Surviving or Thriving?

A particular sweet smell made me think of a time when I was a little girl about five years old at my Granny’s house and that led me to think of other precious memories which in turn made me realize over the past fifty years I have lived through a lot of history making events. I survived some pretty devastating times, had many a heart break and plenty of joyous celebrations, coming out on the other side thriving in many ways.

Are you a “survivor” or a “thriver”? With so much bad, troubling news bombarding us from the media, Internet, radio, word of mouth and on and on it comes at us from every direction…..are times now any worse than they ever have been? For most of us, we lived through and survived the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the turmoil of the late 60’s and the peace movement and women burning their bras, the fight for women’s rights, Martin Luther King being killed and the Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock, prayer being removed from school and Madeline Murray O’ Hare, the long wait at the gas stations because of the gas shortage of the mid 70’s, abortion being legalized, the impeachment and resignation of President Nixon, riding in cars with no seat belts and the back of a pick up truck…sometimes sitting on the tailgate, “Donny and Marie”, “Good Times” and “The Brady Bunch” TV shows, the Peace Treaty signed between Israel and Egypt, the hostages being held and released in Iran, MTV and CNN, the break up of The Eagles, the murder of John Lennon, the royal wedding, Farrah Fawcett’s popularity, the political movement shifting toward the “right” side in the mid 80’s, the spread of HIV and AIDS, the space shuttle disaster and the fall of The Berlin Wall, the personal computer, microwaves and cell phones, the Columbine School shooting, 9/11 and WEBMD.com and still so much more! We have seen, lived, survived, witnessing a lot in our lives.

For a moment, may I encourage you to take a step back in time and recall the happy, youthful memories tucked away in your mind when the days consisted of long, never ending summer hours crammed full of bike rides, swimming in the bayou or public pool or spraying one another with a garden hose, playing chase or kickball, reading a book in your favorite hideaway, building a treehouse or secret fort, picnics under an old tree, ice cream cones and popsicles from the truck playing distorted music through the neighborhood, making mud pies, picking wild flowers, wearing shorts and going barefooted, guzzling glass after glass of lemon aid, sweet tea and Kool Aid on the front porch swing, or drinking from the water hose, napping in the afternoon after daydreaming of “one day when I get older…..”! Remember those days?

Those times were simpler it seems, more hours packed into the day, before we grew up and found being a “grown-up” is hard work, difficult, demanding, frustrating, filled with disappointments and broken dreams. Things have changed a lot, but in a lot of ways, have stayed the same. For example, there is still unrest, war and hate fueled by religious differences in the Middle East, there is still the “right” wing and the “left” wing in politics never agreeing on anything, there is still those that choose to hurt and kill others and there is still those that strive for peace and there is still starving children dying around the world and there is still Christians praying for peace in Israel and for a mighty revival to spread across our Nation. So even though we are bombarded with information from around the world when it happens and have access to one another in an instant through satellite, we sometimes need to slow down, take a deep breath, close our eyes and disconnect.

We have survived a whole lot, no doubt about it, but we need to do more than survive! We need to begin to thrive, to flourish and bloom fully where we are. Our access to information, ability to become knowledge about anything and anyone and our modern conveniences has saved us time, we have multiplied exponentially and we can get more done with all the cutting edge technology at our fingertips helping us to make faster decisions and get more accomplished. But is faster really better? Do we use our brains, our past experiences and access to the wisdom and heart of Father God to guide us in our decision making? Or are we like robots just doing what we are told to do going through the motions, never feeling loved, passionate or inspired, only surviving yet another day?

I want to thrive, I want to be a fruit producing, living, breathing, passionate, feeling, compassionate, loving and caring person with a soul and a heart after Gods will in the earth. I want to do more than just get by; I am a survivor, but I am a thriver! I will make a difference, loving and touching one life at a time.

There is a spiritual awakening taking place in the earth today and more people are saying they sense a shift in the atmosphere around them. Something great is happening, I believe we are in the midst of a mighty move of God. There is an evil force that is madder than ever about this movement and yet I remind you, ” “God is still the same today as He was yesterday and forevermore!” What He did way back in the days of old, He will do today and tomorrow as well! He never changes, His love and mercy and grace lasts for always!

Have a great, prosperous, thriving day and bear beautiful fruit where you are today! This is the day The Lord has made, be joyful and at peace knowing there is nothing that takes Father by surprise, He knows it all beforehand and He loves us in spite of it all anyway! Shalom!;0)

Tonya F. Henshaw

August 10, 2013

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