Friday, April 17, 2015

Graceful Spring

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Did you read Wednesday's post? Five years ago, I was giddy about two tulips, and now look at them!

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

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seasonal blogger

I seem to have become a seasonal blogger, as in I update this blog about once a season. In my last post I shared snowy scenery and the post before that summer flowers (we won't talk about fall right now; I barely survived that season!). So it is only appropriate that today I'm recycling an old post about spring tulips. I wrote this in 2010! It seems hard to believe this blog has been around that long (and longer). You'll have to come back tomorrow to find out why I'm recycling old material. And then we'll see if I can break that seasonal pattern. Happy spring!


With Dutch blood flowing through my veins, you'd think I'd have a garden full of tulips. Only in my dreams, sadly. But these two beauties? They have determination. I bought these bulbs over 10 years ago. The yard around my 1920 Dutch Colonial was going to have sweeps of spring color through it.

But I was so busy raising babies and and tip-toeing around a kitchen that was missing a floor (seriously! you could just look right down to the basement), that the bulbs never got planted. I read that they would keep in the refrigerator, so they found a home in the vegetable bin, next to the carrots and celery. For two years.

Then we moved to the Blue House. I almost tossed the tulip bulbs as I cleaned out the refrigerator, but I thought,

Oh, why not? You never know...

Even though I did nothing other than bury them in the dense clay that is supposed to pass for a yard, the next spring we did see green leaves. But no flowers.

Fast forward about six or seven years. One fine spring day, the babies who are no longer babies, come running in, saying,

Momma! Come see the tulip!

What tulip?

In the backyard!

You must be kidding.

But they weren't kidding. And this year we even have two tulips.