Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Different Kind of Running.

I was going through and organizing some of my old files when I found this post from an old blog I had:

12/31/10 – Lesson in dead plants
I had a day off today, so I just tooled around the apartment. I finally dealt with the thing I had been ignoring. It’s been staring me in the face for weeks; all the dead plants on my porch. If you know me at all, you know I love flowers and plants. Every change of season for the past 15 years, I have painstakingly brought the ever-increasing menagerie of flora inside and placed them in strategic (and not-so-strategic) places in the apartment during the cold months, then bring them all back out again when the weather warmed up. This year, I was so worn out at beaten down that all but a few choice plans were left out to dry up and die.
Today, I dumped out all the dead plants and old dirt (most of this was yard clay, not potting soil), cleaned the porch, and cleaned out the pots in the yard where I plant annuals (petunias and impatiens in the summer; pansies in the winter). In the midst of spring cleaning in January, it hit me. The state of these plants represents my life for the past year (no, I'm not getting into tree hugging, so relax). All the things that I once cared about, the things in my life that were beautiful, the hopes and dreams I’ve carried for years; I’ve left them out in the cold to dry up and die. I’ve only saved a few choice good things in my life to care about and even they don’t get enough attention (like the few plants I did bring in). But just like the buds coming out on my Christmas cactus, God is showing me that all is not lost and I can recapture the life He intended for me.
This spring, I will be starting over with my plants. I won’t have nearly the number I had before, but they will be well cared for and flourish. They will be things I like, not just other people’s cast offs (which isn’t bad——that’s how I got the Christmas cactus). I’m sitting down now setting real goals for this coming year. I didn’t set any last year; I just didn’t care and I let life just happen. So, for 2011, there will be fewer things to crowd out what isn’t important. I will live with purpose and on purpose.
My theme for this year is RLH –– Run Like Hell! Sounds kind of crude, but I’m running way from all things, people, and places that aren’t conducive to my spiritual, physical, mental, and financial health. Running towards what is productive and beautiful. If I don’t make these changes, I cannot effectively help anyone else.  It will be a challenge and a drastic change from the way I have been living. I hope you all will join on this journey with me. I hope you will all remember that I am NOT perfect (and for the record never said I was). I will make mistakes. I will fall down, but I need you all to be there to help me up. I don’t want to be the person in the fourth chapter of Ecclesiastes : For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up (Verse 10).
It’s taken a couple of years, but since I wrote that, I have made several changes and continue to uproot the bad in my life and try to replace it with the good, the beautiful, and the loving.

I share this with you because I’m about to make more changes; some small, some not so small.  Just like before, it will take time.  Please be patient as I may not be spending quite as much time on social media as I once did.  Not a total disconnect from it, but just stepping back a bit.  I’ve got establish a life where I am in face-to-face contact with real people more than waiting for the ping of a tweet or e-mail to be human.  Social media is wonderful and I’ll probably never give it up, but it is not a substitute for the real.  Getting a hug through e-mail is not the same as getting a real hug from a flesh and blood person.  Actually, this stepping back will probably mean more consistent blog posts from me.  Yeah, I know that sounds backwards and weird, but for me it makes perfect sense.  J


  1. Excellent illustration!!! Shannon, you are doing so great, obviously. You're WAY ahead of me. I've left off EVERYTHING I love, including cooking. My husband and I have died. The state is trying to take our lives. We sit and rot. If I weren't Christian, I wouldn't even be breathing. Latch onto the things you love! I admire your strength. You are trying to LIVE, not just survive!!! I wonder if I can ever do the same.

  2. It makes perfect sense to me too. I had someone point out to me that perhaps an all or nothing approach isn't the best way to deal with life and I am so grateful for it. I get so bogged down by social media and I think it's because I have relied on it so much to fill certain needs. You are a wise lady! I've been trying to find the balance in my life...letting go of the bad and clinging to the good. Love ya!