Before I dive into my “pontifications” for the week, just a reminder that the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is happening this weekend. You are welcome to watch the proceedings — just follow my links!
Now, on to my thoughts for the week!
Lessons from The Lilies
Last week, I posted pictures and told the story of the Surprise Lilies in my yard. I didn’t talk about why the lilies and their story are important to me. I intend to correct that this week. I see lessons and spiritual messages in many of the events of my life and in the world around me.
Lesson 1: I adore things that have a strong instinct to survive.
I doubt it surprises anyone who truly knows me that I feel a kinship to any living thing that is giving its all to survive in life. Divorce significantly altered the course of my life and forever changed who I am. The first 5-10 years that followed leaving my husband were nothing but survival. I needed additional schooling, I had to learn to parent on my own, I endured multiple court battles, etc. By and through the grace of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I made it through, and I’m stronger and better than I ever could have been without His hand and without my experiences. I would never wish them away, but I would never wish them on anyone else. God gave me my chance, and I give other living things their chance.
I also think watching other living organisms survive also gives me hope: hope that good and beauty will continue, hope that kindness and generosity will prevail, hope that maybe we will learn to encourage the best out of everyone that we meet.
Lesson 2: Time and patience work hand-in-hand.
Not only have I been guilty of rushing in to “fix” a hopeless situation, but I’ve watched others make the same choice. The desires are noble — we want to save others from the pain and suffering that we are certain will be coming. We want to salvage anything we can, and help in any way possible. Sometimes, though, rushing in to “help” does far more harm than good. Sometimes, we can’t see the life and lessons that are still left in the situation. We could be “digging up and tossing out” something that, if given time and patience, could turn into a beautiful and cherished life lesson.
Time and patience give us the opportunity to watch God’s miracles unfold in our lives and in the lives of others. Heavenly Father doesn’t work on our time table, and we cannot rush Him. The older I get, the more I realize that I need to check in with Him before I decide to “fix” anything. If God has something going on that I can’t see, all I will end up doing is getting in the way. On the other hand, if I let Him guide me, I can be a force for good in the world around me.
Lesson 3: Faith is a strength
As I’ve said in earlier posts, I believe that Heavenly Father speaks to His children through the Holy Spirit. I rely on those impressions throughout my life. I even use them while gardening. Faith and trust in God have been a rock and an anchor throughout my life. I have watched as I have followed promptings that seem to defy reason and logic, and I have watched them be the correct choice over and over again.
I suppose it wouldn’t surprise anyone then, that I also listen to the Holy Spirit while I’m gardening — after all, I feel very close to God as I work with His creations to bring sustenance from the ground. So, as I contemplated what I might do with a still-barren flower bed, I felt no rush. I somehow sensed that there was no need to do anything quickly and that I could wait. Again, I have watched my faith be blessed.
Lesson 4: Humility
I would be a terrible liar if I didn’t admit that I had to shake off the feeling that my fiance had killed my flowers more than once. (Yes, I know this is ridiculous. After all, it is my home and yard, and I could have, at any time, taken even more leaves out of the bed!) It turned out to be a great lesson and exercise in being grateful for help — even when it doesn’t turn out the way that I envisioned it. I was suffering from the desire to remove the mote in his eye (less knowledge about gardening than I possess) while I had a huge beam (pride and arrogance over my “superior” knowledge) in my eye.
While I may one day be ready to write about my wrestles with pride, today isn’t the day. In the end, I learned to be grateful for the willing hands and a loving heart of a man who adores me. I was humbled that I would turn my pride and arrogance on him, and I learned and grew from the “Lesson of the Surprise Lilies.”