The Anatomy of a Rose (video)

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Started My Third Book Today!

typewriter_rose_article As the rose gardening season winds down for winter, today I sat down to write the book that has brewing within my heart for the past year or so. My third and final rose devotional book will be called Ever-Blooming and Ever-Rejoicing: Through Seasons of Change. Just as in all my books, this one will offer rose gardening tips, particularly of how to care for roses in each season, along with a spiritual parallel.

Here is the first draft of its introduction:

In my 40 years of life, especially as a follower of Jesus Christ, I’ve discovered while growing up in God’s garden, there will inevitably be seasons of change. The question is will I remain ever-blooming and ever-rejoicing through it all? How easy to praise my Creator and Master Gardener through Seasons of Hope and Seasons of Celebration, but can I praise Him through the uncomfortable and exhausting Season of Perseverance or through a Season of Patient Rest? It’s through such seasons that seeds of His Spirit evolve into fruit to be harvested, shared, and enjoyed.

Furthermore, I’ve found when I am content in all areas and all circumstances, it is then I am free to transition into the next season He has for me. What season do you find yourself in today? More importantly, are you able to be “ever-blooming” and “ever-rejoicing” through it all?

 

Garden Border Control

Creeping Charlie (Small)

Creeping Charlie {photo credit: unknown}

Today, I found myself performing the never ending task of weeding. In particular, an intruding vine, known as “Ground Ivy” or “Creeping Charlie”, knows no bounds as it constantly invades my rose beds.  Although it looks deceptively charming at first, Creeping Charlie will choke the life out of my roses and other plants if allowed. Hence, why I pulled out my knee pad and spent about 2 hours ripping this vine out as best as I could not to mention the persistent flock of dandelions and other unknown weeds in my urban garden. I’m not sure who sowed Creeping Charlie into my yard probably decades ago, but my goodness, what a headache! To help eliminate the encroaching yard from reaching my flower beds, the husband and I will soon be implementing a border control of sorts with old brick or stone (it’s still up for discussion as to which we can agree on).

brickborder

{photo credit: unknown}

So while the dirt compiled under my nails this morning, I thought about how necessary boundaries are in our lives as they define our roles, our responsibilities, and our way of life. Without boundaries or borders defining and describing such areas, both our garden and our world would be chaos. Boundaries not only define who we are, but they protect what we value most. A brick or stone border, a fence, a wall, laws, rules, and terms of an agreement, are all examples of boundaries. God’s word found in the Holy Bible provides boundaries to live by as well. Such boundaries, or written terms, are designed to define our roles and responsibilities as believers, who we are in Christ Jesus, and the way to life. By rejecting these Judeo-Christian boundaries, there are chaotic consequences – just look at the world around us or even your own life. I certainly suffered chaotic and unnecessary consequences when I didn’t abide by God’s boundaries. I’m sure you can think of a time or two you did as well. Clearly, without them, ungodly vines like Creeping Charlies can invade our hearts and homes choking out the life God intended for us. How important it is we learn to abide within Christ’s border control while eliminating the ungodly vines and weeds the world sows.

How To Hybridize Roses

If you love roses as much as I do, then perhaps you’ve wondered how to create your very own rose. Check out this video put out by the ever-famous rosarian, Paul Zimmeran. Sounds like something I might have to try this summer!

Growing Horizontally {an excerpt}

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

Fourth of July

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!