When It Doesn’t Bloom: The Sequel

I recently wrote about how my Christmas amaryllis did not show up for its holiday, prompting me to write about patience and carrying the word “bloom” into the new year.

Watching that thing sit from the beginning of November til well after Christmas caused me to realize that blooming is not so much an event as it is a process. Deep inside, there is so much going on, so much growth that is hidden to the eye. 

At this season of life, I am not about all the things I must accomplish to be successful. Nor am I focused on the expectations of others. Much like the amaryllis, which couldn’t care less about what I expected, there are processes taking place that are unfolding at their own pace and not interested in what I, or anyone else, has to say.

This past week, my little amaryllis decided to pop open. At Christmas time, there would have been lights, ornaments, and sparkle competing for attention. But now, in the midst of a cold, rainy, gray January, this bright red pop of color has it all. It has bloomed when truly needed, and although it feels a little loud and out of place, it stands proud and confident in its timing.

That beautiful flower continues to teach me about life. 

  1. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. But we do not usually get to determine that time or purpose.
  2. Just because the eye doesn’t pick up on activity doesn’t mean there is no activity taking place.
  3. When things don’t happen according to our timetable,  we can be tempted to use the word “failure.” But there is always, always, something taking place that we cannot know.
  4. When we least expect it, new growth will surprise us with beauty. And that beauty needs not only to be recognized, but celebrated.
  5. Joy and celebration need to become a bigger part of everyday life. We need to embrace struggle, pain, joy, and celebration as they wrap their arms around each other. It’s not a simple two step these days. 

All the things I had hoped would bloom sooner in my own life are no longer my focus. I am trusting the process. This amaryllis was prepared and had everything it needed to bloom. It didn’t need me to water it or fertilize it. Our growth is being timed to bloom when it is most needed–not only for us–but for those around us. 

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Maybe what’s been resting underneath our skin is getting ready to pop. Let’s be ready to celebrate the blooms that pop when least expected. Beautiful, loud, and out of season. There is a little amaryllis inside us all. 

Standing at the Starting Line

I recently started a part time job as a sales associate at a local home and garden store. Even though I had a lot of experience in other areas, I would be a “beginner” there. No training on a cash register, no idea where everything is, the one who would have more questions than answers.

Honestly, I feel like I’m starting over in just about every area of my life. That starting line isn’t the same as it was in the past, however. When we are older, we get to bring the confidence that comes from knowing all we have come through.

Sometimes we can look at how different everything looks and feel a little overwhelmed by it all. But it helps to remember that we are reinventing ourselves and these challenging transitions allow for some wonder to slip into our lives. This quiet confidence provides a beauty and a strength which is easily passed on to others. And that is its own reward.

So I’m bringing a smile and a warm hello to all who enter the store. I might have to ask for help at every turn, but I’m not frustrated by that. I am getting to learn new things and meet new people.

I can look backwards and forward from this point because even though I’m starting over, my “success” this time is measured by my confidence. No longer by acceptance or external validation.

True confidence does not come from knowing everyone will like you, or give you the job, or invite you to the event, or give you the award. It is knowing that even if none of those things happen, you will be ok.

For me, this isn’t just about a new job. It’s about new eyes, a new heart, new enthusiasm, and a new hope.

Every morning, the sun says, “It’s time to begin anew.” Every single time, it brings beauty along with it. I see you, my friend. I’m feeling the same way. Let’s go start anew and watch the beauty unfold as we go..