Yesterday I spent 2 hours pruning my rose bushes at the cottage.
The sun was hot and the breeze not much cooler as I kept rolling up my sleeves hoping to prevent a farmers tan.
I always come up with the best sermons to myself while I am working in the yard:)
Nature has a way of teaching lessons we don't easily see in our modern, hard surface, million mile a minute world.
Lesson 1: There is no way to cut roses fast, believe me I tried but the thorns got me every time:(
Life translation-when I make decisions on the fly I make mistakes that are not only unnecessary but they sting!
Lesson 2: Sometimes you have to cut one blooming flower at the end because the rest of the stem is bad.
Life translation-Are all of the things I do really important? Just because it looks good at the end was the journey to get there worth it? This really applies to time and silly things that don't really matter.
Lesson 3: The more I pruned the more I saw that needed pruning!
Life translation-Wow, this one can be discouraging. I believe in this life we are meant to improve, make progress and learn from everything we do or don't do! Each bad habit I break or each time I manage to improve something in myself I notice that something else is there I need to work on! Its like plucking eyebrows... when you think you are done go stand by a window in the sun!
As I went deeper into the layers of the rose bushes I found hidden stems and roses that were dead. The rose bush surface looked great at that point and I thought I was done until I looked closer. Taking a look at one's real self is so painful sometimes and it is easier to just keep plugging along with the status quo. However I learned from my roses that the bush looks best and more roses will bloom is I cut the bad stems and dead booms.
Lesson 4: When I don't actually go to the cottage and water my roses some of them will die.
Life translation-I am a busy, busy girl and sometimes I neglect the basics-like watering my soul with the scriptures so that I will never thirst as I study about the One who is the Living Water. No matter how much I trim and mulch my roses, it I do not give them water they will die. I let too many days go by without watering my roses thinking oh they will be fine until they are not.... literally at the cottage, and symbolically for me.
Lesson 5: Roses are arguably the worlds most beloved flower and yet they are the most persnickety about their care and keeping.
Life translation-All women know that we do a really bad job of taking care of ourselves. I have had lectures from two doctors this week about not taking care of myself and that my body will give out if I do not change the way I treat it....which is working beyond pain and tiredness for the last 30 years.
Now I am not talking about neglecting our children or families like the woman who wouldn't help her child with his homework because she was watching a movie, or the women who act like divas, or the women who spend extraordinary time in pursuit of youth or glory.
We as women do really have the most important job of all..the care and keeping of all we love. How can we possibly do that well if we are dying physically, mentally or spiritually?
Lesson 5: Unless I stop, look, and enjoy my roses I will miss the most beautiful blooms.
Annabelle my grandbaby is 19 months now and the whole world is exciting to her. She stops and smiles for things I have long stopped noticing...a bee buzzing around a flower, the lizard hiding on a plant, an ant marching across the driveway, the wonder of the fountain my the pool, the marvel at all the shoes in my closet:)
Taking her for a walk around my yard and home is eye opening. Life is meant for joy. This earth was created to us to have joy! Joy is not the relentless pursuit of entertainment. It is not having everything perfect on your body or in your home. Joy is quiet and pleasing to ones soul. It is a feeling that this is what heaven feels like. It is the feeling when greeting a long lost friend or giving to the needy, or volunteering our time for a worthy cause. Joy is here all around us...we just need to look:)
There are probably a few more lessons but I will stop the sermon now:) Just think... all of that came from pruning a couple of rose bushes! I probably should stay away from that nasty hedge I need to cut down:)
I should love to be a freshly trimmed rose bush ever blooming with beautiful flowers:)....of course this takes work and lots of it!