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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cheer and Rambling Musk Rose

This rambling musk rose cheers my heart every year when it blooms. It spreads out over iron archways and up the old growth cedar tree. It doesn't take much care and doesn't seem to complain even when it gets very little water. The only stress it shows is black spot on some of the leaves. It thrives anyway and we are so grateful it does as it cheers everyone's heart that looks upon it.
Rosa "Paul's Himalayan Musk"

Rosa "Paul's Himalayan Musk" climbing up the old growth cedrus
Lately I realized that I am not cheering other's hearts. I have been praying quite a while for the fruit of the Spirit, Joy, and this week the Lord showed me it was because my face didn't show cheer.  I did not feel sad nor angry on the inside, but my mouth in particular did not show joy. I tried to get enough sleep at night thinking that was the problem, but the Lord showed me that people have been responding to me as if I was mad or upset by getting upset at me, and in my response to their misunderstanding me, I would get upset. It was a vicious cycle. It was not until yesterday that my prayers were answered.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 KJV  I had confessed my angry responses and asked for wisdom
While checking email the next day, I noticed a podcast entitled The Secret Power of Smiling  (listen to it here by clicking on the blue link and it will make your day or change your life as it did mine). It tells what a smile can do for you and others.

I grew up knowing that I needed to be myself and not force anything  trying to be someone else. Somehow, trying to smile was never taught so I thought that smiling should come naturally, not forced. My Dad would sometimes looked me in the face and placed his hand over his mouth, pulling his hand down to make a sad face, then he would pull his hand up over his mouth and make a smile.  I laughed but never knew what he was trying to do until yesterday.

Be sure to listen to the podcast for  the secret power of smiling which brings cheer all around us.
 As a result:
"1. I will resolve to get better
  2. I will recruit an accountability partner
  3. I will practice, practice. " Michel Hyatt  the practical way from The Secret Power of Smiling

And I can emulate the cheer that the rambling musk rose brings to others and hopefully bring cheer to other's hearts and not just once a year in June.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Galatians 5:22."

Sunday, May 17, 2015


The Leaves of  Ranuculus repens  Creeping buttercup
For the past several years I've been fighting  this low growing perennial, Ranuculus repens , Creeping buttercup, "opportunistic colonizers" according to Wikipedia. Many years ago I found this inconspicuous plant, which is usually in the woods,  hiding near the foundation of the house, mostly out of sight and out of the way. I didn't know it's identity and tenacity until it bloomed.

Yellow flowers appear this month to herald the invasion
 It has invaded the long border that faces south and seems not the same diminutive plant I see in the woods outside the gates of our garden. I guess this is how it is "opportunistic".Next thing I knew, being away from the long border for a while due to illness, it took over all.
For several years, not liking to apply herbicides, I've tried to dig out the roots to exterminate it. But it seems that, much like the bindweed, one little piece of root will propagate many more plants.

So I decide to cut some flowers and bring them inside. I watch them for a few days. They don't wilt. Every night they close up their petals and every day they open them up again, looking as good as they were the day before.
There is a sort of luminosity to them and every day they glow in my face. I guess this is what we did with buttercups as a child. We picked them and placed it under a friend's chin to "See if they liked butter" by the yellow glow on their skin. The buttercups were not invasive then, or so it seemed. But times have changed.

Believing that God is sovereign in all life, I ask, "For what purpose are they taking over the garden beds and what am I to do about it?" 

Perhaps they are a strange metaphor:
What creeps into our lives, unannounced and seems to take over without our even recognizing it until too late, starts to rule our lives and change it. Eradicating it seems hopeless. Can we ever bring something back to where it was or where we thought it was? I see this happening in all of life, our families, our community, our country, and even greater in the world. 
But by the grace of God:
  • Keep a watchful eye around you.
  • Be proactive.
  • Look to the world and anywhere in your country and life where harm is creeping in.
  • Pray fervently for grace, wisdom and eyes to be open for solutions, words and actions.

Where in your life can you ask for God's grace to redeem you so you can return to peace and His control which is the solution to tough problems?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Jesus speaking to Paul
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" Paul 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

Monday, May 4, 2015

May Day

We used to place flowers at neighbor's doors as a surprise for May Day.
 Here are the flowers I would have picked for the first of May from our garden for you.


Rosa Abraham Darby 

Lupines, Delphiniums and Pansies in the Potager

Clematis Montana over the garden gate
Enjoy the blessing and beauty of May