A Year in Flowers

My birthday was two weeks ago. An annual time of reflection on the comings and goings of another autumn, winter, spring, and summer.  

Some of the afternoon was passed quietly, reading Scripture in one of my favorite spots: our gangly porch swing, seeking to hear what God might speak over my life on this special day. 

 And God never ceases to surprise. 

He led me to Psalm 103:15-17: 

"As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,

and His righteousness to children's children…" 

It wasn't quite what I was expecting. I am still relatively young….perhaps even in the bloom of life. But, God was...is...calling me to remembrance that this life is passing away.

 I am passing away. 

This post includes pictures of flowers taken during my 27th year of life. None of these flowers are still in bloom. They have all faded. So too me. 

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 90:12: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." 

May I not forget that this is a short, breathless life. Then, in joy, I will seek to cultivate upon this soil only that which points to the steadfast love and eternal glory of God. 

Flower Kingdom

"I am a King,

Or an Emperor rather, 

I wear crown-imperial

And prince's-feather;

Golden-rod is the sceptre

I wield and wag,

And a broad purple flag-


Waves for my flag.

Elder the pithy

With old-man and sage,

These are my councillors

Green in old age;

Lord-and-ladies in silence

Stand round me and wait,

While gay ragged-robin

Makes bows at my gate.

- Poem I am a King by Christina Georgina Rossetti 

My sister Courtney and I, reigning over our glorious kingdom of flowers, this past Labor Day Weekend in Michigan. 


Glimpses {of death}

Glimpses of death: {one} flowers from a funeral, {two} a fresh coat of our new paint color "falling snow" blanketing our loft, {three} ice trespassing upon a budding tree.

 Recently Zade and I attended the funeral of a distant family member. We didn't know him well, but every August since our wedding he and his wife sent us an incredibly precious anniversary card.  

One by one his friends and family members approached the podium and gave tribute, speaking of his integrity... sacrificial love...loyal friendship...humor... 

it was evident that he had spent his life in a passionate burst for Christ. 

His life and death point toward eternity. 

At the end of my days - near or far - I want that to be said of me. 

Death to the Christian is the funeral of all his sorrows and evils, and the resurrection, of all his joys.
                                                                                                                                      - James H Aughey 

Admirable Combinations: Doughnuts + Where the Sidewalk Ends

Another delightful combination! Some sugary good Shel Silverstein poems and Mary Lou Donuts (my lunch embarrassingly). I am so delighted by the wit in Shel's poems and illustrations. Some of my favorites are Love, Sick, and Boa Constrictor, but there are SO many good ones. Which are your favorites? 

Twist Me A Crown of Wind-Flowers

"Twist me a crown of wind-flowers;
that I may fly away 

To hear the singers at their song,
And players at their play.

Put on your crown of wind-flower:
But wither would you go?

Beyond the surging of the sea
and the storms that blow.

Alas! Your crown of wind-flowers
Can never make you fly: 

I twist them in a crown to-day,
And to-night they die."

- Twist Me a Crown
Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-94)

Admirable Combinations: Giraffe Gingerbread + A Blossom in the Desert

I decided to begin a new "series" on this blog called "admirable combinations" where I highlight a scrumptious treat and book I'm savoring at present. The title is inspired by C.S. Lewis' quote "eating and reading are two pleasure that combine admirably." Oh that Clive, he's so quotable.

The first in this series are giraffe gingerbread cookies and A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith in the Art of Lilias Trotter.

The so-cute-you-feel-bad-about-biting-their-heads-off giraffe gingerbread cookies were made by our friend Charlene as a treat for Zade's birthday. She left them hung in a white paper bag on our doorknob - a fun surprise to come home to! 

A Blossom in the Desert is a compilation of Lilia Trotter's sketches and paintings paired with writing excerpts from her diaries, journals, and out-of-print books. 

She is truly one of my heroes of the faith. Her humility and submission to God kindles my soul. If we have a daughter I hope to name her "Lilias." 

Below is an excerpt from her "Lesson of the Buttercup"...

"Look at this buttercup as it begins to learn its new lesson. 

The little hands of the calyx clasp tightly in the bud round the beautiful petals; in the young flower their grasp grows more elastic - loosening somewhat in the daytime, but keeping the power of contracting, able to close in again during a rainstorm, or when night comes on. But see the central flower, which has reached its maturity. The calyx hands have unclasped utterly now - they have folded themselves back, past all power of closing again upon the petals, leaving the golden crown free to float away when God's time comes. 

Have we learned the buttercup's lesson yet? Are our hands off the very blossom of our life? Are all things - even the treasures that He has sanctified - held loosely, ready to be parted with, without a struggle, when He asks for them?" - Lilias Trotter in A Blossom in the Dessert

Let Light Shine Out of Darkness

We've set up this garland of lights for Valentine's Day this year. 
The lights glowing in their doilied hearts bring to mind how, as 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, ..."God made his light to shine in our hearts to give us the light...of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Lately I've been meditating on, and taking comfort in, the truth that God is light. 
 This world seems consumed by darkness with sorrow unbearable. 
Despair beckons.

But then, I look to Christ and "the morning star rises in my heart" (2 Peter 1:19) and I am filled with a joy and hope that cannot be taken away.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12