Every summer my family takes a trip down to spend a week in Florida, which has become a really special time and place for us as we make more and more memories there each year. In reflecting on the trip we just took, I wanted to share a lesson from my great-Grandma Sara that has stuck with me and been something I can’t get off of my mind…
First, let me tell you a little bit about my great Grandma Sara. The first thing to know about her is that she is AMAZING. Quite literally, she astounds me…here is why…She is well into her 90s and fully embraces and imparts the great wisdom that comes with that. She currently lives in an assisted living facility in Florida but still has all her wits about her. She can still get around and she is always eager to share her own precious memories that you can tell she holds so dearly within her heart and mind. I am always so impressed by her mobility and her ability to remember…I pray and hope that when I’m her age I will be as blessed as her, but for now, she is a big blessing and a joy to spend time with.
Anytime we go down to Florida, we always take a trip to see Grandma Sara, which usually consists of us going to her place, getting a tour, and playing lots and lots of games like rummy and mexican train dominoes. This year was no different as we reached out to her on the long drive down and asked if we could meet up! She was able to fit us in before her virtual reality experience that she had to be back on time for (How cool is that?!).
On the way to pick her up, I noticed some pretty trees that were blooming and pointed them out to my Mom and my husband Ed. Their red and yellow buds just stood out so vividly! Ed then commented that they were pretty and he wondered if the people who lived on the island or in Florida noticed them and how pretty there were or if they just got so used to them that they didn’t notice or appreciate them anymore. He recalled a time when my sister had come to visit us in Ohio and had pointed out a tree she thought was neat and how he thought to himself that it was just a tree, as he couldn’t figure out what was so cool about it to her…we wondered if the people of Florida would think the same of us pointing out this tree!
Fast-forward to our arrival at grandma Sara’s, as we pull up and she is sitting outside with her cute tote bag with scripture and flowers on it, full of games, and of course, she had a big smile on her face, ready to take on the day! (and probably beat us at any game we play :)) We get into the car and head out, only to pass those vibrant trees again. Without any prompting from us and with her having no idea of the conversation that we had just had about the trees, she pointed out BOTH of them…the red and the yellow…and stated just how beautiful she thought they were and how she loves when they bloom.
I didn’t think too much of it at the time, I just thought of our conversation and noted in my head that she did in fact notice the trees even though she was a resident, so I was impressed.
Later on, while we were at brunch, Grandma Sara again pointed out a flower (the orchid below) that she thought was beautiful. I was astonished that again she had pointed out another flower blooming, but then she went on to say something that will always stick with me. She said, “Something is always in bloom”. I’ve been unable to stop thinking about this because she is so right. It makes me tear up just to think of it again, but what a beautiful, powerful, hope-filled statement to say, that something is always in bloom. A lesson in noticing and a lesson in gratitude!
As we went around the island the rest of the week, I noticed the blooms. I remembered what our precious Grandma Sara said about something always being in bloom and I just find it so poetic and truthful. You could choose to see what’s not blooming or what isn’t growing in your life, or you could choose to take the time to notice, celebrate, and be joyful for what IS blooming all around you.
For me, I am taking that very quote with me in my daily walk, especially as a teacher. God speaks to us in themes and a common theme for me has been God speaking to me through nature and gardening. Last year, I was so encouraged as I felt God tell me my job was to plant the seeds…That I might not see the blooms, but He wanted me to plant the seeds and trust Him to do the rest. This year, my job is to remember that something is always blooming, even when I do not see it. It reminds me of the verse below…
It’s so easy to give up and to feel discouraged when we feel like we don’t see progress or blooms, but we cannot give up. The Bible tells us to persevere, to be grateful for what we do have, and to trust GOD to give us what we need.
We place our confidence in God, who is the ultimate “gardener”. Our trust and faith are fully in Him…check the blooms around you, I guarantee you that if you take the time to stop, you will see something in bloom…