Friday, July 12, 2013

Crepe Myrtle Envy

I have a little bit of a plant fetish. I get crazy excited about bushes and blooms and grass. I am the Blankenship grounds keeper. So it should come as no surprise that when we bought this doosie of a house with all its ailments, I was pumped about one thing: the crepe myrtles in the front yard. There are three of them. I awaited their blooms like it was Christmas morning and prayed hard for bright fuchsia. Dream come true.

I will be totally honest and say that I do not love the three trees equally. The big one is my favorite. It is full and gorgeous. Its trunks are thick and smooth. Its blooms are an amazing shade of dark pink. It is tall. It is full grown, perfectly established.

And then there's my second favorite. It is equally as tall but the trunks are thin and it looks weak. It's blooms are bright pink with white edges so it pales in comparison to its sister plant. This tree is also plagued with poison ivy. I have to cut it away weekly or it starts to choke the life out of it. I blame the nuisance for the sparceness of its branches. It struggles.

My least favorite tree is the one that the previous owners saw fit to cut down completely. In the Spring it started to sprout up in the middle of the grass and I mowed it flat again. I continued doing so for months, until now. We stopped getting rain. The grass got crunchy and I feared the harsh pruning would kill the grass completely and so I let it rest. In three short weeks my crepe myrtle stump became a thriving bush. Today I mowed the grass. Today I looked at that bush and decided it was time to let it live.

Sometimes there are beautiful parts of us that get trampled, mowed over, reduced to lifeless stumps- memories of former passions and gifts. We look at those things with a tiny realization of what they could be but it is but a faint hope compared to the seemingly obvious reality that it is already dead, that it is too late. But God gazes on those parts of us with dreams and hopes and purpose. When the time is right He nudges us with a sweet whisper "It is time to let this live again." And all we have to do is stop cutting. All we have to do is let it grow.

I pray this finds you unearthing old passions, new creativity, real hope. It is time.

[2 Timothy 1:6-7] ♥

Monday, July 8, 2013

Listen closely.

There are sounds that make my heart giddy. Most of them are things that no one else would get particularly excited about.

Jere's belly laugh tickling my ears from the back room where he is sleeping. Legos hitting the hardwood like hail stones as the entire bin gets dumped out. Late night TV overshadowed by little boys talking to their daddy in the living room while I tidy the kitchen. Wind rustling through trees and bushes under a dark uncertain sky. The first ten minutes of a rainstorm as the droplets change from sporadic splashes to rhythmic waves. The dishwasher humming at the end of a long day. The quiet ticking of the clock in the living room. The jingle of keys coupled with the jiggle of the front door knob. The pitter patter of feet in the hallway. The relentless opening and shutting of the back door on hot summer days. A guitar tuning in progress. The hum of my sewing machine. The clank of bluejean snaps hitting the inside of the dryer as it tumbles.

Every one of these everyday sounds speaks my heart. Tiny moments of quiet clarity that break up the chaos and noise of life. I hear God's faithfulness in each one. I am reminded that the very smallest details of our lives are at the forefront of Father's heart. And that the faint whispers of His kids bring Him the same kind of joy.

"The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
[Zephaniah 3:17] <3

Happy. Quiet. Monday.