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Cindy Dennis

Executive Director

Just Be.

written in 2016- by Christal Marshall- excerpt from her new upcoming memoir about Motherhood and faith “Demoted to Motherhood.”

Today I went to an outdoor hiking trail holding my new 3 week old son. All I did was listen to the birds and just observe everything that was going on in the world. Every day this week I have tried to walk to clear my mind and to think out loud about what I wanted my new vision and purpose for a new season in my business and my life.

The thing that really struck me was just how wild and tangled the forest was around me.

There were vines growing up trees.There was bamboo mixed in with other plants. The forest floor was covered with 26 different kinds of plants. Trees had fallen from previous storms and laying on either side of the path. There were vines hanging down below me. To the left into the right there was untamed wilderness. But right under my feet there was a clear walking path. A path that had been cleared from thousands of hikers exploring the same trails during the life of the park.

I noticed that the forest was a perfect, chaotic, beautiful mess.

All the wildlife and plants were perfectly suited to connect and interact with each other all at the same time being unique and untamed in the bigger picture of the wild forest.

This was a stark contrast of the houses across the street from the park. With their perfectly manicured gardens with topiaries shaped like little circles and little fish ponds.

They all had perfect Kentucky bluegrass cut exactly 6 inches high all around. There were no weeds, no dandelions, no wild buttercups, no winding vines, no random fallen limbs. On might say that they had a more beautiful garden than the chaotic forest across the road.

Sometimes I think that the pursuit of perfection might seem like trying to have a perfectly manicured garden.

Having a perfectly manicured garden is actually a struggle against nature-against what is already there. It's natural for weeds a pop up. It's natural for plants to get over the ground. It's natural for bugs to come. Why don't we work so hard to fight with already in nature?

Why do we fight for our lives to be perfectly manicured as well? Why don't we just embrace the wild, tangled, chaotic mess that makes life so beautiful and untamed?

God's world is a perfect example of things working together in a cacophony of harmony.

Nature is a perfect example of that. There's a million different trees, wildlife and species all in one place, but yet they all work together to create the forest.

I know this week is been hard for me mentally because I felt like I haven't had a purpose or drive. My two oldest have been on a Disney cruise with my mom so we can get our floors redone. My husband has been working hard, but for me with the baby- all we've been doing it seems, is just sitting around. I'm the kind of person that needs to stay busy all the time. As opposed to my husband- he's perfectly fine not having anything to do.

As I'm walking through the forest I began to notice that things are just doing what they are created to do.

Birds and squirrels don't worry about if they have a purpose. Trees don't worry if they grow in a certain direction and if they're growing the right fruit. They just exist. And in that existence they are serving the purpose and fulfilling the destiny that God made them to do. So as you go about your day, think about the forest. Your messy, wild, untamed life is beautiful just by existing. Don't try to fight the weeds in your life- don't try to have your garden perfectly manicured, so people don't see the mess.

Just be.


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