My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Seeds of Promise

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New garden catalogs are arriving in my mailbox brimming with endless possibilities, my eyes drinking in the bounty that could await me. Realizing before you know it sunshine and warm breezes will replace this bitter cold as it bows to a new season. With each turn of the glossy pages I’m practically able to taste the  juicy vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil  and sweet  strawberries some of our favorites.

Presently cold harsh winds swiftly blow over our barren and bleak garden that at the present moment lacks color and bounty,  However as I examine these vibrant photos, curled up with a steaming cup of a tea and toasty quilt  I’m reminded of the endowment presented in a  tiny seed of promise. Hope planted in my heart not just for my lifeless gardens to one day flourish again, but an assurance that when bitter winds of adversity charge across my soul they will not stay forever. Winter will give way to spring  and spring to summer carrying optimistic seeds of change. Gardens void and bare will rally to natures gentle nudge bursting forth in all their glory,while winter’s severity will become a mere memory. So, it is with our heartaches they too shall mellow with time,  and we will not only survive but thrive with spring in our hearts once more.

“Grant me, O God , the power to see in every rose, eternity.  In every bud , the coming day; In every snow the promised May; In every storm the legacy of rainbows smiling down on me!”  …Virginia Wuerfel
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”  Isaiah 35:1


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Sisterhood of the Travailing Plants

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While strolling with my friend through her enchanting cottage garden  I tried to stay focused on instructions  of how  to properly water her garden of Eden; while she was on vacation with her husband. Unfortunately, my visual senses were taking their own personal holiday. How could they not? Their property holds  breathtaking views of Oregon and Washington,  kicking my cell phone into digital roam, stunning pops of color displayed beautifully with annuals and garden ornaments. Whimsy and charm worthy of gracing the pages of Garden Gate magazine, made reining in my concentration difficult, rivaling  the enthusiasm of a  kid in a candy store.

We concluded our stroll poised underneath the house eaves gazing at a cleverly designed  rebar plant holder for three hanging baskets. The first basket a Fuschia plant was flourishing full of life and vibrant bloom, the second  basket’s plant was showing signs of distress; withered brown curled up leaves. The third plant was down for the count, the hanging basket removed from  the spotlight now placed on the ground, because the plants swirled up and died.

We discussed the dying plant as gardeners do, my friend saying she needed to take the second one down too, it was right then and there I shared with her one of my true confessions. Telling her there have been times when my beautiful hanging flower baskets have bitten the dust before their natural time to do so. Causing guilty feelings to arise within me, that I should’ve paid closer attention to their need.  This was poignantly displayed even greater when my mom’s illness escalated, her extra need care;  made my daily tasks more difficult to accomplish.

Wrapping up with this deeper confession… it was those times that whenever I happened to drive by a house and saw someone elses dying  flower basket, it brought a sigh of relief and an emotional connection.  Experiencing first hand the old saying, “misery loves company”.  After divulging my heart we gave each other the knuckle bump connection, the “New School” version of the original “High Five”.  In closing, this gracious and very compassionate friend choose to leave the second faltering basket up… to encourage other weary sisters that they are not alone. What a heart of gold !

C.S Lewis writes:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

In the movie the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” four best girlfriends pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that flatter their figures despite their very different measurements. Planning to stay connected during their separate journeys through summer, equally sharing  the opportunity to  wear “the traveling pants”.

No matter what our differences we all put our pants on one leg at a time. Once our feet hit the floor of life we stand on common ground when it comes to facing our own  struggles, suffering and sorrows that come in all shapes and sizes.

What a comfort to know we are not alone!  We can have the privilege of a close friendship with Jesus our precious Savior. Plus the added blessing of  God bringing friends  and family along our path to share our highest highs and  lowest of lows.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 is both revealing and  comforting… receive God’s encouragement with His following words of love for you.

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.”    The Message Bible
Thank you Lord that we are called your friend’s. May we walk this life with the full assurance of your outrageous love and friendship for us. Often times manifested  creatively through the love of friends, family and even strangers.  A perfect fit as we travel life in the well worn comfort of your grace.

Light is sown for the  righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].

Psalm 97:11-12          Amplified Bible (AMP)

A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a difficult time. Proverbs 17:17


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Welcome Change

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While I was working with great toil to redo a garden area along the side of our house, my mind was a bevy of mixed emotions. This small area of land was my first attempt at gardening seventeen years ago, nestling next to the detached garage of our starter home. Every year I would add an extra something to enhance its’ cottage charm.   A climbing white rose, Lady’s’ Mantle from the annual Powell Valley plant sale, a blown glass snail, a birthday gift from my mama.   As our little slice of garden heaven evolved so had our home….our starter home was now becoming our “finisher home”. What once was a detached garage, has become a very attached master bedroom.
The new plans included a french door exit into a small enclosed patio adjacent to our bedroom. Hands laboring and feet planted firmly on the cold soil I slowly began removing stones that lined our pea gravel path. God’s word came to mind as I worked, “A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones”. It was now the season to cast those familiar aisle of stones once gathered from a neighbor’s yard long since moved away….it then began to hit me. It was more than just rocks, pea gravel and discounted plants dotting the small landscape. It had become part of this girls’ sentimental journey. A discovery of beauty merging out of barrenness, kindred neighbors sharing their garden treasures. Memories played in my mind with each new task of removing parts of my cherished established garden. As the day wore on my feet became frozen and my heart was feeling heavy, it was then I decided to call it a day and head for a relaxing hot shower. Hoping that my body and soul would once again feel the warm anticipation of a new patio and not be laden with increasing sadness, and the sense of loss brought on by change.
After placing my tools in the shed, I thought it would be nice to surprise my husband, by cleaning up the dogs business making it one less thing to do when he got home. Who doesn’t appreciate less poop to scoop? Grabbing a recycled plastic grocery bag from a decorative mail box where they’re stored, I quickly opened the bag my eyes widened as I spotted a single fortune from a cookie. This was the only tangible evidence from our delightful Kung Pao chicken we enjoyed weeks earlier. . Placing one of my muddy garden gloves in the bag I pulled it out and read the only two words that graced the slender white paper….there in small black type were the words “Welcome Change”. These powerful words warmed my chilly soul. Leave it to God to show up in the most creative places. Proving Himself to be faithful as He has promised again and again lest we forget. Friends are you facing change today? Perhaps not just small changes but big life changes. I know for me, my changes extend far beyond the borders of my tiny disrupted garden. Change at times can be an unwelcome guest forcing us to shift, transform and adapt to a “new normal”. With the Lord’s unwavering help I’m learning how to navigate my only sibling’s diagnosis of early onset Dementia, my mothers dementia & congestive heart failure. Now, adding into the mix is our first-born son preparing to leave the nest into his newly purchased home…all the while I’m hormonally challenged! There is a whole lot of changes going on !!!
Whatever you are facing you can be confidant God has it covered. Join me in taking comfort in a God that does not change, He remains the same, and never fails us. He is always faithful and pours out His everlasting love and mercy to us daily. His love will see you through every challenging situation. His word is a shield to all who put their trust in Him. My prayer is that today He surprise you with joy in the most unexpected places.
Lord, Thank you for your unchanging love, where there is no variation, rising or setting or shadow cast by your turning. Seasons change from springtime to harvest but your steadfast love remains the same. You, oh Lord, have appointed the moon for the seasons, the sun knows the exact time of its’ setting. From glory to glory changing us while you are unwavering, timeless, your truths transforming us as we yield to your perfect plan for our lives. Thank you for truth that sets us free that we may embrace change knowing whether it’s big or small you can handle it all .
Psalms 102:27 “You remain the same ,and your years will never end”‘
Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord , I change not”.