Faded Flowers

“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” Psalms 71:9 KJV

As I was looking at the remnants of my hydrangeas, one in particular caught my eye. The flower was no longer the fresh sweet pink it had been upon blooming many weeks ago. Instead, it was faded and speckled but still it had a beauty all its own.

It made me reflect on how many times we casually toss things aside or fail to appreciate people after the “newness” has worn off. The joy and excitement of new love at its onset often fades as years wear on and relationships weather everyday routines and obligations.

We often don’t appreciate things and people in their “less than new state,” failing to recognize a different beauty that has changed from what was to what it is now. How is it that the blessings we ask God for and receive, we so can easily make the last of our priorities or quickly dismiss in search for the next new “thrill?”

The excitement of parenting quickly gives way to the responsibility and time required to do the job properly.  Friendships are often neglected when the fun times are few and far between. When the butterflies of new-found love are long gone, can you appreciate the great qualities, faithfulness and reliability of your significant other?

Relationships are never perfect as they are composed of imperfect people, but often our flawed (not destructive!) relationships are more satisfying than having none at all. Too many times we stare at the flaws instead of being in awe of the perfect people for us that God has allowed in our lives.  DSC_0022

I challenge you today to look at the people and relationships in your life with a fresh perspective. Even though things and people may not be what they once were, they may still be beautiful in new and different ways.

Appreciate the home you have as if you’d once been homeless. Appreciate the people in your life as if you almost lost them. Make a deliberate choice to appreciate the blessings you have now instead of looking back on what once was or even what can be…

View that same old job with a gratitude that it’s still there! Look at the house in need of repair not with disdain but as a place you really can call home. Your kids may not be perfect (and who is) but at least you’ve gotten them this far!

Like a car when the new shine wears off, dependability should be celebrated instead of longing for that new car smell. Love the people and things in your life for getting you where you need to go, coming along for the ride, or for simply being available and being there.  Why wait until a time of loss to appreciate what you have right now?

New isn’t always better. There is more to be said for faithfulness, dependability, and long-lasting love than for the glitz and glamour of the latest and greatest whoever and whatever!

Contentment doesn’t necessarily breed complacency; it can instead allow you peace and joy for where you are now, your personal journey and the people and things you’ve been blessed with along the way.

Family, friends, good books, and wine. Some things are better with the passage of time.

“To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV