Rooted over Watered, Any Day

I have a roommate that works the floral counter in a grocery store. Naturally, there is an obvious bonus that comes from living with her (aside from the fact that she is a lovely human): It seems like almost every other day she comes home with a bouquet of flowers to brighten up our home.

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I have a roommate that works the floral counter in a grocery store. Naturally, there is an obvious bonus that comes from living with her (aside from the fact that she is a lovely human): It seems like almost every other day she comes home with a bouquet of flowers to brighten up our home. We’ve got flowers on the kitchen counter, in the laundry room, in the living room, the loft, heck we even had a little vase in the bathroom for a while. With their sweet smells and bright colors, they extend and create joy in our home, and I’m super thankful for them (and her).

But, alas, something happens to all of these beautiful flowers that come into our home- eventually, they wither and droop. From the root they were picked from to their final resting place in our trash can, we see the end cycle of a beautiful life. Once harvested from their root, it’s only a matter of time before, without the necessary nutrients, they die. 

And that got me thinking- the idea of being rooted in something to keep you grounded isn’t only important because we as humans find it to be, but is important because being rooted is intricately, uniquely, and precisely woven into the very fabric of our universe, the very fiber of our being.

If a plant gets unrooted from the ground that it needs, at some point soon, it will die. No matter how much water you give it, it’s time will come much faster than if it had still been rooted in the soil to where it belonged. 

“Like a seed You were sown
For the sake of us all
From Bethlehem’s soil
Grew Calvary’s sequoia”
– Seasons by Hillsong Worship

How often do we allow ourselves to be fed by influence of this world- “watered,” so to speak, to grow and expand in the way that fits best in the society to which we inhabit?

How often is our beauty (talents, passions, pursuits, potentials) thought of as a commodity, as a property, only important when it can be used and plucked for the root for society’s enjoyment? 

How often have we seen people burned out/overexposed/tossed around, only to wither to nothing, because they have nothing left? 

We are not the property of this world, but the propellers of this world. We were meant to be cultivated, to be tended, to be fully fed and without a need for anything other than the sustenance of Jesus. Yet we settle for being watered by societies’ compliments, only to be thrown out in the trash by societies’ judgements. 

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be rooted and fed by God than portioned and picked over by society. I choose to put my trust in God.

“Blessed is the man who trusts the LORD, whose trust is in the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 [ESV]

My friend- if you feel like you are in a season of drought, don’t turn to the alluring watering can that society offers- dig deeper, root deeper. Extend your roots as far as you can into the provision of God, and watch your fruit flood over in abundance.

partner with Jesus >> be the vessel 

Letter to 24, from 23

I sit on the eve of meeting you, and I’m at a loss for words. Speechless to the growth and knowledge and pain and triumph that has happened leading up to you. There is not enough time in the world to explain to you all that has happened this past year- but maybe there is to tell you a bit of what I’ve learned. 

I sit on the eve of meeting you, and I’m at a loss for words. Speechless to the growth and knowledge and pain and triumph that has happened leading up to you. There is not enough time in the world to explain to you all that has happened this past year- but maybe there is to tell you a bit of what I’ve learned.

It’s been quite the roller coaster. Exhilarating moments, nauseating moments, moments where I wish I was off the ride and moments where there’s no other place I’d rather be.

And on the eve of 24, I feel like I’m sitting in my seat on the ride, waiting for the restraints to be released. These restraints kept me from falling off in the scariest of moments, but now I’m ready for the next, ready to be free – released into a new exhilaration.

I want to go off into the rest of the amusement park, to find my next adventure.

Continue reading “Letter to 24, from 23”

APPRENTICESHIP MONTH ONE: Complete

It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting on the eve of my Apprenticeship at The Way beginning. Full of nerves, unsettlement, doubts, and excitement. Who would I meet? What would I learn? How would I get along with the other Apprentices? Would I know enough? Would God meet me there, and move in a way I’d never experienced? Luckily for me, He met me exactly where I was, and then some.

It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting on the eve of my Apprenticeship at The Way beginning. Full of nerves, unsettlement, doubts, and excitement. Who would I meet? What would I learn? How would I get along with the other Apprentices? Would I know enough? Would God meet me there, and move in a way I’d never experienced? Luckily for me, He met me exactly where I was, and then some.

I’ve just completed my first month in the Apprenticeship with The Way OC. Our first month was centered around the practice of Silence + Solitude, and integrating that fully into our lives as a daily practice. My experience with the practice was, more than anything, a triumph in truly believing in God’s provision, even when I couldn’t see it. Looking back on the month now, I fully see God’s hand in every part of this journey. From the good, the great, the terrible, and the downright debilitating. It was quite the October.

Continue reading “APPRENTICESHIP MONTH ONE: Complete”

Passion // Potential // Pursuit

In college, I had an existential crisis. It’s easy to say now, but it really rocked me for a few months. I had chosen what I knew was a safe career path, and I knew I would be making great money. Fall semester of my senior (fourth) year, I was sitting in my Tuesday 2PM class and was struck by the thought, “You’ll never be happy doing this the rest of your life.”

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In college, I had an existential crisis. It’s easy to say now, but it really rocked me for a few months. I had chosen what I knew was a safe career path, and I knew I would be making great money. Fall semester of my senior (fourth) year, I was sitting in my Tuesday 2PM class and was struck by the thought,

“You’ll never be happy doing this the rest of your life.”

It came out of absolutely nowhere. I immediately pushed that out of my head, instead going with the thought process, “Well, I can’t be happy every day of my life, right? But if I’m stable and making good money, isn’t it worth it?”

Short answer- NO.

Looking back on it now, I can see God’s hand in the days, months, and year to follow. I made the extremely hard (but correct) decision, much to my dad’s dismay, to add one more year to my time in college, become a Super Senior, and graduate with a degree with no real guarantee that I would amount to anything in terms of society standards.

Looking back on it now, I truly can’t even comprehend how I actually did it. I am one that is ALL for stability and consistency, but I threw that out the window for a year and a subsequent career that was all up in the air. But they say that time cultivates wisdom, and it’s in that time since that I realized my life could have only happened this way. How am I so sure? In short,

I wasn’t listening to my passion in life, which diminished my potential, and distracted my pursuit.

Without these three things working in harmony, complacency erupts and standards are lowered. Even though I wasn’t a follower of Jesus back then, he wasn’t going to let me make a mistake that could diminish the work I could do for him in my life.

Inspiration in Unlikely Places

About a month ago I woke up in the morning and noticed my journal was open on my shelf. I looked at it, and realized that at some point in the night I had written,

Passion from God
Potential in God
Pursuit of God

First thought- Wow, subconscious Sam has got some things she’s thinking about.

Second thought- Maybe conscious Sam should work through what that means.

After some thought, I connected it back to my job/career/life change back in college. My passion wasn’t being pursued, which diminished my potential, and distracted my pursuit. But in all honesty, I hadn’t connected that back to God until this particular day.

Passion + Potential + Pursuit = A Life Well Lived

I started following Jesus intentionally in that fifth year of college, August 2015. And it’s been in the past two years that I’ve slowly but surely realized that my passion in life is deeply rooted in the unique heart and soul that was knitted together by God himself as He was making me. No mistakes, no outtakes, just who I am meant to be. I’ve heard it said before that the two most important days of our lives is the day we are born and the day we find out why, and while I do agree that those are extremely important, I’d like to propose that the day that we actually begin to live out our “why” is just as important as the day we figure out what it is.

For me, my “why” is a recent realization. My soul is set on fire the most in two instances- 1) when I can encourage people to live out their passions, and 2) when I can help facilitate the emergence of a story, whether that be in writing or another avenue. Reason number 2 is why I’ve become a writer in my career path- all types of writing excite me, and any opportunity of pen to paper is taken and capitalized on.

But had I not taken the mental inventory and centered my passion with my potential and pursuit, my heart might not be as fulfilled right now as it currently is.

We’ve got to use our passion from God
to ignite our potential in God,
in our life-long pursuit of God. 

And it’s not a one-and-done situation, either- it’s a calculated decision every single day to live out the life God has called us to live. It’s hard, more challenging than living a life without Him. But the pain + trials + tragedies + hard times are so worth it. His dreams and aspirations for us are so much higher than ours, it’s almost impossible to imagine.

When God is realized in our passions and we let Him unlock our potentials, our pursuit of Him in and through our lives is so much sweeter, and grows exponentially with joy every single day. When I’m able to leave a situation with more joy than it began with, that is living life well.

Last Thoughts

There’s no rhyme or reason to the formula of a life well lived. It is different for every single person – we all live and love differently. But I have found that a life rooted in a God greater than all is the best way to figure out what to live, and that Jesus is the best mirror in figuring out how to live it.

“Take my heart
Take my soul
Take my mind and I will
Give my thoughts
Give my all
Give my life to follow You Take my hands
Take my breath
Take my dreams and I will
Lift my eyes
Lift my faith
Lift my voice and worship You.”
-“Life”  by Hillsong United

partner with Jesus >> be the vessel