I love my flower gardens. They bring me joy - I love seeing the beautiful flowers bloom and to be able to go out my front door and sit on the step in the midst of their beauty. I also love to cut them and bring them into the house, tucking a jar of flowers on the piano, in the bathroom, on a shelf....
These roses are from a bouquet I bought for Rachel's 13th birthday!
It would be easy to focus on all the work that goes in to having these flower gardens around the house.
They all had to be dug out of rock hard soil. We used mushroom mulch for years to make the soil more fertile. Friends divided perennials to get me started. I added more flowers over the years, find the ones that best suited me and the amount of time I had to spend on them. Some flowers need more 'babying' than others. I've stuck with peonies, some roses, purple coneflower, black eyed susan, shasta daisies, lavender, salvia, feverfew, hollyhocks, hydrangea, daylilies, iris, tulips, mums....
There are weeds that have to be dealt with as well. Lots of weeds...now weeds are mostly actually real plants that have medicinal value or are good for food - but we call them weeds because they are in our nice neat flower beds and we didn't put them there! But I do have one vine - that looks like it is in the morning glory family but it doesn't flower is just grows wildly everywhere twining it's way around everything....It takes work to keep that thing in check and out of the gardens...
A lot of people would look at the beauty of a garden and say "Oh, that's just too much work!" They can't even really enjoy it because all they see is the 'work' of it. They don't see the joy. There is a phrase in Linda Dillow's book 'Calm My Anxious Heart' that has been helpful to we ladies from church who are doing a book study with this book;
"Two women looked through prison bars,
One saw mud, the other saw stars."
It has caused us to look at what we are focusing on. Am I looking at my circumstances and seeing only the negatives? Or am I focusing on Him and all the blessings in the midst of trials and hardships?
Many women are going through real trials - pain in their marriages, children with cancer, financial loss. Their hurt is real. But our Heavenly Father, who is sovereign in all things, knows what we need, and He knows what He is doing to accomplish His will in our lives.
I can choose to focus on His goodness, and to learn to accept His will for my life. I can choose to allow Him to work in me, until He finishes His work in my life. Philippians 1:6 says And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Linda Dillow writes of the Proverbs 31 woman in chapter 3 of this same book;
"All that she became was a result of her yielding to His sovereign control. She allowed Him to place His brushstrokes on the canvas of her life."
I am choosing to focus on Him and His goodness. I am choosing with His help to be busy in the role He has given to me, to be my husbands helpmeet, to disciple my children, to encourage others....to pull lots of weeds out of both my life and my garden.
What are you focusing on?