Flower Power

Christian womanhood, flowers, home, Jesus, lifestyle, Motherhood, thanksgiving, Travel, Travel Home

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“Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty

outvalues all the utilities in the world.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What compares to a bundle of joyful petals and stems? Hint: pretty much nothing. From everyday moments and celebratory occasions to honoring the deceased, there is hardly a situation not made more pleasant or comforting by seeing and smelling flowers. Historically there were both symbolic and pragmatic reasons for having pretty blossoms at events like weddings and funerals. Some reasons are quite hilarious (think lack of hygiene), and I’m glad the tradition remains.

In the current temperature of our culture, writing about flowers may seem trite, but I believe noticing and appreciating God’s creation is an important part of our lives. It is this purposeful noticing that leads us into an attitude of thankfulness and then joy. Ann Voskamp writes, “God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy” (One Thousand Gifts).

Motherhood is challenging (which is a super nice way of saying it’s like getting caught in a riptide–but then, when you come up sputtering for a breath of air, you witness the most beautiful sunset). There are so many emotions and questions. I often wonder if I’m doing it right, but one thing I’m proud of is teaching my daughter to smell flowers every time she comes across them. Watching her jam her nose into a plant, sniffing, looking–what a comfort to my heart. It’s symbolic of how I hope she views life. Taking in the beauty around her, neither too busy nor detached to lean in and show affection–this is how I hope she will be as a person, woman, and (I pray) a follower of King Jesus.

I believe in the power of fresh flowers, particularly ones that are locally grown. Of course the grocery store variety are a gift as well. Toss that $4.97 bouquet into your cart and then into a mason jar when you get home–brighten your house and your mood! But it’s been a special thing to know our local flower lady (Beth with The Flower Peddler). We met at the local Farmer’s Market, and my favorite Saturdays involved treks home with my plunder of fresh produce, donuts, and flowers from Beth.

Buying local flowers is a way to beautify your home with unique nature elements and support a local small business. Knowing even tidbits about the fauna and flora of your area helps foster an appreciation. Indigenous flowers grow more easily, and you’re adding to the beauty of your community. I’m terrible at remembering their names, but I want to be better–Asters, Sweet Peas, Zenias, Phlox, and the ever mystifying Southern Magnolia are a few local favorites of my area. Soon I hope to plant some flowers with my daughter. May we notice, nurture, and enjoy.

At the risk of over quoting Emerson (but good grief, the man writes of flowers so well) he wrote, “Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.” I want to always see the flowers, even when fear, busyness, or the mundane bits of the day seem to fill my life, may I always see the flowers in it.

 

 

 

Of Water and Sacrifice

flowers, Jesus, life poured out, love

Growing up, one of the morning rituals for my mom was to go outside and water her flowers. She had some amazing flower beds and taught me that every home needs some flowers growing around it, even if it is just a few.

Now that I have my own place, I have planted a few flowers (nothing like my mama’s) and enjoy the pop of color and life they bring. We have a large, green watering pot, but many times I simply use an empty Folger’s coffee container to water the flowers. The container sits in the same spot, under the spout for Sue, our remaining dog, and I water the flowers and fill it up again for her.


It is an old, ordinary, plastic container, and it is certainly nothing at which to look. On its own, it is worth diddly-squat. But that does not matter, because it holds the elixir of life: water. What matters is not the carrier, but what is carried. What matters is not the vessel, but what is brought. And so it is with us: it is what’s poured out that matters.



Ugo Bassi, a preacher and writer of the 1800s penned these words:


          Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
          Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth;
          For love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice

And what is this water of life to be poured forth? It is the love of Christ, love that we cannot earn or buy, only freely accept and offer to others by sacrificing our lives. We don’t have to thirst, and we don’t have to be empty (even if there are days we feel we are). The Water of Life comes from a well that will never run dry. He promised. 

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14 (NLT)

Keep the Faith,
Audrey Ann


Photo Credits: Google Images/www.freephotosandart.com