I'm a terrible gardener. I can't even be called a gardener. I'm more of a 'try something in a pot now and then' kind of gardener. And then it ends up like this:
This little chrysanthemum though has been a real trooper. It has a pretty good spot for light, but I keep forgetting to water it. Despite that, it persists in growing new flowers. I never toss it because it seems to always be having new buds:
Today I was thinking about how we are a little bit like this plant. Somehow God put in all of us the ability to overcome. Even when we forget to give ourselves the nutrients we need, we should never give up on progress. There is always hope!
Our lesson in Relief Society today was about improving. The teacher asked how we can make sure we aren't getting discouraged about our frailties, but instead, are getting better each day. I have really learned from my walking the past 10 months how fun it gets when you keep track of progress. I often think it isn't that my walking isn't that big a deal. But when I look at my progress on Daily Mile.com I realize how far I've come. I find doing 100 km a month now not that big a deal at all. It's just 5 or 6 km a day. Last August I did 90 km and it pretty much killed me. I'd go walking with Patti and then afterwards come home and have a nap. My feet hurt. My knees hurt. I was worn out. Now I do it, work all day, and come home and do all the family stuff too. It's crazy! It's also very motivating.
I've found the same thing is happening with the children in my class with reading. When I challenged them to read 10 chapter books by the end of the school year some of them thought that would be impossible. One in particular told me he really couldn't do that. However, in the last two weeks he's read a book each week. Each time he has come to me to let me know he's finished a book. He always shows me the book and asks me if it counts. It's funny that he asks because the books he has read are certainly ones that do count! Each time he acts a little surprised. I encourage him to go write them in his reading notebook and he goes off happily to do so. He's a real example of someone who I'm pretty sure doesn't believe he's a reader, but as he continues to record the books he's read, and as he works towards the goal, I think he's going to start to realize he is a great reader. It's very exciting!
I wonder if God feels as happy when he sees us accomplish the things we thought were too hard that he knows that we can do. My guess is he does.