Environmental Thriving . Santa Fe, Tx Writer

by Jamie Zenteno

I love Texas.

But usually after the 4th of July I tend to get irritable because it is so stinkin' hot.

You get heat headaches, nothing sounds good to eat beside cold stuff, you don't want to turn on your oven because then it will match the outside temperature, not to mention there's a million things you want to do outside but you have to wait until about 6pm or 7 depending on the day because you don't want to fall over and pass out.

I think its so hot right now that you could just cut the air with a knife because its so hot additionally with 100% humidity.


I still love Texas.

It's big and diverse enough to not really ever get bored. My husband and I always joke that Texas should just declare to be its own country and that we'd probably be able to sustain a good economical life. But that's just our own 2 cents.

Moving on.

I picked "tunas" or also known as the cactus prickly pears this morning and took them to work for everyone to try.

Then it hit me.

We buy food from the store to nourish our bodies. Sometimes, ok a lot of times, that food isn't even from here. Its stamped mexico, china, brazil....etc.

But here's the thing.

This environment that God made, this region where I live in south Texas . . .  has exactly what I need to thrive here. Now.

Hypothetically could we live off the land?

I started thinking ok what kind of things thrive here naturally  in south Texas? (Just to name a few)

  • One - sun (ha yes lol the sun is here to stay and thrives)
  • Two - fish ...we live 20 minutes from the gulf coast
  • Three - plants that can tolerate a lot or little to no rain like cactus/aloe vera/pecan trees
  • Four - a few months of showers and a few months of cooler weather 
  • Five - lots of humidity

Most people here are well acclimated to the sun. That being said we have thinner blood and people here were not made to live in extreme cold negative number conditions like lets say people in Alaska. Also since we have excess sun, we need something to help our skin. Well since we live in a hot climate cacti and aloe vera grow great here.

The humidity helps our skin stay moist.

Also vera helps our skin against sun damage and scraps. The cactus we can eat the leaves and the prickly pears on top when ripened. Both great vitamin c sources, high in fiber and water content. Pecan trees grow great here with a natural source of vitamin E. Logan berry trees, and blackberry bushes thrive here for antioxidants in our diets.

The rain we have helps everything grow, the heat helps things go to seed, the fall and winter prepare the soil for the next season.

All sorts of fish thrive here for a natural source of protein.

All of these things thrive here naturally. When God created this region of south Texas or any other region he knew how the natural environmental conditions would effect us so he made sure we have all that we need to live off of here.

When I went to Russia on my very first mission trip I burned the tar out of my hand. We went to the drug store. NO ALOE VERA ANY WHERE!!!! (I found some weird yellow spray that stained my hand but didn't work at all) Anyways, why didn't this country have this natural ointment that I needed?!? Because there wasn't a needed for it there. This plant didn't thrive there. Why???? Because it's a different environment than Texas. It's not needed there.

God gives us what we need in order to thrive in our environment. That environment could be the actual land and physical place you live. That environment could be your home you live in, maybe the friend environment, the church environment or your marriage environment. We just have to be aware that they are there of the good environmental things God has placed around us.

Maybe you're in a bad home environment but your friends are awesome and encouraging. See God is giving you what you need...those good friends.

Looking at this in a different perspective. In that list I stated above the first thing I listed was the sun. The sun helps everything thrive.

So...yes hun...the SON of God helps everyone thrive.

I love the Casting Crowns song "We were made to Thrive" because we were. God did not give us this life so we could just shrivel up and die.

No, we were made to thrive, to live life well, to NOT just survive. 

John 16:33New International Version (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

How has this year looked for you?

Have you been thriving or have you just been surviving?

Are you still in survival mode?

I know people all the time people are only just surviving. I know because I was one of them but looking around me now, even if we have a hiccup in life, we will never just survive. My hubby and I have chosen to thrive no matter what. 

And you my dear...we were made for one purpose - to know God and to make Him know. You can't do that if you're only just surviving.

I sincerely pray that your environment is helping you not hurting you. But if it is indeed the opposite - sometimes you'll need to relocate to get the weeds out.

-Jamie Zenteno @ Women Simply Thriving