The Little Things

Many of the “big things” have been taken away from us recently.

  • birthday parties
  • funerals
  • weddings
  • baby showers
  • celebrations
  • graduations
  • JOBS!

So, we are left with the little things.

I bought these tiny vases at the pottery festival this year with the idea that I would pick tiny flowers and display them together, multiplying their impact. As you can see from the photo – it worked! These little violets grow all around the edges of our yard, but go unnoticed because they are small. Their delicate beauty would be lost in a large bouquet.

Georgia O’Keeffe, who painted very large canvases (some 30ft. by 30ft) said that she saw people pass by beautiful flowers without noticing them. “I will paint these flowers so large, you will have to notice them,” declared O’Keeffe.

and she did…

and they did.

Now we are left with the little things as we stay home and practice social distancing, respecting the health of our families, friends, and neighbors.

This is more difficult for some folks than others. I have two members of my family who seem to be enjoying the social isolation very much. Their introverted personalities thrive in quiet, contemplative times.

Several others of us feel a void of social interaction. Two of our granddaughters have been reported to me as whiny and even crabby. (I guess you could ask Phil if the same is true of their Nana.) As extroverts, our souls feed on social interaction, and right now, they are not being fed in that way.

Yet I am learning to appreciate the little things. Our yard has never looked so good this time of year. A large part of that is due to all the rain and a mild spring, but additionally, since I am home, I have weeded and trimmed places that have been at the bottom of my “list.” I am finding great joy and peace in my garden.

I sense God’s presence there.

After all, it all began in a garden, didn’t it?

Before there were all the “big” things, there were just two people and their Creator. They walked together in the garden in the cool of the day.

So, during this time of social isolation, I have the opportunity to “walk with my Creator.”  I can sense His presence apart from the usual rush of life filled with the “big” things.

Psalm 16: 8-11

I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.[

    My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead[
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

It is also a time for prayer. There are many suffering because of COVID-19.

There are others who are suffering because of life events apart from this crisis.

My prayer is that I will use this time for God’s glory –

noticing the little things and allowing them to satisfy.

 

 

 

 

Time to Wait

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My granddaughter planted seeds last week. Her mother told me the next day that Rachel went out and looked at the spot where she had planted and said – “Where are the flowers? ”

“You have to wait, dear.”

Waiting is SO difficult. Currently I have several very dear friends who are waiting….

  • for results about what cancer treatment is recommended – radiation, chemo, both
  • for healing from a miscarriage
  • for visas to come through so their family can leave for the foreign mission field
  • for results in a court case
  • for hip replacement surgery
  • for results of an evaluation of a grandson with special needs, so he can receive the services he needs
  • for healing of the heart for her precious daughter

All these situations are in the forefront of each of these friends’ minds.

They are also of utmost importance to God.

How do I know that? Because in I Peter 5:6-11, Paul ends his letter to the early Christians this way –

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. 

Verse 7 says, cast – or give ALL your anxiety to God – because He cares for you!

I believe God does care about each of the concerns we face. That may not make it easier to wait, but it does give me hope while I wait.

I called Rachel and told her that Nana had planted seeds, too. I told her it was time to wait – the seeds would grow and be beautiful flowers – someday. Now there is no danger of Rachel just sitting, watching and waiting until the seeds send up shoots. She is one active three-year old – no doubt about it! She will probably remember to check frequently, but Rachel has many other things to do.

That made me think about myself during times of waiting. Sometimes there is NOTHING else we can do, sometimes there are many things to do.

The issue for me is not to miss something God has for me to do just because I am waiting. I need to ask God for direction in the interim, while I am waiting. It also makes the wait time go faster if I am serving others, not just focusing on my own concerns.

God is faithful – we must also be faithful – while we wait.

 

In My Garden with God        #18

Dormant

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Phil and I recently planted grass seed on some bare spots in our lawn. Well, it is a stretch to call it a lawn…  You know, the green part in front of our house.

Well, actually it is a stretch to call it green. It is brown mud or moss.

So – last year I planted grass seed about March 3rd and it came up beautifully! Then as the weather dried up in June, so did the new grass. The roots weren’t established enough when the temperatures rose and there wasn’t as much rain to keep the new grass alive.

SO – this year I planted in JANUARY. My plan is that the grass seeds will sprout and the roots will be established long before the temperatures rise and the rain stops. I won’t make the same mistake I made last year.

Only one problem – the seeds are lying dormant.

  • The seeds need water – we’ve had plenty of that.
  • The seeds need sun – we have had several sunny days (between the rain)
  • The seeds need warmth to germinate – NOT ENOUGH WARMTH in JANUARY!

The definition of dormant for a plant is – “alive but not actively growing.”

So, my dormant grass seed is alive, but not actively growing. My hope is that as soon as it starts getting warm, the grass seeds will sprout. At least they are ready and waiting.

This situation got me thinking about raising our children. Two friends and I were talking about this at lunch today – as loving parents we work hard to provide all our children need to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes we feel we made mistakes with one child, so we try something different with the next child. (just like I did with the seeds) In discussing this we realized that as hard as we tried, we still made mistakes. Only God’s grace made our feeble efforts effective.

In I Corinthians 3:5-7 Paul is talking about how God’s servants minister to their fellow Christians.

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 

It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.          NLT

As Christian parents we must do all we can to help our children grown spiritually. But as Paul said so clearly – “God makes the seed grow”. God will use parents, friends, teachers, coaches, aunts, uncles, and YES – grandparents to plant and water those spiritual seeds.

We must not be discouraged if we don’t see growth when we think we should. Those spiritual seeds may be lying dormant – alive, but not actively growing at this time.

God makes them grow.

 

 

In My Garden with God #14