Flowers, Gardenias, Life Lessons

SWEET REWARDS

 

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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.

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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)

 

Bible, Bird Nests, Christian, Conversation, Faith, Guidance, Life Lessons, Nature, Trees, winter

SIMPLE CONVERSATIONS

 

road

Do you ever have conversations with God? You know, just talk to him as you drive along or walk down the street by yourself.

I do.

All the time.

It’s different from praying in church or over a list of people and concerns.

It’s more like talking to a friend.

Stay with me here.

Before you call me crazy and jump off this page, hear me out.

I can’t say I’ve ever heard God’s voice audibly. And I can’t exactly explain how I differentiate what I hear from my own thoughts, but I’ll try.

Be Wise

For one thing, as a Christian, I know there are lots of voices out there. So I use the Bible as my point of reference when I evaluate what I think I’ve heard, mainly the New Testament. (Lots of things have been done in the name of God that He had nothing to do with.)

If it involves important decisions, I run it past someone I respect spiritually. I also ask myself if it’s just my wishful thinking. And I do my best not rush into anything.

How Do Answers Come?

Sometimes I get my answer when I read or hear the same thing several different places. (After the third time, I really pay attention.)

Or a Bible verse may play over and over in my mind the way one did at the beginning of the year. If you missed that post, you can still read it here.

Other times, an answer will come in the form of a new thought that leads me to do a little research, which gives me a new perspective.

Consider the Trees

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As I walked down the street one afternoon recently, I heard,

Slow down.

No need to rush.

Look around  you.

See the deciduous trees?

This is their season of rest.

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I began to look closely at the beauty of barren branches. Some reached upward like slender ballerinas.

 

Others stood guard like sturdy He-men, arms outspread.

Some were old and ragged, missing limbs. Others leaned in one direction, stretching toward the sun.

Each was beautiful in its own way.

tree4Questions Are Okay

“But Lord,” I said, “aren’t they doing something that I can’t see? Like putting down roots deep in the earth?” (And, yes. I talk to him the way I might talk to you.)

Look it up, I heard.

So when I got home, I Googled What do deciduous trees do in winter?

I found, according to Mother Nature Network, Northern Woodlands and several other sources, deciduous trees go through a dormant period in the winter similar to animals hibernating.

Webster’s Dictionary notes dormancy as being marked by a suspension of activity. It’s a resting phase in which essential life processes continue at a minimum rate.

“Okay,” I said. “But if that means you want me to slow down even more, you’ll have to help me let go of saying yes when I shouldn’t, falling back into striving, and measuring my worth by what I achieve.”

What I Heard

Just meet me every morning with your Bible and your journal. Sit with me. Be present to Me. Tell me what’s on your heart. Then listen.  Allow Me to restore your soul. I’ll show you how to be present in the moment so that later you can be truly present to those around you.

quiet-time

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

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Just BE in the presence of the Great I AM.

My Answer

“Here I am, Lord.”

What about you?

Can you identify your own particular season of life ?

I’d love to hear about it.

 

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,”
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:21