How Not to Grow a Peony {Lessons in Self-Growth}

How did we start thinking our growth from where we are now to where we want to go should be instantaneous? 

I could write about how its because we live in the age of instant gratification and as a result, we believe everything should happen in a very neat, orderly, and timely manner.

But look - I am pretty wild about my 2-day Amazon Prime shipping, being able to order an e-book and start reading it in less than 30 seconds, and have Netflix stream right into my home instead of having to get in my car and actually go to Blockbuster {remember those days?!}. I totally think instant gratification has its time and place, so I'm not even about to rip it to shreds.

Instead, I welcome you to consider flowers. I personally am a huge fan of pink peonies. They make me think of Paris, and any time I think of Paris, I'm a pretty happy camper. 

I don't have much of a green thumb {yet anyway, though I remain determined!} but I can tell you how not to grow a peony. Do not plant a peony only to look at the ground every day, roll your eyes and say, "Peony, why can't you get your act together? Why can't you just hurry up and grow, for pete's sake? Why can't you sprout up and produce something worth looking at? You're an idiot! I'm sick of waiting on you to become what you're supposed to be, dang it!" And then you definitely wouldn't dig up the seed before it even had time to grow because you were sick of waiting on the outcome you desire. 

Go ahead - you have my permission to laugh at how absurd it sounds, but the truth is, this is exactly how some of us are approaching our lives every single day. We get frustrated because we put tons of time and energy into making ourselves better and praying for specific outcomes, but when we don't see an immediate payoff we bash ourselves endlessly and sometimes even throw in the towel completely. 

We know when we plant a seed, we have to give it lots of water and make sure it receives plenty of sunlight. But most importantly, we give it time. We don't dig through the ground every day to see if the seed is sprouting yet. We leave it to do its thing and we do our part by giving it water and fertilizer. And sure enough, one day when the time is right, that seed pushes up through the dirt. It grows and grows and finally, there is that gorgeous flower we have been waiting on.

It's the same thing with us. We take time, too. Just because the outcome we dream about is taking time doesn't mean it's not happening. We only need to keep showing up to do our part. So we go to the gym even when we don't want to. We wake up before the kids in the morning to write for 30 minutes. We sign up for that baking class. We pray again for a baby of our own. And through it all, we trust that we are heard, we are seen, and that one day, a flower will beautifully bloom from the seeds we are planting and nurturing now. 

So sweet one, pray boldly, dream with grandeur, and let yourself off the hook when it's all taking longer to work out than you hoped. Because even when it seems dark? Remember that before a peony was a peony, its roots and new growth unfurled underground in inky darkness from a tiny little seed - tiny little seeds just like the ones you are planting and nurturing each and every day of your glorious life.