Saturday morning. Time to tackle the weekly yard work. Try as we might, it is still hard to engage our teenage kids in this endeavor. Shocker, right? But we know it builds character (and muscles and endurance and…), so we insist! This past weekend was no exception. Despite his lack of eager enthusiasm, our son joined us to trim bushes, pull weeds, and make sure the lawn was well manicured for another week.
Trimming the long, tedious hedge grew very old very fast. But when he learned that we needed to do some more serious pruning on one of our growing trees, his eyes lit up! He disappeared into the garage and emerged a few moments later with a glint in his eye and the biggest lopper tool he could find.
Ah ha! So, this kid could relate to Tim, the tool man, Taylor!!?! What we’ve needed all along was to find an outdoor task that tapped into his love of “bigger, stronger is better” mentality! It was rather fun to watch him hack away at the stray branches of our sprawling tree, and then hack away at the branches on the ground, cutting them down to manageably sized pieces that fit in our bulging bag of clippings. We might make a landscaper out of him yet!
When he finished his tree project, my son wandered over to the bed off our back patio where I was pulling weeds. He let out a pleasantly surprised “hmmm!?” “Mom! Look at that! The lower petals on those flowers open up to collect water!!! How cool is that!!?!”
Although they have been favorite perennials in our yard for several years, this was the first time my son had taken notice of our beloved Siam tulips! And he was absolutely right. They are very cool!!! And very pretty. I also happen to like that they are hearty and need very little maintenance, yet they always provide a beautiful burst of color along with their wide green leaves. They are strong but delicate and they faithfully come back each spring to bloom all summer.
South Florida weather can be rather unpredictable, especially in the summer. It can be rainy with storms almost every day, but it can also be unusually dry – and always HOT! The tulips’ tiny petal pockets do, in fact, collect and hold each flower’s own reservoir of water! So, whatever the conditions, our tulips can remain strong and steady.
It warmed my heart to share in the joy of my son’s discovery – and his delight in appreciating one of our Creator’s divine designs. I whispered a “thank you” prayer to the Lord for giving my son a willing heart to join us in the yard work – and the ability to notice and appreciate that small but truly awesome detail!
What a precious reminder to me, too! The more layers of my heart I open to receive the Lord’s bountiful provisions, the more I can collect and hold in reserve. No matter the circumstances that swirl around me, His words, His promises, His wisdom, and the confidence in His eternally unchanging purposes can help me remain strong and steady!
May I be like our Siam tulips – strong but delicate, faithful, steady… and displaying a unique beauty that draws others to see and appreciate the divine designs of our Creator!
“Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things in Your Word.” Psalm 119:18
“I will open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” Malachi 3:10