Take great care of your garden…

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.“

Epictetus

Who are the people in your life that make you better? Who are the ones that drive and push you to be better than you would or could on your own? Do you intentionally create and foster these relationships? Do you seek out people that uplift you and prune out of your life those that hold you back?

Life is all about the relationships that we have with other people. We will be a product of the time we spend with them and they will have great influence over our actions and choices.

Think of the relationships you have as a well-designed garden. In order to maximize the beauty one must cultivate and care for the plants with great diligence. This means planting new ones and removing or pruning out the dead or dying plants. Are there certain relationships you need to nurture? How about pruning? Are there any you need to remove all together?

Make the best use…

“Make the best use of what’s in your power and take the rest as it happens.”

Epictetus

In today’s world it is so easy to get focused on what you don’t have, instead of what you do have. We get wrapped up in what we don’t control instead of focusing on what we do influence and control.

“Make the best use of what’s in your power.” How many of us can say that we truly do this? I know that I certainly don’t do it well day in and day out. There are always more gifts that God has given me that I have yet to discover or there are gifts that I have haven’t used to their maximum potential.

Focus on what’s in your power. As for the rest? Reflect on this verse, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:27‬

Where should you focus?

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

Epictetus

It isn’t comfortable not being in control. If we aren’t careful we can drive ourselves crazy worrying about the things we can’t control instead of focusing our efforts and energy on those things that we can. Whenever I lose sight of this I find the following scripture both grounding and uplifting.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV

At the end of the day I know that whatever it is that I am worrying about is far less impactful than the challenges and persecution faced by so many. When I spend my energy worrying I am putting my effort into things that don’t impact the lives of others and don’t honor my Savior and what he has blessed me with. When I remember to think and reflect on this, everything comes back into focus.

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