Buds and Blossoms

Our peonies are blooming! Oh, what a glorious sight! The only sad part about these beauties, is that they have little to no fragrance. But as one friend said, what they lack in fragrance, they certainly make up for in their stunning color.

These peonies reminded me how we sometimes expect things to be a certain way because of their outward appearance. When we purchased these bulbs years ago, we probably would have passed them by had we known this variety was missing the signature fragrance we have come to love. But if we passed them by, we would have missed these gigantic showy blooms greeting us in May. Now they are a showpiece in our garden, and I look forward to them every year.

I took a walk around the yard after church today, and just had to take a few more photos of some of the flowers in bloom. Our daughter planted foxglove under our mailbox and beneath the cherry tree. They are all in full bloom now, as are the yellow Knock Out roses. We weren’t sure they would survive their first winter, but they came back stronger than ever and are bursting with roses!

All these gorgeous flowers come as a reward for enduring the long, cold winter. I’m certain springtime blossoms are appreciated even more by those living in the snow belt states!

It’s hard to believe a week ago we were struggling to hit 50 degrees and even turned our heat back on at night. It’s currently 88 degrees today in Ashburn, VA, with increasing humidity. You would think after living here for over 20 years we would be accustomed to this leap into summertime temperatures each spring. But I’ll sure take this over the damp, rainy days of April!

Wherever you are, and whatever your weather may be, I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring day.

Have a blessed week ahead!

Abundant Blessings

In my life, I have been abundantly blessed. I have a loving, supportive family, many wonderful friends, a beautiful home, and a fulfilling job. But it is my faith in God that has provided a foundation for my life, and has kept me strong through the darkest times.

Trusting God through the toughest challenges in life has not always been easy, but it has provided me with a greater sense of freedom. It allows me to step aside and let go of things beyond my control. This is easier now that I can look back and recall the many ways God guided me, or my loved ones, through some seemingly hopeless situations.

How often I remember trying to force my way through a challenge, thinking my path was the best way forward. Through a lot of trial and error, I learned that is never the best way unless I seek God’s guidance first.

This Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for a God who forgives me time and again for thinking I always know what’s best. (I don’t.) I am thankful for a God who loves me even when I’m convinced I can go it alone. (I can’t.) And I am thankful for a God who is bigger than whatever life dishes out. (He is!)

As you gather around the table, wherever it may be, may gratitude fill your heart, and may the Lord bless you abundantly.