Monday, November 4, 2013

Good, gathered, and given gifts.


As I continue my assignment to be aware and thus grateful for the many gifts in life that we take for granted, I come to Day 4's challenge of being mindful of gifts that are gathered, given, and good. 
This is a lovely reminder to give thanks and praise for the the beautiful providence of our Creator. 

In the time that has passed since I was a regular blogger we found ourselves moved from our little one bedroom, second story apartment into a four bedroom house with 2 roommates. Is it a challenge to be a family with other people living with us? Yes. But there are the blessings that accompany the challenges...
We have a yard!!!! A glorious, sandy-soiled (which takes a lot of work to supplement and make into growable dirt) crab-grassed covered (which makes it really tough to weed and cultivate and compartmentalize) back yard with room for The Kidlet to run, along with 3 chickens and 2 rabbits and a plethora of plants I've acquired here and there. 
Honestly, being able to now afford a house with a yard would be enough of a trade off for sharing our home with two college-aged friends but there has been other perks too...those being, the two college aged friends living with us. In the year we have lived in this home, we've actually had a total of 5 different people living with us at different times. They didn't all live with us at the same time, though, at one point, there were 3, 18-20 year old boys living with us at the same time...which was pretty much like having a house full of teenagers and it was smelly...and hilarious...and stinky...but fun...and exasperating but ultimately a blessing in the good and the hard stuff.

Anyway, the two friends living with us now are dear to my heart, though, boys being boys, there are moments my face figuratively implodes with just how boyish boys are.  But there has also been incredibly edifying conversations, prayers, dinners, beach days, camping trips, hiking, road trips, etc. We have our differences but we also have our uniting factor...our Father, our Savior, our Helper. To be able to serve one another is an honor. I'm not always grateful for it. Sometimes it's challenging and uncomfortable and exasperating. But the fact remains, serving others is a privilege. 


So here I am...finally getting around to the actual purpose of this post.
Because of our yard, I can grow things. Because of where we live (i.e.: not in a place of 100 degree summers) I have found that I can actually GROW THINGS!!! Not, "plant things and watch them die"....GROW THINGS, GOOD THINGS!
And some of these good things I have gathered and I will be giving them away so they can grow elsewhere. Pictured here is Nasturtium and Plantain. Nasturtium is one of my favorite flowers and can be eaten (though I tried it and was not a fan of the spicy sweetness) if you're in a bind and need some food. Plantain is one of those darling little weeds you see around and don't give much thought to...unless you know of the invaluable treasure it is. Folk lore tells of it's cure for snake bites....INCLUDING COBRA AND RATTLESNAKE!!! It is helpful for asthma and stings and dog bites and cuts and is also an internal insecticide making the skin odorless and tasteless to insects. How beautiful is that??? Precious little plant. I love it so! As a child I had a little book about plants that Cicely Mary Barker did and THIS darling chap was on the cover. He's been a favorite of mine ever since. 

So, life is hard. Love is beautiful. And while I am in the middle of hardness I am still so thankful for good the little helper, Plantain. 

Life and longing,

(Below is a disclaimer sparked by a large portion of this blog where I wrote about some personal struggles dealing with feelings of isolation and desertion in a lot of friendships...I deleted it, it was too personal and I wasn't comfortable with being that vulnerable the more that I thought about what I'd written. That being said, the below post now has no context...except that it is still true and so I'm going to leave it. So I guess this was my predisclaimer disclaimer. Ha!)
(DISCLAIMER: The Mr. is the best and dearest friend I could ever ask for, his faithfulness in love and friendship is the most beautiful work of God's love that I have ever encountered. And my dear, best friend, Allie, she is a beautiful gem. A sparkling, bright thing that cheers me in my sorrow, that encourages me in Christ, that reminds me of the promise and hope that is to come...I am so grateful for her. She is a gift that keeps on giving...I just wish she didn't live so far away!!!!!!) 

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