Beautiful Things

I am missing my flowers. This picture was taken in their glory this past summer, and I miss their color, their fragrance, but not their thorns. I still have a thorn lodged in my finger that I can’t seem to get out. Nevertheless, I find myself longing for spring on this cold winter day. I long for the warm summer winds, the ladybugs, even the feel of the cool soil as I plant my annuals.

I am looking forward to the squeals of my children as they spend endless hours splashing in our kiddie pool and digging in the dirt beside me. Their brown faces kissed by both the sun above and the dirt from their fingers. If summer has a color it is gold, and today my heart is longing for that warmth.

Because if January has a color it is grey. The dance of Christmas lights are gone, the red berries from the holly trees have faded, and a leafless grey has descended on the world. Everywhere I look, the world is crying out for a blanket of snow to hide it’s nakedness. My roses stand like soldiers at attention, waiting patiently for their call to life again. Their stems are barren, shorn to protect them from winter’s icy fingers. They wait, but my heart does not feel their patience.

I wrote a poem once about the effect of beauty on our souls, “Beauty is the kiss of God calling us out of our slumber and evoking a depth a worship we might never know without it.” Today I feel it’s pull on my heart. I had a friend ask me the other day why I garden? I answered her with tales of my grandfather’s magical garden, and how I have always loved flowers. However, the truth is that my soul craves beauty. I garden so that when I am in my yard that so easily could be a cubicle, my soul can be restored. Here in this home that God has given me I create, I paint, I write, and I plant so that His beauty can be revealed. In the garden that surrounds my home, I pray that my children will experience the presence of God like I did in my Grandfather’s garden. In the stillness of earth and flowers and the soft rustle of leaves, I first experienced poetry in my soul.

Yet it is only January, and the last frost is still three months away. So as I wait for spring, I will rejoice that my blog is now a more beautiful place to visit thanks to my darling husband. We are still working on it, but he gave me such a sweet gift this weekend in giving my blog a beautiful new face. I hope you like it, and that you will keep coming back. I hope that it is a refreshing place to visit. Because even in the dreary winds of winter, beautiful things are still growing. There is so much more going on beneath the surface than we ever realize. This mystery of what is hidden beneath a veil of bleak and lifeless longing actually reminds me of a song I used to sing in Sunday school as a little girl:

“In His time, in His time.
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord please show me everyday,
As you’re teaching me your way,
That You do just what You say
In Your time.”

I pray that your heart today (and mine) would be satisfied by the knowledge that the world will be beautiful again, and that God is at work to turn even what is ugly and hard in our lives into beautiful things… in His time.