow - just fill in the blank and start with you...
Psalm 46:5 “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”