Tuesday, April 13

Morning Attack and Flowers of Thankfulness

This morning was one of the days I don’t wish to repeat anytime soon.

Kids were stinkers, hubby was preparing for a big meeting and had a case of the jitters, and I was still in a pasta coma at 7am. (I ate 4 bowls of pasta last night. They weren’t huge bowls, but I lost all control.)
I can’t control a whole lot in my world lately.

So today I am simply going to name off a few things I am thankful for because I think I need the reminder.

1. I am very thankful for my husband. He’s precious to me. And I love him like no other.

2. I am thankful that my kids are stretching independent wings. As tough as it is, they are growing up. Mom and Dad get to deal with the bumps and growing pains of this tween-age time, but them trying to grow up means that we are doing things right.

3. I am thankful for my SIL/BFF Julia. Today is here birthday, and it has been 20 years of an enduring friendship that has lasts the test of whine. Uh, time rather. Happy Birthday, Julia! I’ll call and sing to you later.

4. I am thankful for my other SIL/BFF Tricky Nikki. She’s my link to sanity. She supports me in a way that most women could only hope for.

5. I am thankful for Lilacs that bloom in early spring.

On that note, today I am going to tell you about one of the most amazing things that God has ever done for me.


A few years back, we had to move out of “our house.” Matt couldn’t find a job, our house payment skyrocketed, and we were left no choice but to move.

And I was devastated.

As we moved into the crappy house (the one we are still living in) I was a broken woman and sank into a deep depression. I was angry that we went from a 2700 square foot to a 700 sq ft house with one toilet. I was bitter that we moved from the country into a neighborhood that is questionable at best. I don’t deal well with change as it is, and this change was a little too much.

One of my favorite things to do at the old house in the country was to walk outside in the morning (in my nightgown) and cut fresh lilacs from the side of the house. I have always loved lilacs, and I had 4 very well established bushes growing right outside my door. I girl couldn’t ask for much more than that.

6 months later, I was still in a deep depression about our new location. It didn’t feel like home, it was tiny and unwelcoming, and the winter had been long and cold.

And one morning, I was especially angry about things and to say I was having a rough patch would be putting it mildly. I was falling apart. I stormed outside to my car. On my way there, I detected the faint smell I would embrace in the mornings at our country house.

Lilacs.

I stopped in my tracks and just breathed. Breathed in the scent I associate with happiness. I could smell it not too far away.

Then I looked for it.

And wouldn’t you know it, right there in my back yard, planted firmly next to the trash cans, was a lilac bush.



Life is like that a lot, you know.

We look at our lives like a big pile of trash- frustrating, stinky and awkward. Dealing with trash isn’t fun. It’s bulky and it smells like every old rotten scent of the things we have thrown away in our lives has blended together to make eau du rubbage. It’s overwhelming.

And yet, even still, the scent of promise- the breeze carrying hope- is never far away. It is never far from the trash of our lives.

That was the day God challenged me to be content with my tiny house and my situation. To make the best of things. To find happiness next to the garbage. Because He had (and still has, for that matter) a plan for our lives.

And it’s firmly planted next to the crappy stuff. Right by the trash.

I bet you have some trash going on in your life right now. I know I surely do. My attitude this morning was stinkier than a land fill. But when I came home, today was the first day I could smell the lilacs. They have been blooming for a week, but you couldn’t catch a wiff if you tried.
They smelled like nothing at all.

And many days, God’s promise for our life doesn’t show any evidence of being fruitful either. We may not even realize it’s there. But soon, those little blooms of hope will start to open up, and you will breathe out of desperation for a fresh breath, and find God’s promise filling your senses once again.

What we lack- He makes up for in spades. Or in lilacs, perhaps...

10 comments:

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Oh yeah, I needed to read this today :-) Love you!

Mari said...

Oh I cannot tell you how this blessed my heart today. Thank you for sharing this. I was raised up north (IN) and loved lilacs. WE had one in our back yard. Now in FL you just don't see them here.
But you describing how it bloomed right next to the trash...isn't that just like God to do that for us? Wow. You are such an inspiration to all of us...keep it up. I think you are amazing!
((hugs))

Autumn Mist said...

I love it when God speaks to you and you share it with us. More please!

Carol said...

Charlie,

This was a scent of beautiful!!
Love reading your blog!

For real!!
cb

trimadsco said...

wow, what an awesome post! One that I think we could all use! It's so easy to let the garbage in our lives overpower us sometimes. Thanks for the reminder of how much we always have to be thankful for!

Missie said...

Awesome post! Just what I needed to read right now. Thanks for writing it.

Marybeth said...

Loved this-- what a PERFECT picture of what life's like. The job loss is yuck but the unexpected gift from a friend is the lilacs. Thanks for giving me a word picture I won't soon forget!!

And thanks so much for your prayers...

Devin said...

Such amazing truth, my friend. Awesome. (And I am loving this band below....love the sound! Muted trumpet--Mmmmmmm, yummy....)

Amanda said...

Charlie,
Thank you so much for posting this. I was having a bit of a stinker of a day and then I read your post. It reminded me of all the good things in my life.
I'm now firmly focussing on the future again and not looking back to last year and a past that cannot be regained.
I have so much to be thankful for and one of those things is the new and wonderful friends like you, that I have made online.

Thank you.
Blessings,
Amanda

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

Beautiful and made my day.
How do you think Eau de Rubbage would sell? Maybe at Wally World or something?
I think we all need a whiff of the lilacs every now and again.
Love you. This is absolutely and wonderful post.

 
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