In March, we transplanted one butterfly bush that turned into two, one beautiful blue hydrangea, a knock-out rose bush – not to mention a trunk full of thinned out gifts from my aunt: yellow, white, purple, yellow with purple irises, yellow evening primroses, some little red/pink ground cover, bergamot and a rain tree from my cousin.
Every evening, I water and walk, checking on my 15 baby burning bush root-balls. For the longest time, 3 didn’t look like they were going to make it. Two of those 3 finally have green spouts. I’m not giving up hope for that last one, though.
Around the first of May, the knock out rose bush finally sprouted a few green leaves – and, oh, my how those green leaves are multiplying and growing.
The butterfly bushes and hydrangea, though, didn’t seem to be responding to my vigilance, my hope and my determination – the planting, the watering.
Until, one morning before work, as I was snapping off dead branches of one butterfly bush, I saw an itty, bitty spot of green. One spot of green made all the difference to my heart.
How that hope fired up my day.
The other two bushes? The other butterfly bush in the shade. My husband says to wait. It needs more time.
The hydrangea that brought me such joy with its blue but had outgrown the little spot it lived – the garden specialist at my very favorite garden store told me if it didn’t do anything by the June 1, then it was probably lost.
Tonight, though, we found bits of hydrangea green in places unexpected, not quite where we’d planted. The root system had reached elsewhere by about 12 inches. Not where we expected. Not where we’d planned. But it is growing, growing to the sun.
All around me are messages to not give up hope.
Watching a demolition crew tear up a sidewalk outside my window at work, digging holes and dumping dirt on the bushes outside my window that had been pruned back, those bushes that gave me so much joy with the living things that came by. Then one morning, the destruction crew pulled my bushes out, huge rootballs and all, shaking the dirt from their root system – leaving nothing.
A squirrel happened by later, looking bewildered, probably chattering mad about what they’d done to his nuts in all their hiding places.
But someone dared to ask, dared to ask about those bushes.
“They have a plan,” came the answer. Probably for the bush with the huge root system and for the emptiness left behind – the plan wills probably start with bits of green.
All around, are these messages – to not give up. There’s a plan, both original and contingency plans.
I saw it this week in the lives of my teens – little bits of growth. I knew the root systems were there. It’s just the waiting, the waiting for the bits of growth to reveal itself.
A Facebook message from a son thanking God for something nice that happened to him. That’s one of those green specks on the root of his soul.
Another son realizing a wrong and taking the initiative to make it right – that’s a green speck on a soul root!
Watching someone you love build a dream – a branch snapped off – but those little specks of green keep showing up. That’s hope. That’s a message from God to not give up!
And, so I danced in joy at hope revealed in words, actions and bits of green.
As I danced with joy over the green, I considered a soul, a soul many thought empty, no growth and no one cared to hope.
How like my butterfly bush was this soul – and so many other souls.
Given up on by so many people.
“Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?”
Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders” (Matthew 9: 10-13)
We are called to pour Holy Spirit water on the seemingly dead souls like butterfly bushes transplanted and struggling for survival.
We are called to continually walk beside the seemingly dead souls like butterfly bushes, ministering hope and faith for God’s plan for life.
We are called to unconditionally love on those who do not live like we live, make choices like we make, who cannot grasp for some reason a Hope and Faith God because one day some green specks of life might just sprout.
A Hope and Faith people should believe green things will grow from a seemingly worthless soul, like a butterfly bush thought dead.
“Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working” (1 Cor 3:6, The Message)
The above post includes 429-435 Vintaged Blessings.
436) Weeding my new garden with my husband. Sitting on my garden stool, pulling too hard, I tipped backwards, falling
437) and we laughed,
438) laughed through him grabbing my hands to heft me up out of the garden dirt
439) showing my sons sweet friend how to make my garlic bread from biscuit dough, butter, garlic and salt
440) laughing as my littlest one came outside with a biscuit in his mouth, talking about how his brother’s sweet friend made tastier biscuits than I did
441) yellow flowers on green tomato plants
442) high school soccer on May evenings
443) hanging out with my oldest on and his friend before a soccer game
444) family roots in a community that saw your children grow up, graduate and come back to see a sibling on the same soccer field they played on. Good roots are a blessing
445) sitting outside with my husband in the evenings, listening to him make dove bird calls – and listening to them answer.
446) the joy in a school year ending
447) hot and spice chinese soup for a son with a cold, along with eggs rolls and hot mustard sauce
448) knowing that even when I feel lost in the current of life, unsure of where I am going, knowing that God has the plan. I like that!
449) orange mango, papaya and carrot juice smoothies
450) green celery and green grapes in chicken salad
451) green broccoli salad with crunchy bacon and brown raisins seasons just right
452) GaPow to go on Friday night along with 2 pizzas and bread sticks
453) ome on a Friday night
454) God with me, every day, every minute, every breath and in every prayer this past week, during the laughter, the challenges and my soldier son’s stitches