SWEET REWARDS

 

Gardenia2

Gardenia Update

Awhile back in Scents of Summer, I told you about how I keep trying to grow gardenias because they take me back to my childhood.

Here’s the latest on those three bushes.

GardeniapotThe new potted plant on the sidewalk is struggling a bit, but because it was full of buds when I bought it, I’m being rewarded anyway. However, it needs some TLC, which is on my list today.

On a happier note, I think one of the older plants is quite happy in its new digs. My clue was what greeted me yesterday when I walked to the far side of the porch to get the water hose.

The sweet smell of gardenias.

Gardeniaslots

The fragrance came from one of the two older bushes that we moved last year. The front one to be exact. I counted eight large blossoms and lots of buds, so I picked a couple of the flowers.

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I’m thinking you’ve already guessed how good my kitchen smells today.

Gardenias. That unmistakable fragrance of summer in the South.

Just call me grateful.

I’ve already decided where to move that second older bush that’s not faring as well. It’s going to swap locations with a shade-loving hosta that gets lots of sunlight.

I bet they’ll both be happier.

Observations

  • Most of us could use more sunshine in our lives.
  • We often reap rewards when we take the advice of more knowledgeable folks.
  •  Even experts don’t get it right every time.
  • When things don’t go as planned, look for another option.
  • Sweet fragrances lift our spirits.

Is something sweetening your day? I’d love to hear about it.

 

It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,

Even with joy and singing.

Isaiah 35:2a (NKJV)

 

SHOUTS OF SPRING

red-budsI love spring, don’t you?

Although it seems too soon, she decided to arrive early this year. And she’s done it with a shout.

Every trip in and out of my neighborhood has been glorious. Each week something new was in bloom.

I meant to stop and take pictures, but I was in too big a hurry to get to an appointment or take care of an errand, so I never got around to stopping. The hedgerow of bridal wreath has gone green–their tiny white flowers long blown away. The tulip trees are a bit bedraggled. (Like me on a bad hair day, they wouldn’t appreciate being photographed.)

But new wonders greeted me today, so I stopped and took some pictures. I thought I’d share them with you. Continue reading

PLANTED IN FAITH

Recognize Potential

daffodil-bulbs
Thank you, Suanne!

Gifted to me by my friend, Suanne, this bag of daffodil bulbs has been sitting on my counter all week. Each time I pass it, I promise myself I’ll plant them. Soon—maybe this afternoon. After all, November is the perfect month for planting spring bulbs.

 

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Looking Beyond Today

These bulbs have nothing to commend them in way of appearance at this stage, but I’m reminded of the transformation they’ll undergo between now and spring—if I’m faithful to plant them soon.

daffodil-planter

I have the right tool, manufactured expressly for that purpose. It’s up to me to use it. I may get my hands and knees a bit grimy in the process, but I actually find that satisfying.

Rewards

Come spring, I’ll be looking at golden daffodils. Others will enjoy them, too.

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The Bigger Lesson

It strikes me that planting those bulbs is an expression of faith. There are opportunities in our lives that don’t appear very attractive. Yet if we’ll act on them, eventually, they’ll produce beauty as surely as golden daffodils will grace my yard next spring. I don’t need to put off planting them.

I like the way the International Children’s Bible explains faith.

Faith means being sure of the things we hope for.  And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.  Hebrews 11:1 (ICB)

The bottom line for me is, I’ll reap results if I will:

  1. Recognize an opportunity.
  2. Acknowledge my ability take advantage of it.
  3. Complete the task in a timely manner.
  4. Go about my business until I see the fruit of my labor.

One More Thing

8ea16-daffodils

Bulbs have a way  of multiplying so eventually they need to thinned. I’m sure the bulbs Suanne passed on to me came from a diligent person practicing good gardening. And Suanne practiced good stewardship when she realized she wouldn’t get around to planting them this year. (She’s still getting settled from a recent move.)

I need to close for now. I have bulbs to plant. I want to be faithful.

But I’d love to hear from you.

Did you plant spring bulbs?

Or is there something you need to do today as an act of faith in the future?

 

And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come on time.

Habakkuk 2:3 (MSG)