Ivy, Pansies and Lilies

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I need to thank you. All of you.

Since we got approval to take Patrick to Omaha back in January, I have struggled to maintain a feeling of peace. There were little snippets of it here and there to show me we were on the right path, but overall I have been fighting the idea so much that I haven’t really had much peace.

Yesterday afternoon, we started an online fundraiser for Patrick. Between 5 p.m. when the event was published and when I went to bed, it had been shared nearly 2500 times (that I could count.) Brian and I agreed that it was almost addictive to watch the number climb. It was amazing.

But since today was a sunny spring day, we pried ourselves away from the computer to work in the yard. It was a wonderful morning! Brian added compost to and then turned over our vegetable garden by hand. I weeded all of the flower beds and gave some TLC to the garden surrounding our pond.

Patrick bounced back and forth between the two of us. I introduced him to the joy of worms. Brian gave him a shovel and let him play in the dirt. (Looking for worms of course.)

I like working in the garden because my hands are busy, but everything else is quiet and I can think. And I learn a lot from the work I am doing. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Christ’s parables are so often about seeds and orchards and gardening. He created these things and they are governed by his laws, and so it should come as no surprise that he can teach us about how our Heavenly Father cares for his children as we care for his other creations.

Take my ivy for example. Around my pond, there is ivy. A lot of ivy. It used to be cute and small and climb up this little trellis thing. But every year, it grows bigger. Ivy, if left unchecked, can even grow through the walls of your house. It’s a strong plant and very resistant to hard things. But, it will take over the garden, making it so nothing else can grow there, unless I come in every spring with my garden shears and start cutting. Not just a little. My goal is to reduce my ivy by 1/3 to 1/2 every spring to give it room to grow again.

Now to the ivy, this could be seen as a big offense. It is strong and growing. How dare I cut it back? But it grows in the wrong places unless a gardener helps to guide it.

See where I’m going? I’ve been a lot like that ivy lately. Strong and determined and trying to grow. And then, when the Master Gardener comes in and says I need some pruning, I fight against it. I mean, let’s face it, when I was a little girl and my parents pruned my willow tree, I cried for the rest of the day. I couldn’t see how it could ever be ok again after being so badly cut. But it was strong, and it did, and when it grew back, it was better.

Another lesson of the day – my pansies. We bought two flats of pansies at Home Depot last night to put in the yard. But, as is often the case with flowers from home depot, they were quite root-bound. I learned when working in a greenhouse that people want to see a developed, blossoming plant when they shop for flowers, and so you have to let the plants overgrow their container a bit to make a sale.

The pansies really clung to their planters. I lost a few, even, trying to free them when their roots just didn’t want to let go. Not knowing that left as they were, they’d eventually wither away because there was no more room to grow in a container meant just for starting. Not that transplantation isn’t hard for the flower. Extra care is required while the flower becomes strong again and puts down new roots.

But I saw that I have been a bit like the pansies, too. Clinging to an old container that no longer meets our needs, instead of trusting in the Master Gardener to take care of me and my family.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? – Matthew 6:28-30

As I finished my work today, I realized that instead of turmoil, this morning and most of the afternoon, I had felt peace. I had, in fact, been open to receive some of the answers I’ve been seeking.

And then I remembered 2500+ shares of Patrick’s story. And many, many messages sent saying that we were in your thoughts and prayers today.

And so, I need to say thank you. Thank you for your prayers.

Being Patrick’s caregiver is perhaps one of the loneliest things I have ever done. But today, I didn’t feel so very alone.

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