Receiving Full Sun

Previously, I discussed the importance of roses receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight
also known as being in Full Sun in order to maximize their bloom potential and to help fight off disease.

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“Oregold” is planted in Full Sun.

We know that some roses can get by when planted in areas that will receive somewhere between just 3-6 hours of direct sunlight known as partial shade, but their growth tends to be limited, the blooms are smaller, and the foliage more apt for fungi to cling to.

Similarly, when Christians receive several hours a day of Jesus Christ’s direct SONlight through prayer, reading His Word, listening to Christian radio, worship, or attending a Bible study for example, they are positioned to reach their maximum potential. Unlike those who rarely receive God’s Light, their decision to remain in the partial shade will limit their growth and their blooms will be smaller while being more likely to fall prey to sin and disease. Today, ask yourself, am I firmly planted in a position to receive Full Sun or am I limiting myself to Partial Shade?

 “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ “ John 8:12

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The Darkness

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My new rose, “Angel Face” in bare root form.

While I patiently waited for a Spring cold snap to pass, I stored my impulsively bought bare root rose in my basement to keep her from becoming dehydrated in my toasty home until conditions are favorable for planting. As I took a load of laundry down into the chilly dark basement, I was surprised to see my new rose addition had quickly developed swollen leaf buds despite the dark and damp conditions. It was then while tossing in the laundry detergent, I pondered the often overlooked truth that our personal darkness – ya know the struggles, the hardships, and the issues of life can still be opportunities to grow. Within the garden of my life, my biggest revelations and more importantly, transformations have happened in my soul when I’ve been forced into the darkness. Many are familiar with the verse found in 1 Peter 2:9, which says God called you out of the darkness, but we usually don’t realize or want to realize He sometimes calls us INTO the darkness for our own benefit as I did for my infant rose. In fact, Isaiah 45 invites us to seek out treasures within the darkness and Psalm 139 tells us God is in both the light AND the darkness! So the next time you find yourself in dark and damp conditions, know that God has you there for a reason. It may be to protect you until conditions are more favorable. You could be like my little rose by considering the darkness an opportunity for growth!

 

Growing Horizontally {an excerpt}

Growing Horizontally {an excerpt from my book, Ever-Blooming: Despite Life’s Prickles}

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Fourth of July

 

Have you ever noticed how climbing roses produce far more shoots and consequently, stunning clusters of blooms when forced horizontal? As a rosarian, I’ve learned if I gently bend the rose’s cane while fastening it securely with string, the cane will produce significantly more blooms than if I let it grow as it pleases. I have to be careful though as the pliable and tender canes can snap. Equally important is the tension of the string. If the string is too loose, it defeats its purpose of guiding the growing cane. Conversely, if the string is too tight, it can pierce the tissue of the cane causing damage or complete destruction. Ultimately, I have the authority as the master gardener to sculpt each cane as I see fit.

“My body and mind may waste away, but Elohim (God) remains the foundation of my life and my inheritance forever.”
Psalm 73:26

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Blaze (Note: Blaze is a climber that only blooms in the Spring)

Similarly, once upon a time, this frustrated cane found herself no longer free to grow or go wildly as she pleased. Instead, Jesus, the Master Gardener, placed enough strings to tenderly, but securely force me horizontal through intense back and joint pain preventing me from escaping my bed.

Much to my despair, in a matter of weeks, my full time income rapidly dwindled to part time income, then unemployment. My financial stability was seemingly ruined! But God provided and worked everything out for my benefit just as Romans 8:28 promises. Consequently, those difficult days produced a soul harvest I would not trade for any paycheck or even my health.

“I have riches and honor, lasting wealth and righteousness. What I produce is better than gold, pure gold. What I yield is better than fine silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, on the paths of justice, to give an inheritance to those who love me and to fill their treasuries.”
Proverbs 8:18-21

Though uncomfortable, OK, frankly it was miserable at times, I blossomed spiritually and emotionally. Through that season of physical pain, this life slowly, but surely surrendered to His nurturing as He wasn’t hesitant to tackle my prickly thorns one by one. His strings were His boundaries inviting me to grow according to His purpose for my life. I could have rebelled against His plans and His boundaries or I could cooperate. The choice was mine. Thankfully, whether vertical or horizontal, I decided to grow with God’s flow!