Now, I don't know if it's because we're fresh off Easter or because it's the end of another school year and I've been reflecting on the lessons I've learned, but these tulips struck me as a wonderful reminder of God's grace.
These tulips deserved to be dead. I left them in the refrigerator vegetable bin for two years and then hastily threw them in the ground without any soil preparation. It took 10 years before the first tulip bloomed.
Sometimes I am so discouraged by my spiritual growth. Sometimes I'm frustrated with God for the circumstances in my life. I often act like I deserved to be blessed and complain when things don't go my way. I want God to work on my timeline and bless me the way I want to be blessed.
The Bible, however, explains that I deserve no blessing at all. I deserve death. But in His grace, He gave me faith to believe in His Son and to have life. Because of His grace I have hope. And because of His grace, the gifts of the Spirit are growing in me, until one day when I am with Him in heaven I will be fully in bloom. I will be a full field of tulips.
The progress seems slow, or even nonexistent, when you're in the thick of things. Yet, when I look back over the years I do see growth. Sometimes God totally throws me for a loop -- blessings I could have never expected. See those two pink tulips? What's that about? Unexpected, but a blessing nonetheless.
These tulips could describe our homeschool journey too. So often I wonder if it's worth it, if it's making a difference, but then I look back and see how far we've come. Ryne wrote a research paper this week. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't bad either, and I have to remember that 13 years ago we weren't sure he was ever going to be able to talk. It's slow, steady progress, but he is blooming.
Oh, I could go on and on, but I'll just close with a few more signs of spring at the Blue House. I missed pictures of the peach, cherry, and pear trees in bloom. The lilacs are almost fully bloomed, so hopefully I'll remember to keep checking each day. The magnolia tree was a Mother's Day gift to me one of the first years we lived here. It's grown so much too.
Hope you're having a wonderful spring!
Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
~ from one of my favorite hymns, Fairest Lord Jesus