Gratitude Day 119 – Perennial

hydrangiaFri., Sept. 14, 2018

Isaiah 40:28 – Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn’t grow tired or weary. His understanding is beyond human reach,

I LOVE FLOWERS.

I love having flower gardens in our yard. I love having flowers around our house. I love walking by and seeing different flowers blooming at various stages of the spring, summer and fall.

I love having fresh flowers in the house. After we moved to our current home, I decided that I would always have fresh flowers in the house. I chose to have them on our kitchen island. I love walking into our house through the back door, scoot the small butler’s pantry and into the kitchen where there is a vase or pitcher of fresh flowers or a seasonal plant on the island.

coneflowerOn our porch, I have pots of annual flowers. This summer, they have been fantastic. We have had a warmer summer in Wisconsin, with more humidity than normal. This means the coleus, angel-winged begonias and sweet potato vines have exploded.

wheelbarrowYet, I also love having perennial flowers in the gardens and beds around the house and yard. Over Memorial Day weekend, I decided to dig out some of the boring plants in the beds and install more color and variety. My neighbor Claudine offered to give me some perennials from her flower beds. After spending over an hour poking through Claudine’s flower gardens, I pushed an overflowing wheelbarrow full of plants back to my house. I went to work, digging and moving and putting these flowers in my yard, along with some plants I had purchased at a couple area greenhouses.

Did I mention it was an unseasonably warm Memorial Day weekend?

hostaThis fall, some of those plants are now coming into their own. I need to spend an afternoon “tweaking” the flower beds. Some plants are bigger than I expected. Some already have little baby plants growing off of them. All beds have a few weeds growing in them.

bledding heartAs much as I love the bursts of color that annuals can quickly bring to a flower garden, I love using perennials as the foundation. The flowers that will grow back year after year. The plants that bring structure and depth and stability to the flower gardens.

What brings structure, depth and stability to your daily life? What provides the strong foundation that you go back to again and again?

For me, it’s faith in God. God is perennially a part of my daily life. Another word for perennial? Everlasting. Meaning God has no beginning and no ending. There forever.

sedumMany things in my life will change. Where I live. My job. My career. The flowers around my house. One thing is perennial. One thing is everlasting. God.

Does God make the perennial list in your life?

Almighty God – sometimes, it’s hard to understand who You are. When hurricanes are barreling down, and floods have drowned out people’s hopes and dreams, it is so easy to question where You are. Remind us anew that when You promise to be a part of our lives, You promise to perennially be there; not always remove every awful or potentially awful thing in our lives. May we appreciate and value Your perennial and everlasting presence in our lives. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 118 – Perspective

Thurs., Sept. 13, 2018

1 Peter 2:4 – Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable.

I’ve been looking at the top of my piano and wanting something just a bit different. The decorations have been fine this summer. As we move towards fall, I am looking for something different.

White #1

I know. The easy fix would have been to put a few pumpkins and fall flowers in the vases. And I will do this soon. But I felt like it needed something just a bit more than this.

White Single

I looked at the rustic white candlesticks and had an idea.

Black.

Paint really is a designer’s best friend. It’s inexpensive and can change perspective of something so quick. I found a bottle of black spray paint in the basement. There happened to be a tarp in the back yard and so I went to work. Hubby Rick has taught me well: several thin layers of spray paint are more effective than one heavy, runny layer.

Painting

It was a beautiful day. Literally, each paint coat only took minutes to dry. Soon, all three candle holders were sufficiently black and ready to go back to their homes.

Black #2

Isn’t it amazing the difference some black paint makes?

If you prefer the rustic white before picture, it’s OK. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Black #1

Thankfully, we don’t always have the same perspective. We see things from different vantage points. We have different ideas and concepts and potential options. Sometimes, just a small shift in perspective can help us see something from a completely different perspective.

Whose perspective am I most challenged by? God’s.

Whose perspective do I most often appreciate, even when I’m not always happy and supportive in the moment? God’s.

Have you had the situation when you wonder why God was not more aware of your position? You question why God didn’t listen to you.

When we allow ourselves to see something from a slightly different perspective, we begin to see why God didn’t listen to us earlier. Praise the Lord.

It is so easy to ditch God and question God’s judgement on something. Occasionally, we become aware that God’s perspective really is more appropriate than our perspective. In the moment, it’s hard to see. But sometimes, I pray we see that God has a much wider and broader and deeper understanding than we ever will.

Black #3

For a different perspective than my own, I am grateful.

Lord God – thanks for being patient with us when we want something our way right now. I pray that we can open ourselves to the possibility of your perspective. Sometimes, just a slight shift is all it takes. I pray we let You help us see new perspectives. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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