Archive for the ‘Zinias’ Category

Blessings like Zinnias

pomegranate red zinnias
shaped like dahlias
thrive in Full Sun living
no shades necessary
to protect
from living its design
where planted

always reaching,
for heat and glare
cactus-shaped heliotrope purple petals
grow better
in weathering challenges

gangly,stalky stems
overlooked by whole package beauty shoppers
seeing too much imperfection to appreciate
button-shaped tangerine orange
dazzling in God’s appointed bloom time
those willing to love an imperfect creation

God-designed to withstand
a world of drought
beehive-shaped lemon yellow
blooms hope and joy
to be carried to other places
in clear mason jars, pink pottery vases,
thumb print glasses, cutglass rose bowls
set on harvest tables, welcome tables
bedside tables, porch-side tables, work tables

never blue,
zinnias bloom to seed
seeds for you and me
for tomorrow seasons
needing caring hands to harvest
and slide hope seed stories
into white envelopes
sealed and stored until
To grow
Some more


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Beware – this isn’t just a list. The blessings are planted into the content – the numbers are there just to help you see them.

382) Sage, lavendar, black-eyed susans, , pink-cone flowers, purple salvia, luscious grape lantana – flowers that will come back next summer – flowers that can endure extremes of living – living in the Tennessee red clay or, well, really the rich soil filled into the Tennessee red clay holes dug.

383) The flower pots, though – that can’t endure the extremes: filled with purple pansies, Mexican Gold, Scaevola Bombay Whites, Martha Washington’s wine-colored flowers, and beautiful flowers with name tags lost that just, well, bloom beautiful. The zinia seeds, they’re growing, growing in crowded little clicks like teenage girls that needed separating and space. A dirty job – but the benefits are jars and vases of flowers everywhere until Autumn just orders them to stop with one freeze too many.

384) My 15 burning bush rootballs are growing – some thriving more than others.

I missed this, the last 3 summers, the planting, the growing, the weeding, the waiting, the cutting back, the deading, the waiting, the seed-time and-harvest reminder, even the collecting of seeds, sliding them into envelopes for the next year.

Yesterday as I separated the itty, bitty zinia roots, untangling them and giving them their own space, I thought about growing-up my boys – and, regardless of the age, living out seed-time-and-harvest.

“Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest-if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9)

385) The Father, He wrote me, this daughter of His, who likes to read book endings first, who can’t stand suspense – He wrote me a love letter in those little tangled roots.

He told me to trust the seed-time and-harvest of parenting by faith.

That tangled up boys to men, – well, they need that time, just like my zinia seeds.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Cor 3:6).

386) As I planted, I prayed, prayed for an Apollos to water – prayed for you dear friends to water where I could not.

Just like I, here, where I live, am called to water for you dear friends where you cannot.

Because one day, these growing up boys to men and girls to women, walk out home’s door into the world, to seize their independence – and we both want faith men and women to water those seeds we planted when we cannot.

We are all seed planters – but we are all called to be Apollos the Waterers  to seeds not our own- to tangled up root systems that don’t look like much, some that might even give us a rash.

The blind man, the woman with the issue of blood, the crippled man, Lazarus’s sisters  – they all walked out the door of their homes one day needing someone else to water the seeds their parents planted.

Jesus showed them and us how to water those seeds – Apollos learned how to from friends who learned from Jesus.

God made those seeds grow!

Are you willing to be an Apollos to the outcasts, to the imperfect, to the sinners? I hope so– I pray for you daily to be the laborer the Father sends to grow my sons in ways that I cannot.

Parenting is like that.

It is part of the job description as a gardener in the Kingdom.

“How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”

 “With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots” (Mark 4:30-31, The Message)

387) A gardenia from my mom
388) who came for a visit
389) a mother who gives solid, strong hugs and isn’t afraid to ask for them
390) for green asperagus and yellow hollandaise sauce,
391) greeen beans on my boys plate that actually filled their tummies
392) “How do you make these?” my mom asked about my mashed potatoes. “With Maryleigh magic,” I laughed – it is blessing when someone understands your humor and knows it’s not puffed-up pride.
393) A new chicken recipe from an old family cookbook with curry. I’d never cooked with curry this something new made a family get-together a blessing.
394) We sat at the family table, 4 generations.
395) My mom finally holding her first great-grandchild.
396) A lot went into getting home ready for a 4-generation visit. My little guys pitched in, helping me because I was so tired from away-soccer games and too little time these days. One did it because he had to; the other did it because he knew I needed the help.
397) A Mother’s Day gift from my mom, picked up at an antique store and framed with love: cross stitch art-work saying, “A mother is a woman who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”
398) A purple scarf she didn’t make for me but gave me anyway
399) 24 chocolate cup cakes with chocolate ganache for a work event(12 for home)
400) 1 blueberry crunch for a going-away thank-you to the sweet lady who trained me
401) 2 derby pies for a soccer fundraiser
402) Baby girl falling asleep on my shoulder
403) My oldest son telling me, “Dinner was delicious.”

404) evenings outside, watering plants, talking, watching all the birds, the sky, the seed-time-harvest pace.
405) sitting out there with my husband, talking when there’s things to say but being comfortable with the quiet when there’s not.

406) Love letters from my Father, there for me to find – if I only pay attention.

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