Read below and a couple pics from yesterday! :)
I sit here on my porch this morning gazing at my $5 hand picked beautiful wildflowers. Some friends and I went to Dewberry Farms yesterday after church. It's a fun, fall, pumpkin patch type of place North of Houston. (Like my explanation? :)) Anyways, you can hand-pick wildflowers there and I was in hog heaven (considering I had just finished watching the pig races there as well!) :) My flowers are beautiful! A mix of big yellow and orange sunflowers (my favorite), amidst several pink, white, orange, red and yellow other wildflowers. I placed them on a table on my porch last night, which stands in the direct view of a palm tree that I had planted right beside my porch years ago. It's called an Australian Palm Tree and when I was a little girl my great grandpa used to have one. My grandpa and I were friends. I would go to his house, which was right down the street, to visit him and he would always take me out front to pick things...his pecans, komkwots (sp), and one particular fruit that is said to come from an Australian Palm Tree. I loved this fruit! So when he passed four years ago, at the age of 101, I told my grandma that this is what I wanted for my birthday which was directly following...an Australian Palm Tree. And she got me one. Four years ago I planted that little Palm into the ground and it stands today with it's leaves over the roof of my house. It even faired well through Hurricane Ike. In fact, after Ike I found myself having to prune it up a lot and I was so sad. It looked as if I was mutilating this poor tree of mine. But my mom re-assured me that it would indeed only make it better. So I pruned away. it looked pretty lifeless and pitiful and small at that point. I found myself doing the same thing to several flowers of mine as well...pruning all their beautiful flowers and buds off and leaving them to only green stems. My porch seemed barren...my tree seemed small. BUT TODAY, over 2 months later, My sentimental palm is not only full of new shoots, but it is FINALLY bearing fruit (and it never has before!) I was beginning to think that it wasn't an Australian Palm Tree after all (my grandma is old!) :) And not only that, but my flowers are full of blooms...and not just the $5 ones that I picked! :) It's a bird and butterfly haven out here and I am thrilled! I knew, as a new gardener, that pruning was good for your plants, I just hated to do it. It makes things look so lifeless. But now I KNOW that it makes things truly better! And I can't help but think of one of my most favorite chapters in scripture-John 15. Jesus prunes us too, only so that we will bear much fruit. We go through seasons of pruning, where we feel lifeless, barren, un-fruitful, in pain from His cutting. BUT THEN, His word comes forth in our lives and we begin to bear much fruit! We shine Him to a hurting world and enable them to glory in HIS fruit in our lives! HALLELUJAH! Recently I have really been working through this one particular stronghold in my life...the one that wants to stay forever. And it's a particular one that leaves me feeling very un-pretty every day. But also recently I have found myself walking through a particular season of freedom and it is exhilirating! And I have found that when Jesus is shining through the inside out of your life, that is what makes you beautiful! I say this with humility, I promise, but in one of the most "ugly feeling" times of my life to me, I have been told recently, by several people, just how pretty that they think I am, and it has flabergasted me! But I sit here this morning, with just a tiny bit of understanding as to maybe why...it's just the Jesus in me that they see shining forth, from the inside out! And that is truly all that matters. For we can work our whole lives obsessing over our outter shell, all the while letting our inner man waste away. And without that pruning, we will never truly bear lasting fruit! So be an evergreen today! A mighty Oak that withstands the storm...just like mine did during Ike! :) May you hide his word in your heart, that you might not sin against Him. Then, when the flowers fade away, it will be His word which stands forever and shines forth in your life!