Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Like A French Lilac waiting to bloom...

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Like a French Lilac waiting to bloom...

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I took a walk in the garden this morning. The grass had been freshly cut and although we still need to do a Spring cleanup, I could still appreciate the flower beds springing forth lovely promises of what is yet to come.

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I stopped along the path where the French Lilacs live. I peeked into the leaves to find a lilac waiting to bloom. My daughter Sarah, is twenty now and yesterday she came home after taking a college exam and asked me if I would take a ride to the nursery. She said that she was in the mood to plant some flowers.

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The mother in me wanted to drive and suggested that we go to a nursery close by. Sarah said “Oh Mom, I want to try that new large one in the next town.” I let go and let her drive and go to where she wanted to go. She often leads me to blessings when I let her lead.

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We walked along the rows and rows of flowers and I just watched as she selected everything that she wanted to plant. I stood enjoying the moment and feeling so proud of who she has become. I let go of the need to pick the flowers or make suggestions.

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We left with a trunk filled with flowers a large Hybiscus pot and two soft ice cream swirl cups for the ride home. She paid for the purchase of plants with money earned by working as a waitress. I paid for the ice cream.

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Today, I walked through my garden and saw the promise of growth and thought back to a less than perfect day in this yard. When I thought that I would never have a good relationship with my then seventeen year old daughter. I had reached a brick wall trying to communicate with Sarah.

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I wrote...
"As I climbed down the stairs from my deck to water my newly planted flowers, I noticed that my watering can was leaking.  This small detail seemed to escalate the ache in my heart.  My teenage daughter had two fender benders in the last week and had felt little remorse.  Instead she was difficult and moody and demanded that her life continue as usual.  In just a few weeks she was graduating from High School and would be leaving for college.  Our relationship had been reduced to bickering and tears most days.  I felt like such a failure as a mother.   

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I continued to climb down the stairs, carrying the faulty watering can with tears streaming down my face.  All of a sudden I was reminded of the parable of the “Cracked Pot”, which is a story about a water bearer who carried two large pots to deliver water to his Master’s house:
 
I love when the Lilacs are in bloom.

In the story of the “Cracked Pot” one of the pots was cracked and the pot apologized to the water bearer that he could only carry a pot half full.  The water bearer showed him that for two years his cracked pot had watered his side of the road creating a beautiful flower garden along the roadside. 

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Further more he had told the cracked pot that he had always known about his flaw and took advantage of it.  He had planted the seeds on his side of the path and every day his cracked pot watered the flowers.  The water bearer had been able to decorate his Master’s table with the beautiful flowers, he told him that without him being just the way he was, he would not have this beauty to grace his Master’s house."
 


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I was comforted as I remembered this story.  Suddenly my spirit was lifted.  I realized that God knows my flaws and my daughters and he will use our failure to bless His table.  I stopped crying and started thanking God for saving my daughter from being hurt in those car accidents. 

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I thanked Him for sending this lesson which might save her life when she drives again.  I remembered all the times in my life when I felt like a failure, but God had turned that failure into a blessing when I had let go of self-pity.   I went into the house after finishing my work in the garden.  I picked up my devotional and read these words:

“God uses ordinary people like us with flaws and cracks in our pots.” 



What I read only further convinced me that God was speaking to my heart.  Perhaps I need to ask God to use this brokenness for His purpose.  I need to remind myself that when I feel like a failure He is simply taking the reigns from my hands and using my flaws to help me to do His will.”

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This morning, I continued walking through my garden, and I saw my Jacobs Ladder teasing the Hummingbirds awaiting red blossoms. I thought that my teenage daughter had been just like the French Lilac waiting to bloom.

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And the Iris so green, which will surprise us soon with those beautiful purple flowers.

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The teen years were filled with adversity, just like the large black ants pecking at the Peonies. That struggle to find her own way brought what seemed to me as lost forever. Yet my daughter yesterday was just like the beautiful pink Peony in bloom.

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Sarah planted this potted plant yesterday. She chose this black and white one. I thought it was a perfect reminder of how sometimes things aren't in black and white. Sometimes in the middle of lessons things look anything but hopeful.

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Yet, Now, I have a wonderful relationship but it has become two women, not a mother and daughter. I let go and learn from Sarah now. It’s kind of nice this letting go thing.

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This morning I admired the flowers that she had planted and the pot by the front door.

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I realized that she has become her own person and the stage of raising a teen daughter is a thousand little goodbyes. Yet the promise is just like the lilac. The fragrance of a new relationship is born out of letting go of the old and celebrating the new.

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P.S. I have another daughter who turned eighteen last month. I say yes more often, because now I realize that she is just practicing spreading her wings. Reminders of being pushed away, but allowing it to happen this time strengthens my hope.

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I realize that if I don't let her make mistakes she will never develop her inner voice. I surrender her to the Lord every morning. This time, I begin my letting go earlier because I have faith that someday I will have a bouquet!!!

Cutting Garden Bouquet

The song for this post is Unchained Melody.

Today is Outdoor Wednesday, and if you visit, A Southern Day Dreamer you will find lots of beautiful outdoor scenes. Inspiration comes from unexpected places. This morning I walked through the garden photographing for Outdoor Wednesday. Thank you Susan, Outdoor Wednesday led me to some lovely and inspiring thoughts.

29 comments:

Carol said...

Beautiful post, Karen! I am lucky to have my grown daughter as my very best friend, a blessing indeed!

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread said...

Beautiful post, Karen. I know too well the pain of raising teenage daughters. Yet, like you, have seen the results of my careful nurturing. It seems those days will never end, the fighting and tears. Then one day you wake up and your daughters are young women and budding friends. What a blessed day you had. I wish you many more! ~Kathy

Vee said...

Wonderful life lessons you have shared here. Wish that they could've come my way about fifteen years ago. What a nice job Sarah did with the flowers. She's got very good taste just like her mom!

Gabriela said...

Hello Karen,

This is a great post and your photos stunning!



~ Gabriela ~

ButterYum said...

Lovely flowers! Your Mr. Linky link doesn't appear to be working. I had to find your blog through google.

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday Karen! You have a gorgeous yard! Kids grow up too fast! Thanks for sharing your photos.~ Susan

SharDon Exclusives said...

This is the loveliest post I have ever read, as well as being absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing from your heart...sharon

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Karen, You are surrounded by such visual as well as spiritual beauty. You are a success, I know it. Your daughter will remember you all her life. Love, Anita

Mary said...

Lovely words to match beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them both with us.

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hi Karen,
What a beautiful heartfelt post, your daughter did a wonderful job of choosing her flowers. Thank you for sharing,
Sue

the wild raspberry said...

what lovely lovely thoughts you have shared today.
and your story was absolutely heart-touching.
thank you for your wonderful words.
chasity

Blondie's Journal said...

Karen,

There were many great lessons in your thoughts, the story of the cracked pot, your nursery trip with Sarah, your tears after all the confrontations... I could see so many and there ARE so many.

I am still trying to navigate my way through some rough waters with Abby. I am finding the "letting go" thing to be a common thread among many of us women lately. But we all go at it differently because we come from someplace different inside, I guess.

I loved this post and all your pretty gardens and pots. Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friend!

xoxo
Jane

Kathleen Grace said...

Thank you, I needed this.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Great pics! Thanks for sharing.

Bellamere Cottage said...

What a wonderful post.....I'm constantly amazed by God's goodness to us.......What an awesome God.!!! I'm so happy you're gathering your bouquets now...

Blessings! Hugs!
Spencer

Natasha Burns said...

What a beautiful post Karen! It sounds like you have brought up two wonderful daughters :)

Charli and me said...

This is a wonderful and inspiring post Karen. Those teenage years are so hard with so much change going on. What a lovely day you had with your daughter. You are a very kind and caring person.

jeanne said...

Karen, your post touched my heart and your flowers touched my soul. I too raised daughters and They are my pride and joy. Sometimes when they were growing up it was a test of faith for sure. Your text is beautiful the way you expressed your faith. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings. Our lives are so enriched by the love of our daughters.

Hugs...Jeanne

jeanne said...

Karen, your post touched my heart and your flowers touched my soul. I too raised daughters and They are my pride and joy. Sometimes when they were growing up it was a test of faith for sure. Your text is beautiful the way you expressed your faith. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings. Our lives are so enriched by the love of our daughters.

Hugs...Jeanne

jeanne said...

Oops, how did I post twice. Sorry Karen.

Jeanne, again

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Karen,
Thank you for your lovely comments! My mama was a true angel in every sense of the word. How blessed I am to have had her for a mother. You too ARE a great mom to your daughter and she will never forget your kindnesses and talents! WOW What great photos...Bisous, Anita

debbie said...

DEAR KAREN,
WHAT AN INSPIRING WALK WITH GOD IN THE GARDEN, DISCUSSING YOUR DAUGHTER. THE STORY OF THE CRACKED POT IS SUCH A TEARFUL BUT BEAUTIFUL STORY TO ME. I THINK EVERY MOTHER WHO HAS A DAUGHTER HAS THE SAME FRUSTRATIONS AND TEARS.
I THOUGHT THE LAST PICTURE THAT HAS THE TWO POTS SHE PLANTED AND THE BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET ON THE DOOR...I LOOKED AT THAT AND JUST WELLED UP WITH TEARS OF JOY....MOTHER-DAUGHTER, FORM THE BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET THAT THEY WERE ALWAYS MEANT TO BE.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS AND THOUGHTS WERE BEAUTIFUL.
YOU ARE SUCH A GIFTED MOTHER AND ARTIST.
BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER KAREN
HUGS
debbie

Laurie said...

Wow, I don't remember that cracked pot story but I love it!

Beverly said...

Karen, this is absolutely wonderful. We, as parents, should not try to make them like us, but instead we should let them be - and teach us.

And, our treasured children will always be our treasures, but they also become wonderful friends. My son is a treasure in my life.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

This beautiful post touched my heart in so many different ways!!! Your words, experiences, and beautiful pictures helped my heart that is going through some senses of loss now. Thank-you so very much...m..

Fete et Fleur said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read this. What a beautiful heart you have. Your daughters are so very blessed and your home is a garden paradise! I always feel so refreshed when I visit. I recently posted on A Beautiful Visitor. My post is similar in some ways to your situation with your daughter.

Hugs!
Nancy

Culinary Wannabe said...

What a lovely story. I am immediately sending this over to my mother who is going through struggles of her own with my 18 year old sister. I think this will serve as a great comfort to her. And thank-you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment!

TRES BELLE said...

What an inspiring post. It gives all of us moms who have daughers some food for thought and for those of us who have already been through the difficult teenage years a nod in agreement with you on your findings.

Gorgeous flowers!!

Kris

Terry said...

God bless you !
Thank you for sharing this ,it brought back so many memories.
Sometimes it is good to be reminded of those difficult times .So we are reminded to continue Praising God for the blessings of grown children who have become people that are no longer our sweet little shadows
but God's pottery in all it's glorious creation.
Blessings of joy to you.