Thoughts From The Backyard

Posted by Amy O. , Thursday, April 30, 2015 11:51 AM

While Grandpa had Vianne for the day and Oliver was kindly taking a nap, I grabbed hold of a few moments to dust off my inner writer...

We are in the second house of our marriage where we get to have rose bushes; I am a rose lover and this has long been a dream.  However, I really have very little idea how or time to care for them (especially while I am caring for two children concurrently) so I am doing my best to apply a few tips from my mom, who always has lovely rose bushes.  

We have four different bushes in our flower beds.  One seems to grow without hardly any help, another only occasionally produces a blossom and the leaves always look a bit sickly, the third is a miniature rose that Vianne has claimed as her own and currently has four beautiful deep red blooms, and the last is this all over winding crazy bush that stays pretty low to the ground with far reaching arms and flowers all over that wither very quickly.

The latter, I noticed before leaving town for two weeks, had some non-rose-bush leaves cropping up within it.  Weeds or not weeds?  Probably weeds, I concluded, or untidy at any rate and should be pulled when I am in the mood which is not right now.

Upon returning from my travels, however, I found a fun and pleasant surprise.  Those unidentified leaves bloomed into this beautiful orange and white lily (or something). 

I can never do the work of yard-tending without the spiritual analogies jumping me.  I always think of the plant and gardening metaphors in the Bible; how God prunes us; how the plants grew on different types of soil.  And likewise this lily spoke to me of God's work.
I would have likely, defending the roses that I prefer, pulled out this lily before I knew what it was and discarded it (procrastination, for the win! ;-) ).  This was the rose bush’s space and this sprout was an intruder.  But now here it is and it is this delightful, beautiful addition to the other plants that makes me smile whenever I see it.  

At first, it was peeking out through a mass of rose bush arms...

but just now I took a few minutes and cut back the roses to give this surprise guest her own space.

And it made me think of all my plans over the years and how I’ve often fallen in love with them and defended them, when they were all my own and not God’s.  The men I “loved” who were not to be my husband.  The ministry ideas I had which never produced lasting fruit.  The projects I pored over which sit half-finished in a box somewhere.  

So many times, while I was tending my beloved roses, He was growing this entirely other amazing flower, and I so often didn’t recognize it at first because I had already determined what the work was supposed to look like.  I had imagined the wedding; I had envisioned the success; I had dreamed up the transformed lives impacted by my creativity.  

And in the unwieldy mass of all these crazy branches, God plants and makes thrive these flowers that at first look like weeds, like unwelcome threats to what we already have going on.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19

I can’t know how many of these “new things” I have overlooked or perhaps even weeded out in the past, but today I take pause for a moment to pray that from now on I have the wisdom to cut back the roses and make space for the surprise lily.


3 Response to "Thoughts From The Backyard"

Anonymous Says:

So beautifully said, and causes me to look back and consider the foolish things I have espoused, and the surprises God has gifted to me. Thank, Amy.

Trina Says:

How beautifully written! I needed this today! I have always gotten blossoms from your writing! ♡

Marie Says:

Oh Amy, I love what you've written: "Make space for the surprise lily..."

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