Welcome all! Feels and Flowers is back after two weeks of silence! This week your host steals quotes from the internet and talks about dreams and your purpose in life. She also talks about myths that keep us from getting anything done, and a very important thing you need to do with a hammer. She expounds on how it is so easy to deliver a message of mediocrity in this day and age, and speaks with great candor against following supposed “omens” and “signs” from God. Do you lack a definite purpose, vision, or big dream in your life? Don’t worry, here at Feels and Flowers we got answers for you.
The “flower” of the week is the Cedarwood Atlas. Find out about the amazing properties of the essential oil and how it can be used. (Hint: It has been said that it acts as an aphrodisiac. Wooo!)
Find semi-accurate show transcripts and extras at https://feelsandflowers.com/
Send me flowers! Your comments and emails will make my day. Email me at email@example.com and follow me on Instagram @feelsandflowerspodcast and at my newly formed twitter account @feelsandflowers. Finally, Don’t forget to subscribe to the show and tell others about it. Rate, Review, Subscribe! Love you all!
A very wise man once said, if you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.
— [THEME MUSIC] —
Hi. Welcome to Feels and Flowers. A Christian podcast that celebrates the beautiful gospel truths that you are beautiful, you are loved, and you were made with a purpose. I am your host Paula Perez.
Have you ever considered starting your own podcast? If so, let me give you a word of advice: Start by recording and editing a good backlog of at least 4 episodes before you publish your very first episode. That way you can have some breathing space in between episodes if you need it. I was foolish enough to think that I could just hit PUBLISH the moment I had produced my episode. I could handle the week-to-week pace. I’m a pro. I literally do video and audio editing for a living, and I am AMAZING at it, I could handle it, right? … WRONG!!! Bad Paula. Bad, bad, Paula.
So the past two weeks I was basically AWOL due to my work. Sorry. But if you’d follow me on Instagram you’d have seen the updates and known for sure I was alive and hadn’t fallen off the planet. I suggest you go follow me on Instagram @feelsandflowerspodcast OR on my newly formed Twitter account @feelsandflowers for updates.
OK, so that bit of news aside, we can move on to more rewarding topics like the lonely work of going after your dreams, or, answering God’s call: it’s not easy, and you probably might not see results… like ever. You might even experience heartbreak, you might face trial upon trial in pursuit of the dream God placed inside your heart. You will doubt yourself. You will doubt your dream. But my dear, you have to get on it NOW, because if you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs. Ooooh. #notmyquotebutimstealingitanyway.
Ok, enough nonsense. This week’s podcast is based on Genesis 6 and 7 Noah and the Ark.
Before we go all in, let’s do the flower of the week…. In this case, I figured talking about Cedarwood essential oil might be appropriate, if a little too “on the nose.”
— [FLOWER MUSIC] —
So disclaimer: The actual word in Genesis 6 used to describe the kind of wood the ark was built from is “gopher.” However, there are MANY questions about what exactly is meant in the Bible as gopher wood. One Jewish dictionary links it to the words used to mean “Cedar beams,” so that is what I am going with.
Now, as to cedarwood, I am referring to Cedarwood Atlas, with botanical name Cedrus Atlantica. It is different from Cedarwood Virginian which is a much different tree. Cedarwood Atlas is a very tall, majestic, pyramid-shaped tree that grows in the Atlas Mountains in Algeria. The tree is prized for its scented wood, which is insect repellent and used for making chests, closets, and other furniture for storing precious items because it naturally repels vermin. The oil was used in ancient Egypt for embalming bodies for mummification and the wood was used for sarcophagi. The tree is endangered and so the EO is very precious, and pricey.
Unlike all the floral scents I have featured so far in Feels and Flowers, the scent of cedarwood is a little on the masculine and woodsy side, which I personally prefer.
Learn more about the therapeutic benefits to Cedarwood Atlas as well as ways to use it before you go…
But that’s for a little later. Now, back to what we started….
— [FLOWER MUSIC FADES OUT] —
Genesis 6 says:
As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core.
13 God said to Noah, “It’s all over. It’s the end of the human race. The violence is everywhere; I’m making a clean sweep. So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. Make it 450 feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. Build a roof for it and put in a window eighteen inches from the top; put in a door on the side of the ship; and make three decks, lower, middle, and upper.
17 “I’m going to bring a flood on the Earth that will destroy everything alive under Heaven. Total destruction.
18-21 “But I’m going to establish a covenant with you: You’ll board the ship, and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives will come on board with you. You are also to take two of each living creature, a male and a female, on board the ship, to preserve their lives with you: two of every species of bird, mammal, and reptile—two of everything so as to preserve their lives along with yours. Also get all the food you’ll need and store it up for you and them.”
22 Noah did everything God commanded him to do.
So basically Noah builds the ark per God’s instruction, as he does he becomes a laughingstock of the world, sinks his entire family fortune into a humongous boat built in dry land miles from a great body of water, and ends up living in the world’s first zoo…. all because he had received his calling from God.
We are all, in our own way, building an ark or some sort. Some of us are building a nice little sailboat for a pleasure cruise to beautiful lands, others of us are building a sturdy fishing boat because work and supplying for one’s family is the one-consuming task we have in mind. Yet few of us actually ever dream to build a gigantic ocean liner that will fit as many people as possible and that can withstand powerful storms and surges.
I’m not going to lie. My first impulse when preparing for this podcast was saying, “Well, God uses every kind of boat to save as many people as possible.” I was going to close with the story of the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II as an illustration.
Basically, when the majority of the British Army and many of its French and Belgian allies were surrounded on all sides by the Enemy troops, their only recourse was to to do a massive evacuation via the English Channel in little over a week. So with the help of Navy ships, and a fleet that’s now called the Little Ships of Dunkirk, made up of hundreds of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure crafts, yachts, and lifeboats, more than 300 thousand Allied soldiers were rescued.
And you know that is a swell story, and that would have been a nice podcast to make you feel good. Because, yeah, it’s true. God CAN and WILL use anybody who is willing. But, in the end, giving you that message will not inspire you to dream bigger things, to believe that you can DO more and BE more.
While we’re on the topic of full disclosures, I’ll be honest, for most of my life I’ve been the one who dreams about arks and makes drawings of arks. I have made some AMAZING designs and plans for colossal arks. And I spent hours upon hours revising the plans to those fantastic boats which I would one day build. Yet I felt too overwhelmed and too full of self-doubt to actually pick up the hammer and get started. I was waiting, I suppose, for a call from God to tell me exactly what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and who to do it with.
A message like the one I was going to give you would NEVER have pushed me to actually do something. ANYTHING. If I’d been in your shoes. I would have had you remai complacent and have you carry on as usual. But that’s not why I am here or have this platform at all. I want you to BELIEVE IN YOU, and believe that you are made for far greater things than you let yourself believe in.
If you are waiting for heaven to open and for a voice of God to direct you as to what to do with your life, then you are in for a disappointment. Not that God won’t or hasn’t done that. But expecting God to do that for you is like expecting your parents to pick your hobbies, your career, even your spouse for you. It will probably not be much fun. Believe me, I know.
Back in 2012 when I graduated from University with a degree in civil engineering, I was bright with hope and anxious for my life to start. A few months after graduating I acquired the services of a Christian career coach to help me through my job search because I was having a HARD time of getting a job, so she and I went through my resume, did mock interviews, etc.
Well, one day she and I were talking and I said to her, “If God himself were to come in through that door and tell me to do something I would do it without question, and do it happily too. Because all I want is to do what He wants me to do.”
Oh how sweet I was. How young.
Well anyway, almost immediately someone walked in the door with the prospect of a job for me. It wasn’t ideal, I was not excited to start it because it was not in my field, and the pay would be bad too. But, hey, I had said what I said, and that job had landed on my lap immediately. Surely that was a sign, right? Surely was the will of God, and I was meant to inquire about that job?
Let me tell you. Following signs and omens because you believe “that is the will of God” in spite of what common sense or even your gut tells you to do is a mistake. It is a lazy way to live.
Sure, I learned a lot in that job, I did a lot of good and it also did me a lot of good. I came in contact with many people, I got over my need to be told what to do and learned to anticipate the needs of my boss and supervisor, I learned to be on top of everything. I got something on my resume that looked a little bit impressive. But I was not exactly happy. I ended up leaving after a few months.
Here is what I believe:
1. Every dream you’ve ever had, big and small, every ambition to do good, to start something new and exciting–all of that has come directly from God. He is the source of every dream you’ve ever had…. As long as that dream leads to your happiness and that of others, of course.
2. You and I need to stop wasting time doodling plans while we wait for our calling from God. We falsely believe that we will have a big epiphany, that the heavens will open and angels and cherubim will sing as God presents us with a blueprint of our own personal ark. Ha. We’ll never get anything done in this way.
3. God’s big plan is ambitious. He requires all kinds of people from all walks of life to reach as many people as possible. If he wanted us all to be evangelists or doctors, or missionaries, he would have made us all with the skills necessary to do that. Probably we’d all be extroverts. But to save as many people as possible he requires the best of the best in all areas of life.
He requires podcasters, youtubers, artists, musicians, singers, dancers, students, business owners, cooks, bakers, novelists, screenwriters, politicians, and government workers. Sanitation workers, landscape workers, pool cleaners, architects, engineers, historians, professors and scientists who will use their platform, their skills, and their resources to do good where they are at and do it consistently. To be a beacon of His love in their community. He wants the Best of the Best.
4. We are well-equipped by God. He made us with unique talents and skills. And he put inside each one of us a desire to do something greater and loftier. A wish to be remembered. A wish to leave something behind after we die.
The thing is, Perfectionism is our enemy. We need to stop thinking that we are meant to go after one glittering majestic dream that will define our lives. But we need to first know what that is before we get to work. Personally I feel like that kind of thinking is far more harmful than good. You might be the special case that just knows what you want to do with your life, and have a clearly-defined path. But most of us aren’t that way, and God factors that into his big plan.
If you have no idea of what you are meant to do in this earth, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Start at first with smaller short-term goals using what you already know how to do and doing something that you are enthusiastic about and go after them with passion, energy and tenacity. The first couple of projects will be small, but as time goes on they’ll grow bigger, and you’ll draw more experience, more confidence, more skill with each new project or goal. You will expand your reach. Until you realize that all this time you’ve been working toward a direction that you did not really have planned–but God did.
You see, your calling, your ark, is to become the best version of yourself for His glory. Day by day, step by step. You are called to do so much more than working to live, and living for the weekends.
Don’t tell me that’s so cheesy. Because… it really isn’t. Listen, answering “the call” takes grit and courage, and if you are actually doing it right, there’s nothing cheesy or easy about it. Sometimes it is a lonely road. Sometimes, you feel that you are making no progress at all. Maybe your friends will abandon you. Maybe you’ll fail. Sometimes you wonder if it was, in fact, God who put it in your heart to do what you are doing.
That is why I am telling you, YOU who are becoming disillusioned, you who are getting tired of praying without hearing God answer you, you who thought you had been called by God but are now baffled because of the hardship and the difficulties you are encountering. To you who sunk a lot of your money to build that ark. To you who put your kids to work on what your neighbors call a “madcap scheme”. To you who has been toiling away for years without recognition. Don’t give up. And never give up on YOU.
A very wise man once said, if you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. This wise man was Martin Luther King Jr.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with MLK Jr, he was a forefront figure during the American Civil Rights movement in the 50s and 60s. As a leading figure of the Civil Rights movement, he brought awareness through non-violent activism, on the way Black Americans experienced mistreatment, segregation, and exploitation in the United States. He advocated for equal rights so that every man, woman, boy and girl could be treated with dignity and equality no matter their skin color.
He encapsulated the heart of it all in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech which he famously gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
I have a Dream…
Do you know how much he suffered for the sake of this dream?
He was arrested over twenty times for protesting. He was the object of several violent attacks, both to his person and his property. He received threatening phone calls, his home was bombed and set afire, and he was even stabbed. King faced opposition from not only whites and their leaders but also from some of his own race who were against his non-violent civil disobedience approach to get things done.
Yet he, like many other people in history who made their mark on the world, did not downgrade his dream to fit the harsh reality around him. You see, to truly go after something, sometimes you have to upgrade your conviction to match your destiny #notmyquotebutstealingitanyway. It takes courage and a strong sense of conviction.
Maybe you aren’t going to become the father of all humanity, as Noah was. Maybe you won’t be tested the way he was. Maybe your neighbors won’t come over and laugh and have a field day as you toil on your boat.
But doubt not: you also have been called, and you need to start now. Today. Even if it’s in a small way, take the step in the right direction. The Bible tells you and me to not despise small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zecharia 4:10). So, Hang in there. Keep at it. Build, build, build. Don’t let a single strike of the hammer be in vain.
If you’ve reached this far, thank you for listening.
Like I promised, some of the uses for cedarwood atlas. Cedarwood is antiseptic and an astringent, so it helps balance and tone complexion and helps in healing infections and skin problems. Additionally, of all the essential oils, cedarwood atlas contains the highest level of an anti-inflammatory substance which… I won’t even try to pronounce. Additionally its scent is uplifting and calming and combats negative feelings. It is also considered an aphrodisiac. Woooo. Keep in mind that the Cedarwood Atlas is endangered so if you MUST purchase it, be sure to do so from a company who has responsible sourcing practices.
Find some blends and recipes for using this and other essential oils at feelsandflowers.com. You can also find show transcripts and other extras on the episode posts.
That’s all for now. Send me flowers! Your emails and comments will make my day! If you’d like to reach me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also follow me on IG: @feelsandflowerspodcast. Also, I started a feels and flowers twitter account. Follow me on @feelsandflowers for daily positivity. If you enjoy Feels and Flowers please be sure to leave a rating on and subscribe on Apple podcasts or whatever podcast platform you use. That would really help a lot.
Until next time… please remember that you are beautiful, you are loved, and you were made with a purpose. So go on out there and live like you believe this is true.
— [THEME MUSIC FADE OUT] —