I saw this photo online by, Ron Niebrugge and it struck me how our lives can tend to look like this. Which did you see first? The cactus or the flowers? Life, and all its events can be all about what you see first. Do you see the beauty, the color and the mass amounts of beautiful flowers or do you see the thorny cactus, rearing its spiny self in the midst of all the beauty? How about this? Did you think of the cactus as a desert beauty and the wildflowers strangling it out? Either view can be just as beautiful or just as overwhelming.
If the cactus was in a field with nothing else around it but dirt, would you appreciate its beauty, especially when it blooms, or a single bird finds refuge or even a place to nest? If there was just one single blue or red flower in the same field, would you be just as in awe or not even notice? Taking the time to find value in our life situations, good or bad can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether it’s one single event or a whole days’ worth of stuff happening, it all can play a purpose in our lives. We just have to look for it. Most of us go day to day without even taking in to account the happenings of the day. The people we meet and interact with, or the places we go or the food we eat. Unless something extreme happens, our days just go by unnoticed like a single flower in a field.
So, what you might say; what difference would it make if I noticed more of my daily life than in days past? I guess not much, but think of the person on their death bed, reflecting back on their lives. They always wished that they had smelled more roses, noticed more sunny days, lived more life and loved more people. You can’t do any of those things unless you purpose in your heart to be more “life Intentional.”
This September, I will be celebrating 18 years of being in remission from stage 3 breast cancer. Every year, I try to do something fun or special to celebrate being cancer free. For many years, when we lived in Colorado, I planted a flowering perennial in my garden to remind me that life is precious. Since then, we have moved to the Pacific Northwest. Knowing that we were going to move, I decided that since I couldn’t take my garden with me, that I would get a tattoo to not only cover up the scars from all the surgeries that I’ve had for my breast cancer, but for every year that I am cancer free. I would get a tattoo of a hummingbird and I now have 17 watercolor hummingbirds on my back, front shoulder and my breast. Instead of dreading each year when I have to go in for the painful mammogram, I look forward to adding another hummingbird in celebration of one more year. When people see parts of my tattoo poking out from underneath my tank tops, they ask about it. This gives me a platform to share God’s grace in my life and his goodness and how he has brought me through some extreme ordeals. So, do I see the scars still? Nope! I see the beauty and the potential for the future.
One part of my garden in Colorado