The Art of Cultivating Hope

MAY

Whew!! Finally got to finish this. This month started off with a blast of computer issues but nevertheless here we are. Thanks for your patience and understanding. And speaking of patience…here is this month’s thought…

Thought

I know that I have said it before but it bears repeating. Having a life of hope IS possible but not without intentionality.  Intentionality requires planning, implementing and everyone’s favorite…patience.

Patience is NOT a bad thing. I have heard friends say jokingly “Don’t pray for patience because then you have to go through stuff that requires A LOT of patience.”

While this may seen true, I think it gives patience a bad name. So as we forge ahead to cultivate hope through patience let’s rethink how we view the concept of patience because having patience is essential to growing a hope-full life.

Patience is defined according to Websters 1828:  The suffering of….with a calm unruffled temper: endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. A calm temper which bears …without discontent. The act or quality of waiting for justice or expected good (our link to hope) without discontent. Perseverance: constancy in labor or exertion. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.

Wait!

Hang in there. I know you are thinking who wants this hassle but read on and let me present the benefits of patience.

To be patient then is to be not easily provoked; calm under pressure and in spite of wrongs; persevering; calmly diligent; not hasty.

When the going gets tough, the tough get…patient?

Patience is:

breathing,

a muscle,

steady calmness,

stubbornness,

anti-anxiety,

deep water,

trust,

a character trait,

an art form,

outlasting the storm that is currently in my life–no matter what form it takes.

Friend, family, financial, physical…I can wait out the storm.

This is where good old stubbornness kicks in.

I can be extremely stubborn. I always have been. I like to think that stubbornness is not just a character flaw but also a strength that needs direction and focus.

For example, I’ve been married for 20+ years. It takes a lot of stubbornness to stay married and to keep working and giving and loving when life gets hard and the shine fades.

I have homeschooled all 5 of my kids all of the way through (3 more to graduate in the next 3 years). Talk about a need for stubbornness.

Some might say I’m hard-headed, infuriating and difficult and I would agree to that when my stubbornness leaves the realm of patience and enters the realm of foolishness, pride and selfishness.

Learning the art of patience transforms us into a cultivator of HOPE–not just to get through difficult times but to develop patience as a tool and put that stubbornness (you know who you are) to good use.

LIFE IS TOUGH and overcoming it’s many obstacles–not just surviving the storms–requires an intentional focus (stubbornness) to develop a hopeful lifestyle that includes the cultivation of patience.

When the going gets tough, the tough  really do get PATIENT.

Finally let’s examine the word cultivate because it speaks to the exact idea of growing hope through patience.

Cultivate:  to intentionally plant, water, feed, and care for with the end result in mind.

We cultivate friendships, relationships, careers, dreams, trees, yards, gardens, roses.

It’s a process– like life.

Don’t fear the process.

Don’t fight it.

Lean into it wholeheartedly.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Build up some sweat equity as you learn the art of cultivating hope.

Craft

Plant something.

WP_20150515_001

Flowers, tomatoes, grass…whatever. and CULTIVATE it.

Pick a spot and make a patience garden. Fruit, veggie, flower or just something green.

Decorate a special pot in which to plant your new plant. family crafting_ unique planter ideas

Remember the taste of fresh picked, homegrown tomatoes or peppers.

Some things take longer. like fruit trees but are so worth the effort and the …patience.

No worries– we can wait. These things take time.

There are rarely instant solutions but I am in it for the long haul says the stubborn, I mean, patient me.

Intrinsic to a life of hope is being firmly grounded in a realistic view of life and people. It’s an investment mentality and while there are some instant benefits most have a payoff in the future… just like gardening & growing hope.

Beautiful DIY Flower Pot Ideas Recent Photos The Commons Getty Collection Galleries World Map App ___(1) Heidi Mull

Cultivator-in-training…getting my hands dirty and hoping for rain.

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