The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anticipation of Iris once again in the Spring

With the warm weather hanging on this fall, I have been working out in my yard most every day for a few hours. Cleaning off the dead, dividing some crowded plants, enjoying the birds at the feeders, soaking in the warmth--actually trying to hoard warmth for the colder days coming.

In digging up several overgrown crowded Iris clumps and splitting them, I have been able to plant several dozen Iris in different places, even some new colors given to me.

I love Iris.
 They grow in almost any kind of soil.
   They like it dry.
        They require very little work--a little food, a little water....
             They bloom in the spring when beauty and color are much appreciated.
                  And they bloom big!! Really BIG.
 Which means they make for great pictures.

But a couple days ago when I was outside digging and watering and planting, I got to thinking about these little Iris tubers, about dead, that will bring so much joy, Lord willing, in about five or six months.  Some will be absolutely jaw-dropping and send me to my knees in praise and wonder at what God has done.

But aren't His surprises, His blessings, His graces that are lavishly bestowed on His children more than we could ever imagine.  And they come at the most unexpected times in our lives.

Times when there has been loss,
   Times when we have been hurt,
       Times when we are without answers.
   Times when He wants us to know that we are loved.
       Times when He wants us to know that He knows all about what is going on,
            Times when we are fearful of the unknown.
   He never changes.
        He is always here with us.
              He will always provide for us---more than we ever thought.

A friend just shared a story with me about an answer to prayer...she had been feeling especially frustrated over some health issues that have gone on and on with no resolution.  She had just told the Lord she really needed some encouragement, some affirmation that He knew what was going on.  The phone rang, but she almost didn't answer...all those calls before the election and taught her not to answer. But she felt she should and on the phone was another recorded message but from Charles Stanley.  She said usually his calls ask for  donations but this was different. He said something like, "You need to know that God wants to encourage you today.  He knows what is going on and He wants you to be thankful in it because we are to give thanks in all circumstances...."  She was amazed since she had never had such a direct answer to prayer so quickly.

Isn't God good....

So once again as winter approaches, I know that when I look out on my frozen garden,
 covered in snow and ice,
     colored brown and grey with no hint of color,
          with no sun to warm the earth....
I will know that underneath that cold surface there lies the makings of a beautiful explosion of color and surprise come May and June.  Of color that responds to spring warmth because of winter's fearful cold holding them in bondage for a short time. Why?? So their inner beings could be renewed, so their time clocks could be set, so the bugs would die, so they could regain their strength as they lay quietly waiting for His signal to come forth.

And once again I will get out my camera and my Bible.  My footsteps will be quiet as I walk through the garden enjoying and marveling over the wonder of what God does each and every year.  And I will remember, always remember that hope comes out of pain, life comes out of death, warmth comes out of cold and hope springs forth from fear.

Thank you God, for your wonderful works to us in giving us the renewed sense of God's plan for the ages...to bring glory to Himself and to Himself only and not to man.
Thank You, for the hope of the coming spring,
                        for the encouragement that in your plan for us,
                               for the flowers that will bloom again by your plan and purpose,
                                     each year, each spring, by your grace, in your time. AMEN

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
 II Corinthians 4:16-18

Romans 8:24-25 "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."

The following poem describes the Iris and its beauty.

Iris, Most Beautiful Flower

Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class,
You bloom with the first winter,
With the last, in the Fall, you still show;
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
Your form and beauty of flower,
An artist's desire of full worth;
So Iris, we love and crown you,
 by Edith Buckner Edwards

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