Church Life, Life Lessons, Spring, Spring Flowers

SIGNS OF SPRING

 

Bradford PearsDid it feel like a hard winter to you?

It did to me.

About all I did was snuggle beneath a soft, warm throw and wait for spring. But I realize now, I waited with limited expectations.

Maybe that was because I was still recovering from fairly serious health problems that laid me low.

Or perhaps I was too focused on the distant view outside my back window instead of my own front yard.

Whatever the case, spring caught me by surprise.

Our yard seemed so bleak that I was astounded to see a row of forsythia bushes in full bloom outside a local business a couple of weeks ago.

How could that be when I hadn’t seen even one bud on ours?

But when I got home and gave our forsythia a closer look, to my delight, I found it filled with buds and a few stray blossoms.

Forsythia 2018It was the same when a friend posted a bouquet of daffodils on her Facebook page. Although we have lots of those buttery beauties in our front flowerbeds, none was in bloom or even budding.

Or so I thought.

But when looked closer, I found several buds, and I began to watch. Sure enough, one morning there was the first blossom. Then another.

daffodils 2018 Each day more opened up until a bed of tiny jonquils defied leftover leaves and fairly shouted, Rejoice!

I hadn’t been paying attention.

Spring had sprung.

Spring CollageSuddenly I saw flowers everywhere–Tulip trees, Bradford pears, hedges of forsythia, japonica, and bridal wreath—all blooming on bare wood and waving as I drove by. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths danced in the March wind.

Every day their splendor brightens and lightens my heart.

Isn’t that just like God to transform barren limbs into loveliness? This bursting forth of flowers reminds me that life resides in the starkest branches and most barren ground.

 

In me.

In you. 

However, at times, I felt as bleak as those bare branches. Even writing, my usual therapy, seemed lost to me. I produced nothing beyond an occasional journal entry, Facebook post, and thank you note.

But the truth is, even when I felt my worst, Jesus was with me, asking me to trust Him.

I sensed Him each time my good husband dropped everything to take me to a doctor’s appointment or pick up meds. He accompanied the friends who brought flowers and food, insisted on helping with laundry, stopped by to visit and pray. I felt his presence in the encouraging notes they sent by text, Facebook, email, and pretty cards with uplighting messages.

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25:40

He was there each time sweet Timmy slept in my lap while I read my devotionals or just stared out the window.

TimmyBFFEven when I was all alone, I knew He was with me.

Still that period wasn’t much fun.

But Hallelujah! Seasons faithfully change.

Now I think of the past winter as a time of rest, healing, and preparation for a new season of growth and fruitfulness.

For all of nature.

For me.

For you.

So if it feels like your spring is way late in arriving, don’t despair.

You'll bloom again

Watch for the signs.

He is faithful.

He will show up just when you need Him most.

Before you know it, your spirit will burst forth in full bloom.

… for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,  Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NIV

 

Family Memories, Favorite Things, Flowers, Life Lessons, Memories, Memories of Home, Remembrances, Spring, Spring Flowers

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 “SHOUTS OF SPRING”

Devotionals, Flowers, Goals, Life Lessons, Nature, Spring Flowers

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.

 

daffodil-bulbs2

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.

daffodils5

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)