Mother’s Day: One woman with a flower changes history

In two days, Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day, one of the most noted “female” holidays in the world. While walking through a local store I was astounded at the sheer number of greeting cards offered to shoppers.

A thought occurred to me – all these cards are filled with the words of other people writing sappy sentiments to someone else’s mom.

mother's day cards

Has our country become so lazy or illiterate that we can’t write our own heartfelt words?

Now, before you think I’m being snooty, I sent one of these cards to my own mom this year with my heartfelt words tacked on for good measure. I love her card; the artwork is beautiful and the writer managed to create a sentiment that expressed my heart exactly. Crazy!

The history of the American Mother’s Day is fascinating. It started with an idea by a woman named Anna Jarvis, and a simple white carnation worn as a badge by people visiting their mothers. The white carnation symbolizes purity and innocence.

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However, like many other holidays, Mother’s Day has been over-commercialized, something Anna Jarvis fought against for the rest of her life. She even petitioned the U.S. Government to remove the holiday from the calendar.

She’s probably rolling in her grave right now.

Even still, I have to admit I enjoy it. My children and husband usually concoct a wonderful breakfast in bed – gifts included. Then, they give me the best gift of all – a day to do anything I want!

One year I gave this “gift”of a day to my own mother and you know what she asked for? She asked that my brother and I accompany her to an opera in the park. I’d rather send a card any day! It was torture on us, but we did it because we love her and ultimately that’s what it’s all about.

On days like these, I’m sad that my mother and I live so far apart. I’d love to pin a carnation on, visit her in person and tell her how much she means to me.

I think this little poem by George Cooper says it best:

Hundreds of dew drops to greet the dawn,

Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,

Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,

But only one mother the wide world over.

Your Turn: How will you celebrate Mother’s Day this year?

Need a gift for Valentine’s Day?

I’ve been doing a morning devotional for at least a decade and I’ve got my favorites. But this one . . .

Wow!

I adore this one and think it would make a wonderful gift for that special woman in your life. Yes, this is for ladies and by that I mean ladies, this would be a great present for your best friend, mother or sister.

Or do like I did and buy a gift for yourself – you deserve it.

women in history

The One Year Women in Christian History devotional, by Randy Petersen and Robin Shreeves has 365 stories about God’s work in and through the lives of women. Many stories are about first century women who influenced the church and church history, but there’s a good mix from other time periods as well. I’ve never heard their stories told in over 25 years of attending church.

What a shame to let their legacies be forgotten!

But I’m making up for lost time and each morning I read this and come away encouraged, strengthened and inspired.

Your turn: Do you have a great Valentine’s gift to share this year?

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Prov 27:17

Life verse: Do you have one?

Isaiah 58:11 is my life verse. One day, many years ago I was reading my Bible and this verse pierced my heart. God led me to it and I felt His presence and promise. It’s been stuck there ever since.

Note: If a particular scripture pierces your heart, God may be trying to tell you something.

My verse says: The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

I need to apologize for my lack of blog postings; I was getting dry and felt like I couldn’t write anything. In my home I have a beautiful tropical plant called an anthurium. They’re supposed to look like this…

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See those beautiful leaves? How lush and shiny they are nestled among the flowers? This is what mine looks like…

anthirium

There are no flowers and the brown and yellow leaf tip means they’re not getting enough water. I am at fault. I’m the gardner. Every time I pass by this wimpy, neglected plant I’m reminded that God never forgets to water.

He’s the perfect gardener all the time and He knew I was lacking and needed some refreshing. A little TLC and spritzing to encourage me and help me endure. Life has been tough for the last several months so my husband and I took a quick getaway to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On one of our excursions, we went to the Castillo Del Morro which is an old fort overlooking the sea. It was built in the 17th century and is one of those crazy beautiful old places. While we were there peering over the walls of a closed cemetery I noticed these beautiful ferns growing from the massive stone walls.

San Juan wall

It was a reminder that God sustains all things. If you know about ferns you know they mostly grow in damp shade with well drained soil. But here they were, growing without any human help along a sun scorched stone wall. It reminded me of my life verse.

san juan fern

I was looking at some other things growing outside of the cemetery walls and came upon this strange tree growing these gorgeous flowers and I thought, yes – this is me blooming again!

San Juan flower

It’s great to be back!

So how about you? Do you have a life verse to share?

A Legacy in Bloom

One of my earliest memories of flowers comes courtesy of my father. When I was ten-years-old, he bought our first house in a place nicknamed “Azalea City.” Spring was ushered in with waves of show-stopping color. Every home on our street had azaleas in their yard and cars filled with gawkers cruised up and down our hilly neighborhood streets. Each year my dad would take his trusty garden book and select the plants he wanted to buy from his favorite nursery. I hated going with him, but it was not negotiable. In my adolescent mind, garden centers were BORING. I was in charge of pulling the wagon full of plants behind him.dad's garden bookOne day everything changed. I was unloading trays of flowers and shrubs from the car when suddenly, I really noticed them. Boring became BEAUTIFUL. It was such a weird feeling – a harmony created between us.I asked my dad if I could help plant them and he let me. I never minded the garden center after that year. Because of this, the azalea has a special place in my heart and my father’s passionate legacy lives on in me. Today, I live in a town that celebrates a legendary Azalea Festival. In the spring, over 200,000 people descend on our city to celebrate these blossoms and the festival events around it. Hundreds of passionate gardeners go on the garden tour to drool over gorgeous displays in the yards of select homes in and around our town.

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My dad passed away twenty five years ago, but the blooms of spring are a vibrant memorial of a man who gave me his gift of gardening.

What about you? Are there any plants that remind you of someone special?