Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Sadie and Her Moose

It’s a big week here – one boy with a collar bone broken from wrestling with friends, one graduating from high school – and lots of sweetness inbetween like. . . .

high school soccer games in the evenings (District Game tomorrow night)
sitting with moms I’ve sat with for years
in fold-out canvas chairs

sunlight spilling on my porch,
purple, lavender and orange sherbet johnny-jump-ups
raising their face petals in greeting

hydrangea, butterfly bushes, blue buttons
spiders-knots, zinnia, poppy and daisy shoots
stretching upward, green-ward
something beautiful

“Look at the robin’s egg blue sky,” I told my son with the broken collar-bone,
on the way home from the doctor. I’m avoiding bumps and pot-holes, but what mom can avoid all of them, on the road, in our talks, in the living.” “Isn’t it beautiful?”

“You know – the sky’s not really blue,” He says, and we look at each other.

“What about the fluffy clouds,” I counter, floating across the sky.

“Clouds are just water,” he says, a smile hovering, not quite wanting to show itself.

As the car climbs up the hill, past the water tower, I smile right back at him – one eye on the road, one on him, “But God didn’t make ugly water towers to hold rain – He made clouds to hold water – How awesome is that!”

Two red birds stood together in my yard, near the butterfly bush. A cardinal splashed in my bird bath, flinging water droplets onto my zinnias shoots.

A tiramisu trifle is half-eaten in the fridge, just waiting for one of the boys to stop by and finish it off. A few left over pieces of grilled zucchini with rotel diced tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and garlic are sealed in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

Better Boys and German pinks sit on the porch waiting to be planted, along with dill, jalapenos and cucumbers.

A volunteer carrot and chard are waiting for dinner Friday night – volunteers from last years garden.

Sadie, she’s learning to sit and stay, to ring the bell on the door to go outside, to find snuggly places for cat naps.

Coffee in the pot at 5 p.m. – and my boys milling about – coming in the back door, going out. My sweet Mother-in-Law here for the week.

The sweetness between brokenness and soaring

A little healing, a releasing to soar, family gathering together to celebrate

It’s a Blessings-and-Faith kind of week – filled with things that need to be savored.


Still counting gifts – 1001- 1034

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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.

Hope blooming! Dancing in my backyard at 7 a.m.? Well, only the cardinals, neighborhood birds and I know the truth there!

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.

I considered a soul people walked by, excluded because there was no godliness to detect, nothing beautiful to ooohhh and aaahhhh about, nothing redeemable seen.

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

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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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