Refresh Wednesday – A Glimpse of Spring

Gratitude Day 221

Wed., Feb. 27, 2019

1 Corinthians 3:8 – The one who plants and the one who waters work together, but each one will receive their own reward for their own labor.

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All we talk about these days is winter. And how sick of it we are.

If you live in the upper Midwest, you know what I’m talking about.

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If you don’t, let me share.

Since Christmas, we’ve had SO. MUCH. SNOW. AND COLD. Like nearly every day. There was the week that it barely got above 0 all week. And windchills down to the -50 and -60 range. And then, the snow. Some weeks 10-12 inches. And some days that much. Or like last Saturday when we have a couple inches of ice.

What has this led to? Lots of missed school days. One family of grandkids might be going to school until June 12th. Seriously.

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Lots of accidents. Over the weekend, there was a terrible accident east of us. Something like 130+ vehicles in the pile-up. One man killed and another 70 (yes, this is correct) taken to the hospital.

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Lots of damage. Roofs on barns and businesses caving in. Cattle having to be moved quickly in awful weather. Damage that will take months to fix. It’s been a little crazy.

So, who is happy this winter? Those who love cold and snow. And possibly the skiers and snowmobilers.

For the rest of us? We’re ready for spring! Or two sunny days in a row. Or a hint of warm weather when we don’t have to wear layers and layers.

Since I’m not sure when this is going to happen, I took matters into my own hands. Even if there’s lots of snow and cold outside, I’m ready to bring spring INTO the house.

I love having plants inside. It really does brighten my spirits when I see real life color that needs water. While we were on vacation, I loved seeing flowers and green grass and smelling all those wonderful flower and plants smells. Once home, I looked around the house and decided it needed a serious dose of color.

And so, I bought color.

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This is an antique feeding trough that I’ve converted into a plant stand. The beautiful peace lily was given to me at the time of my birthday. But I never filled in the other half. I wanted to put another peace lily in it but couldn’t find one.

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Instead, I bought these plants.

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And proceeded to add some of them to the planter.

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I’m not a florist. I leave this to my sister Debbie. But I can put flowers in a planter and try to make them look nice. The great thing about plants? If you don’t like how you have them the first time, just take them out and rearrange them.

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I’m not sure that I have the plants exactly how they are supposed to be arranged. But my goal here was to add color to the house. Quickly. Easily. With little cost. This, I feel, I accomplished.

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I also bought a bouquet of roses. I’m sure they were leftovers from Valentine’s Day, so not confident how long they will last. But if only for a week, I’ll enjoy every single one of them. I love having a bouquet of fresh flowers on our island. They just bring a smile to my face every time I walk into the house.

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With this bouquet, it’s another mission accomplished.

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Finally, I had a group of ladies over last week and wanted an arrangement for the table. Literally, I bought two packages of fresh flowers for $2.99 each. I cut and arranged pieces of them into some glasses I had and put them on the table. (The leftover flowers were added to the roses on the island.)

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And so, it’s just spots of color here and there. But even these little bits make my heart feel like it’s closer to spring than outside the window says it is.

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If your heart is longing for spring, what can you do to bring a little spring inside your house? Refresh something that speaks to your heart. I spent less than $30 on these plants and flowers and believe me, my heart is happy for it.

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For color and glimpses of spring someday, I am grateful.

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Oh Lord – I’m sorry that I’m not fully appreciating the cold and the snow and the winter. Thanks for the gentle reminder that a simple refresh with just a bit of color is what my world needed these days. May these flowers, plants and a bit of water brighten even the dreariest of days. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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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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