photographs. This journey and the thrill of our daily anthologies as part of the bigger story. His story.
Jeri handed me two plants as I was leaving, "There," she said matter-of-fact, "so that you can plant something with Israel." I am giddy -- yes, that word again -- with anticipation. To plant something. To run reckless in this season of breakthroughs.
I ask her, "What if I kill them?" I give her my don't-you-know-I-kill-all-my-plants-and-I-need-to-know-if-you're-okay-with-that look. I resolve in my "heart of hearts" that I'm going to tend well to these plants, keep them alive.
She says cheerfully, "If you kill them," pausing before gushing her famous enthusiasm, "we can always get more!"
She responded with a fist pump and, "Yes! Finally! It's the season to plant!" I smile.
until I've talked myself out of the jump. Instead, I breathe deep, allow my daughter to be my guru of hope. To put plants into soil with bold determination.
And when the project dies?
"Failure isn't fatal." Larry T., precious spiritual father, who repeats this over and over, pours courage in, willing us to keep going, stay strong, cling to Grace, never stop hoping, dreaming, pursuing.
What I Learned From God While Gardening by best-selling author, Niki Anderson, in hopes of gleaning some gardening wisdom.
She writes, "Seeds are marvels of nature. Tiny depositories of nature. Miniature storehouses entrusted with a plan.
...Could it be that tucked inside all humankind is a blueprint for the impossible, similar to that which resides in a seed?... Faith is the latent power abiding within, smaller than a mustard seed, but powerful enough to fulfill God's purposes."
But I'm ecstatic. It's planting season. I am filled with awe and wonder over the mystery of the seed. I want to fill my garden with seeds of love, patience, forbearance. And words. Might it be a season to plant words, string them together on heart's lattice, offer my messy endeavors in vases of hope, tied with ribbons of grace, to fellow gardeners, artists? My fellow sojourners who are living out their own "blueprint for the impossible"?
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~ Hebrews 11:1
Seeds of Gratitude:
24. husband who lifts weights with me at the gym
25. friend who offers me coffee, a slice of "very nutritious bread," and conversation in the midst of mop buckets and Windex and Lysol
27. 5 AM workouts with husband who laughs with me and challenges me at the same time
28. words... all the ones filled with so much honor... the ones that make souls stronger
29. woman at checkout who saves an airman's dignity by purchasing his groceries when his debit card won't work and then tells me with a smile that "God sees"
30. my son, Isaiah, who exclaims, "Talk about making grace tangible!" when I tell him the story of the airman and the woman who paid for his groceries
31. second tries... and third... and fourth... and...
32. the dare to practice love that is not irritable,
33. love that believes the best,
34. love that is not jealous but that roots for another's success,
35. love that makes good impressions... that greets another so as to demonstrate genuine joy in getting to share life with them
36. love that's unconditional! oh! the grace!