A Rose in Bloom.

After a long week of feeling exhausted, and used up, I confided in my good friend Roxanne. I told her how I was feeling useless at my job, and just unnoticed. Funny thing is, of all the things she told me—she said, “Honey, you are sweet—if a rose didn’t have its sweetness, what would it be?”

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

~Shakespeare

Grayce’s Memorial is long gone, but I kept the flowers I used around my apartment. I picked a beautiful flower called ‘Movie Star’ that was one of Grayce’s favorite colors, it seemed to honor her, and embody her because—she loved to wear that salmon pink color.

Even though I have been periodically cleaning up around the house and dumping the dead flowers, and it wasn’t until today that I noticed one flower remaining. It is as if it hasn’t aged a day, and the water in the tiny bud vase is clear as ever. I have never replaced the water. The other vases were green, and murky like an old fish tank. The other roses wilted and died straight away.

I find peace in the fact that one rose is still blooming.

Sometimes I think we have to choose to BLOOM.


Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 8:44 am  Comments (5)  

Winter Blues…or Yellows?

Something about this time of year sends me in a spin. I find myself singing Christmas songs for no apparent reason and longing for Spring at the same time. Basically my husband goes crazy. I think it is because I am uncomfortable with the long gray days of January. Part of me craves the joyfulness of Christmas, and the other part just wants to rush ahead into warmer days. Instead, I settle for gray clouds and flowers. I have had this obsession with daffodils this week. Maybe it is because they are such ‘cheery’ little flowers. They always seems to smile back at me, when I look their way. I have a bouquet of them sitting on my kitchen counter right now. I read this poem to my oldies all the time, I believe that for a moment when they hear it, something about its beauty draws them out of their long, cold, winter.



  
The Daffodils



I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. 

William Wordsworth 

Maybe today just for now, I will let my heart dance with the daffodils too.
Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 4:24 am  Comments (2)  

Forget-me-not

There is a song called ‘Miles’, by Nichole Nordeman that has been stalking me this week. It came to me out of the blue, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head ever since.

The song describes two women on their knees in prayer with needs so far beyond their control. One mother is grieving the daily battle of keeping her son alive. Everyday she watches her baby hooked up to machines, as she  pleads with God to change her circumstances.

Then by the second verse we see the other mother crying out to God in agony over the loss of her darling boy. One minute he is running, playing, and the next he was taken from her—ripped away.

The part of the song that I find so hauntingly beautiful is this line:

“One moment someone whispers thank you
just then another heart cries, how could you?”

When we are in the middle of our own personal battle, it can be so hard to see beyond our pain. How can we find peace? C.S. Lewis writes about true joy, and he describes it as an ‘inconsolable longing’, a ‘pang’, a yearning for a world out of reach. I love that he uses these feelings to describe true joy, because I look at real life situations, and they are gritty, heartbreaking, and sometimes seemingly unkind. I believe that in those dark moments, God is preparing us for ‘true joy’. He is reminding us that death is not an end, but a beginning. Sometimes our ‘unanswered’ prayer is someone else’s answer.

This song is not some carefully crafted ballad to lead you into your own personal sob fest. This is a real life story of two precious families in Sacramento, California. Sweet baby Alex passed away as the result of a ‘freak accident’, but his mother chose to donate her baby’s heart to another boy, named (Can you guess?)…Miles.

The song ends with this:

“It may be miles and miles before the journey’s clear
there may be rivers, may be oceans of tears
but the very hand that shields your eyes from understanding
is the Hand that will be holding you for miles.”

I don’t know what you are facing today, maybe you feel like life has dealt you the wrong hand. Maybe you don’t even want to get out of bed some mornings, but remember you will be held for miles…no matter how long the road is.

If you have the time copy this link into your browser: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2004/december8/med-year-hearts-1208.html

Or Google ‘Miles Coulson’ and follow the amazing journey of this precious little one!

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Amazing Grayce.

Yesterday one of my dearest friends went to spend eternity with Jesus. I miss her, but I am happy to know she is free from all kinds of pain–safely home. Something about death makes me examine my life, in a way I think it is God’s gift to us. I read a poem by Ella Wilcox this morning that said:

With every rising sun
Think of our life as just begun.
What if that truly was the case? How different would my life be?
The beautiful children that I watch taught me a wonderful lesson this week. We have formed a club. You see it is not a club for the faint of heart, but a club for ‘ice-cream-flavor-makers’. This week we made a neon green ice cream called–wait for it–Green Brownie Surprise! Now, did the ice cream have brownies in it? No. Did it taste like brownies? No. Was it a surprise? I guess that depends on how you look at it! I watched as the kids eyes danced eating their creation, their minds went wild as they told me of all the flavors that they tasted! They saw something new in the plain vanilla ice cream recipe, they saw way beyond a few drops of green food coloring.
The Message Bible says in Matthew 5:13-

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.”

I want to free my mind to be more flavorful. If every rising sun brings a new beginning…then today there is still time to bring hope.

My friend Angela gave me the sweetest journal that says on the front of it:
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
~ Alice Through the Looking-Glass

So here are six things from me:
1. Cinderella left her shoe behind on purpose, women like to be chased after.
2. Love is all you NEED- thank you Beatles.
3. Red is the new black.
4. A smile can change everything.
5. Dancing heals people.
6. There is water that makes you never thirst again.

So, let your heart be like a child. Be flavorful. Be loud with your love. Believe the impossible. Watch as a new sun rises on us.

Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm  Comments (6)