Remember

Every spring, I remember. And every spring, I wait.

I wait for the dark morning hours to gradually be filled with light. I wait for the symphony of the songbirds. I wait for milder temperatures to lure me out of doors. I wait for the trees to bud out in their umbrellas of blossoms.

But most of all, I wait for the flowers.

God has gifted me with a love of all growing things, but perhaps His most precious gift to me in this love, has been my mother-in-law. In her, He has given me a kindred spirit, and one with more expertise and experience than I could ever hope to attain. Over the years, she has celebrated this love with me, through the sharing of her knowledge, and of the treasures from her garden. Every year we watch and wait. Together, we rejoice at each and every shoot of green that reaches through the earth with pointed fingers. At the first glimpse of color, we exclaim at its distinctiveness and proclaim it beautiful. We wait for each flower to reveal herself, to boldly declare the beauty she envelops in her prayer-like sepals. Before each bud matures into the lovely creature it is intended to be, we picture in our minds what they will all look like together, side-by-side in their glory. The blooms come alive in our imaginations, and the garden becomes a thing of expectation, of sleeping joy.

This image is ever before us throughout the year. When the earth appears barren and cold, we hold in our hearts the secret she has hidden in her womb. We rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.

And so it is as we wait on God. Just as the flowers have an appointed time to lift their lovely faces to the sun, so are our lives ordered by God’s will.

Scripture tells us that His timing is different than ours. Sometimes this inconveniences us, oftentimes for years. We want our prayers answered in our time frame, according to our stipulations. But always, His solutions are wiser; His timing is perfect. We see the truth of this reflected in the change of seasons, and the way the earth revolves around the sun. We see it in the way our children grow and pass through predictable developmental stages.

Perhaps, like me, you have been blessed to also witness this truth in your personal life.

And so, we wait. And because we are human, we forget to keep the image alive in our minds. The darkness looms in the winters of our souls, and we grow weary.

This is why we must not wait alone. For, just as my mother-in-law stands at my side to share the joy of new life in each spring, the joining with others in this waiting peppers our anticipation. We are like the flowers: each beautiful and unique in our singleness, but side by side we reflect a glory that is greater than our own. We were created to stand together, complimenting and strengthening as we do so.

When the landscape of life looks bleak, remember the springtime. Remember the flowers. Underneath the stark and barren exterior lies something beautiful waiting to burst forth. We can rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.


I repost these words in celebration of Ada Mae’s (my mother-in-law) birthday this past week. She is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Happy Birthday, Grammy.

Waiting

God has been smiling on our little bit of the earth these past few days. The sun fills the daylight hours and evidences of His glory are announcing themselves everywhere. My fingers have been in the earth as much as possible, kneading and preparing my little patch of land for the beauty that lies sleeping beneath its surface. It made me remember an article I wrote in April of last year for the Charleston Gazette. I pray it blesses you:

I Wait for the Lord

Every spring, I wait. I wait for the dark morning hours to gradually be filled with light. I wait for the symphony of the songbirds. I wait for milder temperatures to lure me out of doors. I wait for the trees to bud out in their umbrellas of blossoms. But most of all, I wait for the flowers.

God has gifted me with a love of all growing things, but perhaps His most precious gift to me in this love, has been my mother-in-law. In her, He has given me a kindred spirit, and one with more expertise and experience than I could ever hope to attain. Over the years, she has celebrated this love with me, through the sharing of her knowledge, and of the treasures from her garden. Every year we watch and wait. Together, we rejoice at each and every shoot of green that reaches through the earth with pointed fingers. At the first glimpse of color, we exclaim at its distinctiveness and proclaim it beautiful. We wait for each flower to reveal herself, to boldly declare the beauty she envelops in her prayer-like sepals. Before each bud matures into the lovely creature it is intended to be, we picture in our minds what they will all look like together, side-by-side in their glory. The blooms come alive in our imaginations, and the garden becomes a thing of expectation, of sleeping joy.

This image is ever before us throughout the year. When the earth appears barren and cold, we hold in our hearts the secret she has hidden in her womb. We rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.

And so it is as we wait on God. Just as the flowers have an appointed time to lift their lovely faces to the sun, so are our lives ordered by God’s will.

Scripture tells us that His timing is different than ours. Sometimes this inconveniences us, oftentimes for years. We want our prayers answered in our time frame, according to our stipulations. But always, His solutions are wiser; His timing is perfect. We see the truth of this reflected in the change of seasons, and the way the earth revolves around the sun. We see it in the way our children grow and pass through predictable developmental stages. Perhaps, like me, you have been blessed to also witness this truth in your personal life.

And so, we wait. And because we are human, we forget to keep the image alive in our minds. The darkness looms in the winters of our souls, and we grow weary.

This is why we must not wait alone. For, just as my mother-in-law stands at my side to share the joy of new life in each spring, the joining with others in this waiting peppers our anticipation. We are like the flowers: each beautiful and unique in our singleness, but side by side we reflect a glory that is greater than our own. We were created to stand together, complimenting and strengthening as we do so.

When the landscape of life looks bleak, remember the springtime. Remember the flowers. Underneath the stark and barren exterior lies something beautiful waiting to burst forth. We can rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.

An Endless List of Gifts

Last night, the trees whispered to me.

I have always wanted a fence in our back yard, just to make it easier with the dogs. As it is, anytime they need to go out I have to leash ‘em up and walk around the house a time or two. Very inconvenient. But sometimes, I am grateful that a fence costs too much, and we don’t have the pioneer ability to put one in ourselves. God has used these quiet times, especially in the evening, to share a moment with me.

Last night, as my furry babies lumbered around the front yard, I heard the tiniest of rustling noises. Looking up, I saw the limbs of our Bradford pear gracefully moving in rhythm to the spring breeze. The newly born blossoms on her branches made the sweetest of noises, and as I watched her bend and sway, I was caught up in this mysterious dance of nature. I felt the language of the wind and the trees and it filled my heart with joy. I knew the Lord was there.

Oh, my dear friend, when was the last time you shared such a moment with the Lord? A moment so sweet that He brings tears to your eyes because of His tenderness?

I know I have talked at length about gratitude before. But, again, I feel compelled to speak of the power there is in thankfulness. Yesterday, while at the hospital, I discussed everything I have learned about the benefits of having a thankful heart with one of my patients. This dear 89 year old has suffered a stroke, and is going through the most difficult season of her life. She is having trouble falling asleep. We decided that before she closes her eyes each night, she will think of at least three things that happened during the day for which she is thankful. As we talked, I watched this dear woman’s eyes light up as she thought of her many blessings. Here was something she could understand. Here was something that had great power in her mind and heart. There is nothing so amazing to turn one’s thoughts around as gratitude.

That is why I have decided to join one of my favorite bloggers, Ann at Holy Experience, and share with you my Endless List of Gifts. I call Ann “Beautiful Heart” because reading her posts makes my heart ache from their beauty. Today I will begin. My goal is to share something I am blessed by every time I enter this portal that is our friendship.

Here are my first offerings…

1. My Pussy Willow dancing in the spring breeze. Beautiful.


2. Two boxes of melt-in-your-mouth pralines sent directly from
the Savannah Candy Company from someone we love.


3. An afternoon nap on a rainy day with two Boston Terriers.