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Posts Tagged ‘Rose’

I am not an expert gardener, but one thing I do know is that most plants have specific needs regarding where they are planted.

Although a dandelion will grow just about anywhere, a rose is more fickle. Sedum will grow in a plastic bag, stuffed in a box, under the deck (true story), but impatience will wilt under direct sun.

Sometimes I am like that fickle rose. I need lots of sun, but not too much, lots of water, but at the right times. If you uproot me, and place me in new soil, I am likely to reject my new soil.

Sedum Autumn Joy 2

I wish I were more like Sedum. Sedum is a hardy plant that will grow in sun or shade, in heat or cool, with lots of water or in dry soil, in a pot or in the ground, in sand or clay. With leaves that hold moisture, it is self sufficient, and thrives when most plants wilt under the hot summer sun. It is the plant you just cannot kill!

In the spring it emerges from the ground in a perfectly formed mound of lovely light green. As it grows it’s leaves darken and white blooms push forth, seeking the light. Then, as summer moves on towards autumn the white flowers change to pink, then salmon, and finally to a deep burgundy before the cold of winter causes the plant to become dormant. Even in the midst of winter, the flowers that remain are a visual distraction from the wilted plants around it.

No matter where you plant Sedum, it will bloom.

I wish I were more like Sedum. I wish that I would grow and thrive and blossom and bloom wherever I am planted. I wish that I could rely only on the sustenance that I was created for, and not continually stretch my roots out for more. I wish that even when all around me is death, I would still stand tall pointed to the sky.

We all have all that we need within our reach. God has granted us His Spirit to dwell within us, and we, like a succulent plant, need only to rest in the assurance that our needs will be met from within, through the thirst-quenching of the Spirit. With the Spirit dwelling in us, we simply have to bloom … right there (right here) where we are planted.

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This is a series about a woman, roses on a park bench, and an amazing set of circumstances that bring her into a new future … one she never could have dreamed, would take her from sorrow to hope.
Each week there will be a new installment.

As I looked back to see what is was that caught my eye, I was intrigued to see it was a bouquet of flowers, laying on an empty park bench.

The bench was seated in front of a small apartment building, but near to the sidewalk. So that if one was out for a walk it could provide a place of rest. Although there was a bus stop just a few feet away, the bench did not have the appearance of a bus stop bench, but one a person might have in their garden.

The bouquet of flowers looked fresh, very fresh. As though they had been just bought that morning, but forgotten on the bench by someone.

I wonder if they were forgotten by someone. Maybe that person laid them on the bench for just a moment while making a call, or helping a young child pick up the toy they dropped. Then, when their bus arrived they forgot to pick them up again.

Or, maybe a woman had been given the flowers while on a date,  last date, with a man whose charm was only on the surface. And maybe he gave her the flowers at the beginning of the date, only to dump her as their time together moved on. And maybe, the beautiful on the surface, but bitter to her heart’s eyes bouquet got thrown to the bench, like her heart to sorrow.

Or, maybe there was a woman waiting for her love to arrive off of the bus, and when he arrived he was overcome by her appearance, and set the bouquet down on the bench. Then he rose to go to her and greet her with a passionate kiss. The flowers forgotten as his eyes and thoughts were only of her.

What was that?

Oh my, horns are honking! I just lost my head in my imaginative world. I am ridiculous!

I looked back at the man in the vehicle behind me. He was angry, volatile really, with his mouth moving, and hands flailing. It was as if my crime of daydreaming which caused him to have to wait a few seconds longer at an intersection, was the worst violation possible.

I moved my vehicle into drive, and looked straight ahead to avoid the glares and raised finger of the man in the truck behind me. He could seriously use a romantic story right now.

As we were directed through the intersection I glanced around, wondering about the stories of the lives of the people who had been involved in the accident. I wondered if they were hurt badly. I wondered what this accident might have kept them from. I wondered if the effects of this seemingly minor accident, might affect the course of their lives.

Then I shook my head.

What was I thinking? My daydreaming had just about caused the heart failure of the man driving behind me. I could not allow my pondering of what looked like a minor fender bender to possibly cause some other horrible fate for another.

The possible stories were endless, though.

One chance meeting, one glance in a certain direction, could result in a tragedy that could change the lives of people forever.

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This is a series about a woman, roses on a park bench, and an amazing set of circumstances that bring her into a new future … one she never could have dreamed, would take her from sorrow to hope.
Each week there will be a new installment.

Finally, I had gotten all of the kids dropped off to school, and I was as free as a bird to spend the entire day as I desired.

I had it all planned. I would go to the coffee shop, order my most favorite, ‘happy’ drink (an Earl Grey Tea Latte). Then I would find a seat by window, and sit reading my novel, for as long as I desired.

I could feel my body relaxing, just from imagining how wonderful it would be!

I didn’t even feel guilty for this ‘unproductive’ me time. It had been months, no, years since I had any time to myself (unless you counted the few times that I would get groceries on my own).

Finally, ten years after having baby number one (also known as Alison), seven years after having baby number two (also known as Michael), and five years after having Suzanna, I was about to have a day to myself.

Today I took Suzanna to school for the first time. While other mothers and their children sniffed and sobbed, Suzanna did her best to convince me that I did not have to walk her into the classroom. I did though, not because I felt she needed me to, or that I needed to do so for myself, but because it seemed like the right thing to do. Really it was because I was worried what the other mothers and the teacher would think if I my little girl were to walk herself into class on the first day of kindergarten.

Ah, the old, “what would people think of me” conundrum. I wonder if we ever outgrow that guilt-laden way of thinking. I wonder, at what age do we begin to thing that way? Making our decisions based on what other people would think of us. I am sure it must be a learned way of thinking, and not something that we do innately.

For now, though, there was no guilt, no pressures, no stresses. It was just me and an entire day of freedom. I was almost giddy with anticipation.

Then, out of nowhere, the car ahead of me stopped abruptly. My brain and body went into automatic pilot, and my vehicle screeched to an immediate stop. I was sure I was mere millimeters from the vehicle in front of me, but was so thankful that the sound of crunching metal, that I had anticipated, never was made.

I peered to the left, and the right, and still could see no reason for the abrupt stop. So I rolled my window down, so as to lean out and see ahead of the line of waiting vehicles. It appeared to be an accident, at the intersection. There was a police cruiser, and vehicle parts in the intersection.

I moved my head back into my van, and as I did something to the left caught my eye.

Rose Part 1

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This is a series about a woman, roses on a park bench, and an amazing set of circumstances that bring her into a new future … one she never could have dreamed, would take her from sorrow to hope.
Each week there will be a new installment.

Prelude

Walking to the bench, the bench I had passed so many times, was like that magical experience of walking the flower lined aisle at my wedding, with my eyes filled with contained tears. I was walking deliberately, intentionally, from the past, and into a new future, full of dreams and hopes like a bride, eager to sign the marriage covenant with the one she loves.

As I lay the bouquet on the bench, and the tears spilled onto my cheeks, a sense of beginning and of completion took over. All of the pieces of my life were flashing before me. I could see how interwoven each and every step of my life was.

I felt as though by laying these roses on the bench, I was saying goodbye and hello. I felt as though my action, although small, tied me to the past and to the future at the same time.

My future … it was not long ago that I felt I had no future. It was just days before when death looked more hopeful than life itself. It was just days before when a death brought me back to life. No, not back to life, it was as if I was introduced to life for the first time.

Days ago, I had not dreamed that I would, that I could find such value and satisfaction from such a simple act. Days ago death was all I could see.

There is just no way that anyone could ever have constructed the details of so many things of the past number of years, of my whole life, to bring me to this point. In the most perfect of timing, revelations of my past were placed into my hands, and they allowed me to open the door to my future. It was all such impossibility that these circumstances were laid out in front of my, in a way that would bring me full circle.

The questions that I had stopped asking, but were always with me, were answered. The pieces of my life had come together in the most beautiful bouquet of completion. My life, my whole life, had come together, like seeds and plants of a variety of species, planted together in a garden designed by a master

There is only one way for all of these pieces to come together in the way they had, and that way was so out of my control, and yet in complete control of my entire life, all this time.

I took a deep breath, stood back to look at those roses on the bench, tears flowing steadily.

From somewhere deep inside of me, a song emerged on my tongue;

“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses …”

Rose Part 2

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