Trusting = Faith

Tues., Sept. 26, 2017

Hebrews 11:1 – Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.

My husband never ceases to amaze me. We’ve been living in our fixer-upper home for a little over two years. In that time, we’ve made significant changes to the house. On the docket for this summer: painting the outside trim. The trim was a royal blue color. While it’s a nice color, it wasn’t my preference. It didn’t quite match the singles nor the indoor/outdoor floor covering on the porches. The first fall we lived in the house, we painted the foundation more of a grey/blue which we highly preferred. It was now time to paint the rest of the trim a granite steel color.

This summer, Rick has been consistently painting the trim. He started painting the 53 windows of the house. Yep. 53. At the end of last week, he had about a dozen windows or so yet to do. Also yet to do: the four third-story peaks. We talked of renting a lift with a bucket to reach these precarious areas. Rick thought the lift would leave ruts in the yard. It’s taken two years to get the yard looking the way he wants it to look. He wasn’t ready to start over.

Instead, Rick came up with his own solution. He painted several windows from inside the house. Maybe more appropriately – hanging out from the inside of the house. Painting the peaks? This required more creativity.

Last Saturday morning was the day he was going to paint the peaks. Never mind this was also the warmest weekend of the summer/fall. He bounded out of bed bright and early and went to pick up an extension ladder he borrowed from friends. Pretty soon, there was a series of ropes and come-and-go belts snaked through my office and out the window. Anchored to a staircase banister, they were attached to the extension ladder perched on the flat roof outside of the window and hooked to a rope Rick tied around his waist. These non-OSHA approved safety devices were, at best, red-neck. My first thought: “You can take the boy off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.”

Rick assured me he didn’t really need these safety measures. He wouldn’t fall off the ladder nor would the ladder slip. They were simply “just in case” measures. He had faith he could paint the peaks with no hiccups.

Faith. What do we have faith in? Where is faith found? Who is the source of our faith? I’ve known for a long time Rick has a deep-seeded faith. His faith isn’t in the ropes and such. Rick’s true faith is knowing someone bigger is watching over him.

Several years ago, we sang a song at VBS called “Faith.” It has become one of those songs I often sing in my head:

It seems like there so much to hope for, so many dreams I wish they all could come true.

When I think about Your ways, Lord, it gives me so much faith in all that you do.

Faith to see beyond what I can’t see.

Faith to know that You will do great things.

I will trust You Lord, I’ll always believe.

As I hold on to my faith, Jesus you are holding on to me.

Rick literally believed Jesus would hold onto him as he painted those precarious peaks of the house.

What do you hang onto when the going gets tough? Do you depend upon a series of earthly things that can fail you? Or, do you hang onto the One, True God?

Faith is often difficult because we can’t see it. We can’t touch it. We can’t physically describe it.

Yet, I cannot deny faith. Faith is the unseen things I feel in my heart. It’s the unseen comfort I have felt when God is with me. It’s the unseen presence of God that brings me peace.

Rick completed the painting without a hitch. Fortunately, he didn’t need the safety devices. They were “just in case.” The newly-painted trim looks GREAT! We’re both thankful this project is officially completed. I’m thankful for a husband who hatches with creative ideas. I’m also thankful for a husband whose faith is such that he knows daily who watches over him.

Lord God – Faith is hard to describe because it’s not something we see. It’s something we feel, we trust, we experience. Thanks for hanging unto us when we slip. Thanks for being our safety net and rope. May our faith in you be what keeps us safe in you. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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When We Said, “I Do”

weddingSat., Aug. 26, 2017

John 15:12 – This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you.

Seventeen years ago, we said “I do.”

It began as a stormy, wet morning and turned into a muggy, humid day. It was also the day Rick decided to wash his car rather than make sure a couple more fans made it to the reception area to keep our guests cool. This would not be the last time we would disagree on a choice.

But when you say, “I do,” those words are more important than who is right.

Who wants to be right.

Who was right last time.

When you say, “I do,” two people make a choice in which individual feelings are not always more important than a joint resolution.

It’s a choice to stay together … no matter what.

It’s a life choice that is about the long game and not just the short game.

For us, saying “I do” means we don’t give up or give in.

We figure it out with no other alternative ever voiced, explored or contemplated.

Because, there is only “I do.”

Yes, we have disappointed each other. We’ve let each other down. And wished we could take back some sentences that should have been kept private and not spoken aloud.

Our marriage hasn’t always been a pretty field of flowers. Rick was still wounded from the unexpected death of his oldest 21-year-old son who died just months before we said, “I do.” We had both recently changed jobs and careers. We moved twice within a few months of becoming Mr. and Mrs. I commuted to school, as we tried to figure out how to be a married couple who saw each other only on weekends.

While the years have been peppered with wonderful and joyful times, the challenging days and weeks are not forgotten. A grandson who slipped away after being present for 16 short days. Three of our parent’s health changing significantly in 10 days. We have packed, moved and unpacked our belongings several times. We’ve helped clean out homes no longer occupied by our parents. We have physically been apart more of the last 6,205 days than we have been together. We’ve witnessed divorce, death and disappointment.

Yet, we’ve always come back to “I do” because it gives us hope.

For us, continuing to say, “I do” is an everyday choice. It’s our choice. One we gladly make. One we don’t take for granted. One, I pray, we get to make for many more days into the future. It’s a choice always grounded in knowing that God loves us more than we love each other. A choice which reflects our belief God brought us together to be one. A choice to keep God as the third and most important leg of our marriage.

We’re not perfect. But we laugh together. And we cry when one or both are hurting. We’ve experienced family, grandchildren and friends together, as well as we have seen some amazing places together. We’ve collected treasure chests full of special memories. We say, “Please,” “Thank you,” “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me” regularly. We count our blessings daily and know where they come from. We try to respect, honor and uplift each other daily, even when apart. We pray together. Worship together. Hold each other’s hand together.

This is our “I do.” Thanks be to God.

Lord God – thank you for the gift of our marriage and your presence in our relationship. May we always keep You as the safety net which surrounds, protects and guides us. Help us continue to say, “I do” for every day we are together on this earth. Amen.

Blessings –

Rick & Dianne Vielhuber

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Generations Behind Freezing Corn

freezing cornFri., Aug. 25, 2017

Psalm 22:30 – Future descendants will serve him; generations to come will be told about my Lord.

Last night was the annual corn-freezing night at the Vielhubers. This one single photo captures so many great aspects of what happens as a part of freezing corn at our house. You see, there’s a whole bunch of generations included in this single photo.

First, the recipe comes from Rick’s Aunt, Betty Cady. I’m not sure where she acquired the recipe. It’s not your regular run-of-the-mill frozen corn recipe. No, this one has cream and butter and corn. It’s like eating a little bit of creamed corn and regular corn all thrown together. This is THE staple corn recipe for any Vielhuber holiday gathering. And has been for years.

Behind the cake pan with the corn is a brown electric knife. This was my Grandma Deaton’s electric knife. I’m confident it is older than I am and has cut more ears of corn than I can imagine. As a child, I remember being in my Grandma Deaton’s basement. They lived in central Iowa. Nearly every summer when my sisters and I would visit, we would freeze and can corn, beans and tomatoes. I learned how to cut corn off the ear quickly and efficiently with this electric knife. It comes out of my cupboard once a year now: for freezing corn. I can hear my Grandma encouraging us in her basement while I press the button to move the blades and skim the kernels off the ear in my kitchen.

Then, there is the corn. I received a text message a few days earlier from LaVonne Reinecke. The Reinecke’s have been neighbors to Rick’s family for years. In fact, three generations of Vielhubers hauled generations of Reinecke milk. My darling husband rounded up the corn from LaVonne for me a couple days earlier, while I was working my agriculture job. The back end of my SUV was full of sweet corn. It waited in the carriage house until Rick was home and could husk the corn while I kept things moving in the kitchen. He came in just in time to help fill the freezer containers with corn. When we ran out of lids (why do you always run out of lids?), Rick finished the job with freezer bags. Unfortunately, the corn made it into the freezer before I captured the finished product. Let me suffice to say: we’ll enjoy it this winter.

Throughout scripture, God reminds the people that the only way future generations will know the importance of knowing, following and serving God is if the current generation shares their faith. Just as we are one generation away from people not knowing how to freeze corn in their homes, we’re just one short generation from people knowing, believing and serving the One True God who loves us, created us and cares for us. And, by the way, created corn.

I pray someday, I can pass along the tradition of freezing corn to some of our next generation. But even more importantly, I pray my actions, what I say and how I conduct myself also makes them aware of God’s place in my life. Let me not be the generation who prevents future generations know the traditions of our faith.

Lord God – Thank you for the generations who have gone before us and shared so many things with us: their faith, their confidence in You, even the traditions we love to maintain like freezing corn. May we value our faith so much that we are not afraid and welcome the opportunity to share our faith with future generations. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Hello, Mr. Sunflower

Mon., Aug. 21, 2017

Isaiah 40:8 – The grass dries up. The flowers fall to the ground. But what our God says will stand forever.

Yesterday, I visited one of the happiest places currently on earth. I went to the Pope Farm Conservancy, just outside of Madison, WI, to see 9 acres of blooming sunflowers.

Actually, it wasn’t quite 9 acres. The sunflowers have been blooming for two weeks. Sunday was the last day the plot was open to the public. Truthfully, some of the sunflowers are starting to droop and have lost their brilliant yellow color. Nonetheless, almost 9 acres of sunflowers is still a stunning sight to be held.

As visitors turned into the bumpy gravel driveway, neon-yellow vest clad volunteers directed vehicles to the appropriate grassy parking spots. Just a few short steps away, raised garden beds were growing a variety of Wisconsin products; from hops to goosefoot. After walking up a small incline, the rows upon rows of gorgeous sunflowers could be seen. Yes, many of their heads were a little droopy. But plenty of show-stopping color was to be found.

People from every age group were there. Newborn babies and parents posed as professional photographers tried to get the perfect shot. Grandma’s being pushed in wheelchairs enjoyed a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Families carried picnic baskets and blankets, with plans for an evening meal surrounded by nature and all those sunflowers. It truly was a beautiful sight to be held.

It’s been a difficult week for the United States. Race riots have turned deadly. Memorials and statues honoring Confederate soldiers are being removed quicker than water turns into ice. This has happened in Madison, WI, about an hour from Ripon, WI, the birthplace of the Republican party. These memorials and statues have been part of local history … until now.

Yet on this Sunday afternoon, it was the sunflowers who prevailed. Their cheerfulness was sought by people from a variety of nationalities. Young and old gazed at the 500,000 plants which seemingly lured people from all walks of life to pause if at least momentarily from the craziness of life and enjoy a little bit of heaven on earth. No one rushed. Everyone was polite. We were all captured by the pure joy of these sunflowers taking their last bow at the tail-end of peak season.

As spectacular as these sunflowers were, their beauty is still short-term. Even yesterday, some flowers were beyond their prime. The gorgeous flowers will soon be all about producing seeds. Their importance as a plant is no less. Just their purpose shifts.

There is one constant that remains steadfast and true; no matter the season: our God. When life seems rather chaotic and out of sorts, there is One who does not change. I pray we lean on this never-changing presence to guide us through seemingly challenging times.

Lord God – your creation is so amazing. Only You could design a field of sunflowers to take our breath away. Yet, we know that even their beauty is short-term. I pray Your constant presence encourages us to lean on You every day, especially when the world may not always make sense. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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It’s Your Name

my name isMon., Aug. 7, 2017

Exodus 33:17 – The Lord said to Moses, “I will do exactly what you have asked. I am pleased with you. And I know your name. I know all about you.”

Within three weeks, my personal identity was compromised twice.

The first time, a person who represented themselves as me contacted a church treasurer and requested almost $20,000 to be wire transferred to an out-of-state account. Unfortunately, both the church and I were compromised. Please be aware that internet scams can happen to anyone.

Then, Rick and I took some kids on a youth mission trip. One day, our work site was a transitional living situation. We had both of our vehicles at the job site. We believe sometime during the day a bag of mine was stolen from inside of my car. We had been in and out of our vehicles all day, getting tools, water and other things. We let our guard down and did not keep our vehicles locked. This bag contained nearly every piece of my personal identification, except my passport. All gone.

I have heard people shared stories of when they or someone they know had their identity stolen. It can be very unsettling to have strangers infringe on your private life. For about a week, I carried an old wallet with basically nothing inside. It still remains a stripped-down version of the fat one that disappeared while on mission trip.

There are very few things we can truly call our own. Our name is one of them.  Several years ago, a man who was a coach at the time for the University of Wisconsin-Madison spoke at the church I was serving. He talked about how there are very few things in life unique to us. One of these things is our name. He challenged us to respect our name, the tradition by which we were named and honor those who named us.

Since my identity has been compromised, I have been thinking about the value of my name. How easily can someone can foil themselves as me. Does this compromise what I stand for and how I conduct myself? What does my name stand for when others hear my name? What is God saying to me through this?

When the Northern Kingdom of Israel was captured by the Babylonians, King Nebuchadnezzar had the best looking, most educated and informed, quick and qualified people brought back to Babylon. He wanted the Israelites to become integrated into Babylonian culture. For this to happen, he chose Israelite leaders to become influencers with the other Israelite people. Among those chosen were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. All four received new names; names which reflected a Babylonian heritage. Yet, the Babylonians had a hard time calling Daniel by his new name, Belteshazzar. It was difficult for them to separate the man from his original Jewish name, Daniel.

It is easy for us to become clear about who we are: what defines us and the call of God in our lives. It is easy for us to lose our identity, either willingly or unwillingly, with culture. We value other’s opinions of what we stand for and how we conduct ourselves. At the end of the day, we consistently fail each other because, well, we cannot be perfect.

Yet, God always knows who and whose we are. God knows everything about us: what we are proud of, what makes us happy and sad, what disappointments we struggle with. God knows our name and what we stand for, even if we struggle with this at times. When we are displeased with ourselves, God finds many things of which to be pleased in us.

Over time, I am recreating the pieces of my identity. At the same time, I am cautiously listening for God’s voice in my life. I know my identity is safe and sound in God’s kingdom.

Lord God – thank you for calling us as your own. Thank you for knowing more about us than we know about ourselves. May we be assured our identity in you is never questioned, but always safe and sound. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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My New Sanctuary

Mon., June 12, 2017

Leviticus 26:2 – Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

I have a new sanctuary. And it’s here at our house.

Last fall, a couple gave us a set of wicker patio furniture. They wanted more room in their condo. They also felt our 110-year-old screened-in porch was just the right location for it. Rick and our neighbor, Larry, brought it home. As it was late fall, we didn’t use the furniture very much. Eventually, it went to the basement for the winter. Recently, Rick and his buddy Randy brought it back up and set it on the porch, accompanied with a comment that wherever they put it, it would not be the right location.

About a week later, I asked Rick to help me move the furniture. He had washed off the patio table and chairs to also go on the porch. Of course, the wicker furniture was in the spot where I wanted the tables and chairs. With not too much grumbling, we got everything moved around.

I was anxious to get the furniture in position and dressed with the newly purchased cushions. The old cushions were fine. I just wanted to make the furniture more cohesive and fit our house. And they do! I also bought some annuals and finally got them potted and appropriately placed in various spots on the porch. Finally, I thought, “This is what I was hoping for.”

Randy and his wife Pat stopped by. Pat loved the lay-out. Her only question to me: “When will you use it?”

Last Saturday night, Rick and I were home alone with nothing pressing to do. A first in a while. I made a couple suggestions. His response: “Let’s just sit on the patio furniture and enjoy the night.” This is exactly what we did. It was lovely.

I was excited to tell Pat at church yesterday that we had used the patio furniture. Cathy overheard and encouraged me to make time this summer to just sit on the porch.

Today was a rare day when I didn’t have anything scheduled right away this morning. I grabbed my first cup of coffee, devotion books, calendar and to-do list and headed to the porch. It took me about two seconds to recognize this is what I must do every morning. Too often, I bolt through the beginning of my day without getting my heart and mind in the right place. Too often, I fail to dedicate everything I will attempt to do for the glory and honor of God’s kingdom. Too often, other things seem more important than a few minutes caring for my soul.

God’s sanctuary can be in a variety of places. A house of worship is most common. Sometimes, people tell me the golf course or their boat is their sanctuary. These can be sanctuaries … when we mindfully seek God’s presence and communication in our lives. Many times, I yearn for a place where it is quiet, I can slow down my heart and mind to hear God. I think I’ve discovered this place for me this summer. I only have to walk down the upstairs steps and out the front door to find it.

A new sanctuary on the porch certainly spurred a new attitude for me today. Most importantly, I pray this WILL become my morning ritual. Now, if I can only figure out how to move my desk out there as well …

Almighty God – wherever we go, You are present. Wherever we pause, your still, quiet voice can be heard. I pray we can find our own individual sanctuary spaces to be with you Lord God.  May these little sanctuaries be a daily place we seek and great You. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Not Just a Long Weekend

Sun., May 28, 2017

John 15:13 – Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

 I’ve have found myself trying to figure out the most important things to do this weekend: clean a corner of the carriage house, weed the flower beds, plant new flowers, set-up our beautiful porch for the summer, finish sorting through the things from my Mom’s apartment (see yesterday’s post here: https://simplewordsoffaith.com/2017/05/27/cleaning-out/.) And then I realized, while all of these are admirable and need to be done, let me not forget the real reason we have a long weekend.

Memorial Day.

The photo with this post is my Dad when he was serving in the Korean Conflict. Drafted, my Dad spent most of his service time in Germany. It was during the Cold War but things were anything but cold, my Dad used to say. Like many vets, my Dad spoke very seldom about his time in the service. I am not aware of him ever attending a reunion with the other people he served with. It was just a stage of his life that he chose to keep very private.

I have no idea what it means to be a veteran or to serve your country on the basis of protecting the country’s citizens. This was not a path I chose for my life. Yet, I pray that I can have respect, honor and grace for those who have served. I pray I can allow my to-do list to not overshadow why many people will have Monday off.

Jesus spoke of how people love each other in great lengths in the gospels. He emphasized going above and beyond to love others in our actions. At times, I know it is difficult to understand why certain wars and battles and conflicts have arisen. Whether you agree with our country’s involvement in these or not, I pray we can see the way service people think of others before themselves. And this, my friends, is living out Jesus’ definition of love.

So, in honor of Memorial Day, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate those who have served in such a way that they were willing to lay down their life for their friend:

  • Attend a Memorial Day parade or celebration. Listen carefully as the words from the Gettysburg Address are recited. Allow your Adam’s apple to feel bigger while Taps is played. Salute the flag and the people who have defended our country.
  • Honor a Vet. Maybe it is one you know. Maybe it is one you simply see out and about. Shake their hand. Thank them for their service.
  • Proudly display a flag at your home. Remember how the United States was established so people could worship freely, have opportunities and celebrate differences.
  • Spend time in prayer asking God to guide our current governments at all levels.
  • Humbly discover a way to honor someone who has served our country.

 

I’m sure you can come up with better ideas than I have. My point is to stop and do something in the next day or two in which we celebrate the folks who have chosen to love their country and the citizens of this country. The cleaning, flower planting and rest can all wait.

 

Lord God – How fortunate some of us are to live in a country when differences are celebrated. Where choice is allowed. Where agreement does not always have to happen. Yet, the call to love our neighbors extends to all those around us. We lift up those who have served, who currently are serving and those who will serve our military in the future. May you guide and grant wisdom to those who oversee our military. We pray for peace and quiet resolution when differences arise. Thank you for Christ’s example of how to love others; including those whose names we may not even know. Amen.dad-service

Blessings –

Dianne

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Cleaning Out

salt & pepper shakers (2)
The super cute salt and pepper shakers that are now owned by Roella!

 

Sat., May 27, 2017

Matthew 6:19 – Don’t store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them.

 The last several weeks, my life has been filled with sorting and cleaning out. In preparation for the Youth Mission Trip Garage Sale we held at our house last weekend, I went through things moved to our current house 18 months ago. Items I had not determined if I wanted to keep or not. I remember the very warm day we unloaded the moving truck at our current home. Lots of church folks helped us move our possessions into this house. I remember the overwhelming and embarrassing feeling of having way too much stuff. I knew this when we loaded the truck. Out of time, it had simply been boxed up and moved. Watching box after box be unloaded, I vowed not move this much stuff again.

Our things were put into two rooms on moving day. Right before Christmas, I finished cleaning out the downstairs room. For months, it was nearly impossible to walk through the upstairs room. Slowly, the little path became bigger and bigger. While not completely empty yet, inventory has been greatly reduced. Some went on the garage sale and sold. Other items await Salvation Army pick-up.

I’ve also been helping clean out my Mom’s apartment. She moved into this apartment three years ago. At the time, we cleaned out the house my parents had lived in for 20+ years. This was nearly overwhelming, including boxes moved from our family farm 20+ years earlier that had never been gone through. I hauled carloads of stuff from my Mom’s house to our house in Mazomanie, lacking time to go through them. Many of these boxes have now been moved to our Poynette house. I am still going through them. In this most recent downsizing for my Mom, we have been amazed how much stuff my Mom tucked away in her apartment. Again, we’ve gone through choosing what to keep, what items family members take and what to get rid of.

Through this whole process, I’ve contemplated many things:

  • We can learn a lot about ourselves and others going through a person’s stuff.
  • It’s hard to watch a loved one choose things for just one room. There has been a fair bit of angst. We’ve kept more than this for Mom. “Things” are quite important to her.
  • The time, energy and effort that goes into sorting stuff. I could have read several good books, taken many bike rides or long walks or completely changed the landscaping of our current home.
  • The shared history of telling stories while going things.
  • I’ve purposely gifted a few things. I gave some super cute salt and pepper shakers to my friend’s daughter. Another friend showed me quilt pieces she had pieced together using fabric I gifted her. It brings joy to see others loving this stuff.
  • Rick has spent months cleaning out his parent’s farm and house. We’ve challenged ourselves to only keep items really meaningful or super cool. Like the double washer tubs and stand Rick saved for me.
  • The resources used to accumulate this stuff. Some items are family treasures passed from generation to generation. I’m not ready to get rid of my great-great grandmother’s milk white glasses. Yet, I think of the vacations, opportunities to help others or other ways the represented resources could have been utilized.
  • The most important lesson of all: I pray my life is about more than “stuff.” I pray the treasure of heaven far exceeds even my most prized possessions. I pray relationships with other people override my attachment to material things. I pray I can keep a healthy perspective of earthly possessions versus heavenly possessions.

I’m still not done sorting through my Mom’s or my own stuff but I’m making progress. Each filled box that is donated or bag put into the garbage makes me feel lighter. Most importantly, I pray possessions do not become more important than my relationship with God.

Heavenly God – why do we choose to fill our lives with so much “stuff” rather than seeking you? Why do choose to let things of this world become more important than listening to your call in our lives? Help us to keep the appropriate perspective of earthly treasures versus our heavenly treasure. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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A Sign of Spring

trillium
Trillium by our house. Do you spot the Jack-In-The-Pulpit as well?

Fri., May 19, 2017

Exodus 25:32-33 – It will have three branches going out from each side of the center shaft, each branch decorated with three almond flowers.

 Spring has been VERY slow in Wisconsin this year. Yet, one of the favorite spring-time traditions showed up right on time.

Growing up, we didn’t go to town to get flowers for Mom on Mother’s Day. We went to the woods and picked ice cream buckets full of trillium. We’d bring them home and fill vases with these gorgeous wildflowers who naturally would bend over the vase’s edge.

These three-petaled show stoppers are truly one of my favorite flowers. Natural shade lovers, trillium grew in our woods and would be a white blanket of beautifulness each spring. A few flowers would have a hint of pink in them, with more pinkness towards the end of the trillium season. For me, trillium was the indicator that spring had arrived and Mother’s Day was just around the corner.

I knew that I would not be seeing my Mom on Mother’s Day this year. However, I saw her a few days before. Right before I took her back to her now permanent residence at the nursing home, we took a drive to the property that was the farm where I grew up. I knew exactly which woods would most likely have trillium blooming. And we were not disappointed. Endless trillium bowed for us as we observed them. They were truly at their peak and a beautiful sight to behold. I grabbed the scissors I always keep in the glove compartment and snipped off just a couple flowers to grace my Mom’s room at the nursing home. (Yes, I know they are protected. Please don’t turn me into the DNR!)

Upon returning home, I walked by the north side of our house and was pleasantly surprised to see a bank of trillium. This is just the second spring we’ve been living here. There were a few trillium here last spring. This year, one little corner off the house looked stunning. A few Jack-In-The-Pulpit only added more beauty.

Why am I such a fan of trillium? Probably because these were the wildflowers we always picked. It’s really that simple. I’d love to tell you it was because their three-petal shape inspired me to recall the Trinity or how their stark white color reinforces the biggest event of spring: Christ’s resurrection. But they didn’t. I see this now. As a young girl, my only encouragement was filling an ice cream bucket with these lovely flowers.

I’ve tried several times to establish trillium in flowerbed. (Yes, I make sure and buy the plants so it is all legit and such.) But I’ve had very limited success. Their beauty and grandeur just aren’t that easy to replicate. Maybe this is another reason why when I see many blooming in the same spot, I’m overwhelmed with joy.

I do not believe the scripture passage from Exodus is referring to trillium. It speaks of almond flowers. If you keep reading this passage, you’ll discover the flowers are used for decoration; much like we use flowers today. As I get a little more mature, I recognize a few things that are very important to me. Like really good napkins. Fresh flowers in the house. I don’t have fresh flowers ALL the time but I really strive to do this. Why? Because fresh flowers bring me joy. They draw me back to carrying an ice cream bucket through the woods and gathering trillium. This maybe a very simply joy, but a deeply meaningful one personally. And for this, I praise

Lord God – Thank you for the arrival of spring and all the joys that are a part of it. Whether it be flowers, green grass or some other indicator that spring has arrive, may this beauty remind us of you as our Creator. Amen.

 

Dianne 

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