Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tulips & Ragweed

With the same jimmy-rig-finnegling of the back door key that I've done a million times before, and the same frustration I've felt walking into our back "yellow room" filled with shoes and weird lunch bags and tupperware that doesn't stand a chance of being disinfected, and the same relief-tumble I've done a million times before into the house at midnight after a long day...

a staggering truth hit me.  and rattled me.

"Relationships are hard."


Hitting me like a freight train, I'm not so sure why this time.  But I realized, for the rest of my life, relationships will be hard.  It will be a fight to keep peace, it will be a fight to understand one another, it will be a fight to care for others when apathy seems so much more fulfilling, it will be a fight to communicate fully over the long haul, and it will be a fight to love one another deeply.

It will be something sorta like, say, trying to grow a garden where thorns and thistles plague the ground.

And true confession, friends: I'm not a gardener.  Gardeners need resiliency to fight day after day against the weeds, and they need hope for blooms to spring and they need patience to wait.

Where there are thorns and thistles, I allow them to sprout into full weeds.  And I give up hope for a beautiful garden.

I end up with poison ivy, and ragweed, and that awful crabgrass that grates your skin.  What an eyesore.

What I want, though, is a garden full of red & yellow tulips and tiger lillies, and roses.  And I want huge hyacinths.  Like the ones I've only ever seen my mom be able to grow.

When unattended to and given up on, gardens begin to look like wastelands your neighbor calls the city council about.
When tended to, cared for, and prioritized, gardens offer beauty -- a sort of beauty you sit in for peace, a sort of beauty that speaks rest, a sort of beauty that you offer gifts from, etc.

I wonder how different relationships may be.

Relationships -- whether friendships, romantic, or parental, are hard work -- they take care, time, and patience.  Relationships require resiliency and hope.  They require a certain weeding so blooms can sprout.

Relationships, just like gardens, are hard work.  But, the beauty in the end, is worth it. 

Praying grace & resiliency into my own relationships.  I'm eager create my relationships as gardens of beauty in which I can sit for peace & rest and in which I can pull from to give gifts to the world.

Trusting God for tulips over ragweed..... 

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