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.
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