When you can’t see the forest for the trees …
by Paula Flemmons
Feb 02, 2014 | 1078 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As I ponder the beginning of this venture, I struggled with whether to write under an alias (as I have in the past) or to be bold, full of faith that I will be a channel of good thoughts and encouragement to each of you in this new year. If I am to believe that this is my special gift from God, then the latter must supersede all of my insecurities. Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Paula, mother-of-three, grandmother-of six, widow of Mark Flemmons and blessed far more than I deserve.

It is my hope to meet with you weekly sharing morsels of life, wisdom and experiences as well. Additionally, I can be contacted at inthetrees3@gmail.com and would enjoy your contributions of ideas and feedback.

Sometimes, through events, people and things, God encourages us to look at ourselves hard to decide if we are fulfilling his purpose in us or are we simply coasting in self-will while fighting his divine purpose in our life. Each one of us has God-given gifts bestowed for his purpose. Outside of his plan for each of us, our efforts will only bring forth mediocre results – more often, this is evidenced by confusion, misery and general dissatisfaction with our lives that only grows daily.

What I have learned is that God will not push us in any direction, he will only allow us to learn from our own actions and those results. Our choices define our paths. Each of us would love to be “saved” from unpleasantness, to coast through a life of serenity and beauty effortlessly. Alas, that is not the real world and we are refined through sometimes-unpleasant things. We stumble, we hurt each other – our choices define our lives.

I am reminded of a recent posting on Facebook by my daughter. Her two-year-old ran into the living room one night recently pleading anxiously, “I am in time out, Mama … I am in time out Daddy.” Minutes later her older brother entered the room with tears in his eyes and a bump on his head.

Aren’t we all mostly like that? We know instinctively when we have stepped too far out of line and fear the repercussions of that mishap. It is my earnest prayer to be like that two-year-old granddaughter that recognized the hurt she caused her brother immediately and sought to correct herself as quickly and painlessly as possible.

There are multiple lessons in that for all of us. We were meant to encourage and uplift each other, “Walk alongside.” We are stronger together. Beginning this promising new year, I want to: 1) Encourage you to be your best wherever you are; 2) To discover your God-given talents and use them; 3) To not be afraid to discipline yourself when you know instinctively you have made a wrong choice or hurt another; 4) To be happy and at peace wherever you are; 5) To grow and help others to grow – “Walk alongside” someone less fortunate…someone struggling with “the trees” – as a society, we really are only as strong as our brothers and sisters.