God Gave Me Flowers!

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On Facebook, once in a while you’ll catch posts from friends whose husbands/boyfriends sent them flowers. I love that! Such lovely expressions of devotion…

Well, last Sunday, after the neat experience finding that Scripture card (see previous blog post), I had on my list to pick up some marigolds and begonias at the garden center.

On the way though, I stopped by the local hardware store. A clerk asked me, “Would you like some flowers?”

“Flowers are on today’s list!” I told him.

And then he showed me an almost-empty section with five little raggedy plants sitting in their plastic pots. A sign with them had “FREE!!” marked across the sale price.

“This is all we have left,” he said. “They’re not in the best shape, so we’re giving them away. Do you want them?”

I have a heart for raggedy plants (and animals!). “Sure! Thanks! What are they?” (Only one sported a flower.)

“All but one are marigolds.”

And that made me smile.

Thank you, my Love, for the flowers you gave me!

P.S. — Isn’t it something that sometimes when God gives us a gift, He wants us to nurture it until it’s strong and beautiful to behold? (Oh! And I bought the begonias at half price with coupons at the garden center.)

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Salty Words…

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Last Sunday morning, I found this little Scripture card in my room. I should say, I almost stepped on it. There it was…in my path, perfectly centered, right-side up, staring at me. I picked it up and read, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

Just the previous night, I’d been talking to Him about my language—that I want to tame mine, because sometimes it can be just a little too salty… It’s not an everyday occurrence, and everybody has “stuff,” right? But I want to be better than that. I don’t want the first thing to come out of my mouth—when, for example, an infuriating news story airs—to be a curse word. It’s too easy.

Yeah, sometimes a good curse word just adds a little punch to the air and lets you at least release some pent-up frustration in a quick way. I once had a poetry professor tell us that the reason we curse is because of the beginning and ending sounds of those words, and that regular ol’ words like “chair” just don’t have the same effect. Hmm… Interesting, but not sure I believe that entirely. One thing I don’t do is add His name to the other words. I have done that in the past, but it didn’t sit right in my spirit; it grieved His Holy Spirit… And that’s something I never want to do again.

And here we all are. Human beings on this planet that’s in chaos in so many ways. I don’t want to add anymore chaos on any level, on any personal level. When I hear those horrendous news stories playing on the television and radio and computer that you can find 24/7, I want my first reaction to be, “Jesus!” Not as an expletive. But as a prayer. I want any type of friction to be a catapult to prayer. I choose to place my “self” under His ways—not to be “better than” anyone else or to be “holier than thou” or to be any other “thing” that people might label you as being for wanting to improve your inner life. (Whew!) Yes, I want to tame my tongue, and thereby create another type of inner peace, a peace that does go way past comprehension, that makes you feel that though the tumult in the world is spinning around you, it’s not affecting your inner person—that if you really get quiet and listen, when you’re really at peace, you can hear Him, you can hear His still small voice, the Prince of Peace…

Now, I know going on and on about salty words might sound ridiculous to some; after all, they’re just words. Right? Or wrong? Words are powerful. Words we think, words we speak… I want to be better than the easy choices I sometimes make with my words. I want my will to master my own “self” to be stronger than what’s easy. I want to be an expert at using my words wisely, spoken or written.

It’s neat when God gives you encouragement and signs along the way, helping you grow as a human being. That little Scripture card, by the way, was a complete surprise and really got my attention. It seemed to appear from out of the blue. I later realized that when spring-cleaning, I’d placed some papers together on a table, and some of those cards were mixed in with those papers… Maybe one was on the edge and, when I walked by, that card fell off and onto the floor. Or maybe God had one of His angels to handpick that card out and perfectly position it for me to find. Either way, it was a gift and a reminder that He cares…and longs to be active in our lives and to cheer us on with encouragement and instruction.

And isn’t that something? A God who longs to be active in our lives… If every person on the planet would choose to listen in peace and to act in peace, soon the words spoken would be of peace and hearts would be transformed in the process…all around the world…

Happy Independence Day!

I absolutely love this holiday… And we should never take lightly what our Founding Fathers — and those men and women since — fought and died for… No, as history shows, we’re not perfect. But we’re still growing… As long as we don’t grow away from what our founders intended, we’ll get stronger. I still have hope!

Here’s a quote you might like to consider:

“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress.

If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.

If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…

If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”

Congressman (later, President) James Garfield
July 4, 1876

Have a beautiful Fourth of July, everyone!