Breathing Room

It’s time for a walk in the garden. Will you join me?

This year, my husband put our daughter in charge of planting flower bulbs at either end of the garden. We gave her a budget and she ordered a variety of lilies and dahlias. They were planted in late spring after the danger of frost had passed.

After the lilies bloomed and faded, there was a miscommunication of where the dahlia bulbs were planted.  So my husband decided he would also plant flowers. He planted zinnias. Lots of zinnias. This was in addition to the vegetables he had already planted.

By early summer, it was apparent that our daughter’s dahlias were being smothered. They just couldn’t find the needed space to grow. All the flowers were overcrowded — even the zinnias — and we had very few blooms.

You can definitely have too much of a good thing. Our beautiful flowers had no room to breathe.

Hidden Beauty

As the summer waned and our vegetables were nearly all harvested, our daughter began thinning the overgrowth little by little. Then an amazing thing happened! Within days, we discovered flower stalks that had been hidden. And within a week, we began seeing beautiful blossoms of all kinds. And now our mums and Mexican Sunflowers are also blooming, right on schedule.

Here is a sample of some of the beauty we are seeing in our backyard right now.

What a colorful blessing so late in the season! I hope they will continue to grow and bloom until our first frost. I will miss all these beautiful flowers during the cold months ahead.

Which reminds me, I need to find the spring bulb catalogs that arrived in the mail last week.

The Law of Love

Like many of you, I have been grappling with my thoughts for the past few weeks. My heart is heavy, and at this particular time, it is difficult to adequately convey my feelings about all that is happening in the world.

The most difficult thing for me has been witnessing what happens when people stop listening to one another. Conversation stops and tempers flare.

And we have all been isolated for three months with no human interaction other than Zoom, chat rooms, and social media. This could never be a good thing.

Pick a Side 

“Whose side are you on?”

This is a question with huge ramifications, especially when it is presented on social media. Everyone must choose a side. There is no space for neutrality or an urgency to seek common ground. And sharing your opinion can be downright dangerous, with “doxxing” becoming a favorite weapon used to intimidate and silence opposing thought.

Sadly, this is how many people not only find their world perspective, but view their personal worth. Without social media accounts, they lose their identity altogether.


Love God and Love People

I am grateful that my identity is grounded in my faith. As a follower of Jesus, I do my best to live according to his teachings. It is the only way I can feel at peace as I navigate my way through this chaotic world.

When asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied,

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew‬ ‭22:37-40‬

Simply put, this is the law of love.

We all must recognize the importance of listening to our neighbors when they are hurting. If we lose our ability to empathize and feel compassion for one another, how can we begin to heal?

I was listening to a song on the radio yesterday, Love God Love People by Danny Gokey. The simple lyrics speak to the scattered lives we live in this time and place, running in circles, jumping the hurdles. Perhaps we make life way more complicated than it needs to be.

If each of us commits to loving ALL God’s people, lives will change. Maybe it really is that simple.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash