Tag Archives: flowers

Consider the Canna Bulbs

We don’t always know value–or beauty–when we see them. Case in point:

canna bulbs.jpg

Did you know that this pile is a pile of canna flower bulbs? Until today, I certainly did not. If I had walked by Helma’s Garden (the garden at First Lutheran) on my own, I probably wouldn’t have noticed them at all. And if I had, I wouldn’t have known what they were. (Pro Tip: No one has ever mistaken me for a gardener.)

During the summer, the beauty of those cannas was obvious: bold and tall and fiery red, they stood proudly in the back row of the garden for all to see. Now that it’s fall, our gardeners have done their work and a few leaves on the ground are all that remain.

All, except for the bulbs. Small and unassuming, their value and beauty tucked safely within. Store them over the winter and plant them in the spring, my gardening friend assured me, and they will grow tall and fiery and boldly beautiful again.

There is something so comforting and hopeful about this: long months of waiting, then invisible change and growth inside the bulb and under the earth, and then . . . beauty and boldness unfurl. When we want to hurry through seasons of darkness, or ugliness, or pain–or when we feel overwhelmed by these things–let’s remember the canna bulbs.

Let’s rest in the dark.

Let’s wait.

Let’s trust that new life will come.

Image from page 34 of



What darkness are you sitting in right now? What is the new thing that you are waiting for?

P.S. If you would like to take some of this buried beauty home with you, come on over to Helma’s Garden and help yourself.

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Filed under Learning Opportunities, Ministry Matters

What I Learned from My Sister’s Wedding

The Big Day has come and gone.  The happy couple is currently on a beach in Hawaii, and the rest of us are back in the real world, where we have to provide our own food and entertainment and wear our regular clothes again.

It was a spectacular weekend.  Here are some things I learned:

1. When “airbrushing and lashes” are included in the price of your professional make-up artist, it does not mean photoshopping and basic mascara.  It means getting your face sprayed with mysterious products and your lashes enhanced with false ones, glued on one by one.  (Pro Tip: I wear glasses because I cannot touch my eyes.  Guess which of these services I did not accept?)

2. You may be riding a bus around Chicago for the fabulous pre-wedding photo shoot, but you will still have to do a bunch of walking in those pretty but punishing shoes.  Wear your flip flops or lean heavily on the arm of the best man.  Do not lean heavily on the bride, who will not be amused when you stumble and nearly knock her to the ground.

3. You will cry.  You will tear up when you see your sister all gowned and veiled for the first time.  You will cry when you hug her before walking down the aisle.  You will cry when you walk down the aisle.  You will cry when she walks down the aisle.  Then, if you’re lucky, you will laugh when your mother’s heel gets impressively tangled in your sister’s cathedral length veil.  This is the stuff memories are made of.

4. In a weekend filled with sweet moments, one of the sweetest is standing in the lobby of the Newberry Library on a crisp September evening, gazing at the smiling, tear-stained faces of aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, and feeling the love and joy that glow as warmly as the candlelight.  (Pro Tip: This is a sentimental family.  What do you expect?)

5. How you know the wedding was a smashing success: the next morning, your three-year-old declares, “I don’t want to go home.  I want to go back to Aunt Claire’s wedding.  I want to be a flower girl two times.”  The praise of a preschooler is truly priceless.

Thanks for getting married, Claire and Doug.  We had a great time!

What are some of your favorite wedding memories?

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Filed under Learning Opportunities, Thankful Hearts

Say it with Potlucks

Here’s one way to say you care:

And here’s another:

Voetballer aan het koken / A footballer cooking a meal

Now, flowers are lovely, but personally, I think food is even more lovely.

As you already know, I love a potluck.  But in a community where being a vegetarian is definitely “different” (with the full Minnesotan intention behind the word), I never know how much of the potluck fare I’ll be able to enjoy.

After two and a half years here, there is almost always some salad or main dish I can eat. ( Sometimes it even says, “P. Maggie” on the lid.)  At Game Night yesterday, I was delighted to see deviled eggs waiting in the fridge and vegetable cream cheese pizza on the counter.

But then.  Then.  “That’s meatless chili,” the council president said, pointing to the crock pot I thought contained sloppy joes or some other beefy delight.

“I thought of you, so this is potato soup,” the other council president said, placing another crock pot on the counter.

“Oh my goodness, everyone thought of me tonight!” I said.  I might have blushed.

“Well, you’re loved!” was the gracious reply.

Thanks for saying it with potlucks, First and Beckville.  I love you, too.

 

P.S. You know what else I love, thanks to these fine people?  Pickles!  Read all about it here.

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Filed under Taste and See