Yesterday I was supposed to have a tea party for some lovely friends, however I was ill, so my wonderful friend–who is also a part of this tea group, hosted the tea instead. I am so, so very grateful for this. I am also so very grateful for this group of International ladies and American ladies who have forged firm friendships with each other. I hope by writing about our Tea Group to inspire other similar groups to spring up across our country and across the world.
I took pictures of my flowers to send to the Tea group today, as I was not sure my lilacs would still be in bloom by the time I was hosting the next tea.
I thought I would share these pictures with you as well. Enjoy!!
These are all early days for my garden– as every gardener knows–there is much to be done–but I hope these glimples will inspire you to garden and have garden parties!! AS always,
Here are some more photos of my blooming Rose-of-Sharon. I shared some photos, a week ago in my blog called Blooming, when it was first blooming, and I shared some photos last fall, after I just pruned the Rose of Sharon, in a blog called, Pruning Time. (I also shared my spiritual insights as relating to God “pruning” me, so I could bloom.)
Hope these pictures encourage you, if and when you go through your own “pruning” times!!
Blooming!! My Rose-of-Sharon bush that I pruned last fall, is now blooming!! When I pruned it, I knew I was doing the right thing for it, but it was still difficult to do. I pruned it way back—so I was not sure if it would come back well. And now it is blooming.
I pruned my lilac bushes as well, and they are also flourishing—they are full leaved, and abundant, whereas before their pruning their branches were straggly, and not very full. Now they are exactly how I hoped they could be.
Just as I pruned my bushes for their health, and benefit, God prunes—or disciplines us—for our health and our benefit. In Hebrews 12, it says that we discipline our children, doing the best we know how to do for them in our limited wisdom and understanding. Our Heavenly Father disciplines us—with all knowledge, all wisdom, all gentleness and all power. He does this for our best, to make us complete—or Holy—as He is Holy.
This past year of Covid—I have experienced God’s pruning in my life. I did not enjoy the quarantines—(I know some people who did—they liked the slower pace of life)—I did not appreciate the shortages of supplies—I did not love wearing the masks—I did not like not having social times with family and friends—I reacted to all these situations with annoyance and anger.
This week, I went to our community’s school board meeting. I have homeschooled my children, but my grandchildren attend public schools, so I wanted to see this meeting. They were talking about a variety of issues that people have conflicting opinions about, (i.e. masks, critical race theory, LBGTQ, etc, etc.)
There was a great deal of passion and some anger in that room. After the meeting, I went to talk to the Superintendent of the school board, and I told her how much I appreciated her calmness in the room. Beside her was my neighbor, who is an administrator of the schools. I told them that I would be praying for them in this coming year and thanked them for doing their jobs in the midst of a very difficult season of life.
My daughter-in-law is a teacher, and this past year, I have taken her lunch and her baby to nurse during her lunch break, and so I have seen and heard first-hand the struggles and trials of the teachers as they seek to teach our children, during the age of Covid.
What is the point of all of this—we have all been tested this year. We have been pruned. We have been put in situations where we have gotten angry with each other. We are annoyed with each other. We have differences of opinion with each other. We feel powerless, and out of control.
And it is the pruning of the Lord—the discipline of the Lord—that leads to our Holiness—that we may experience the reality of the freedom that Jesus sacrificed to give us and bear the image of our Father—to the world.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.