Beautiful Blooms

"And do not let us grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

If you follow me on Instagram you know that every year I anxiously await the return of peony season.  Their blooming season is so short but so glorious.  Almost as soon as they enter the market I'll be there, bag in hand, to collect a dozen or more.

I rush home to fill little vases all over my room and office with the blooms.  Over the next few days I watch them explode into fireworks of color and scent.

I believe my fascination with these flowers started many years ago as I thumbed through the pages of Martha Stewart Living.  The magazine would be full of pictures from her gardens and her parties. They were beautiful.  And I wanted to be just like Martha.  Naturally, only peonies would do.

My neighbor has a peony bush right in his front yard.  He planted for his wife before she passed away.  As Mother's day and the last days of spring approach I watch that plant.  Every year he prunes it's branches back to nothing.  Slowly, day by day, green branches and stocks begin to appear.  It seems like every night a new set of leaves is added and every morning they reach up to the sky longing for it's warm rays to nourish it's growth.

It only takes about two weeks for this bush to grow from nothing.  The next step in the blooming process seems to be the longest.  The bush that grew from nothing in two weeks suddenly reduces it's growing speed.  Storing all the energy this small plant can, it begins, internally, to create blooms.  Invisible to the eye, the blooms begin to grow.  They begin to suck their life from the long woody stocks.  But this can't be seen or felt or watched.

For weeks, I walk past that bush hoping against all hope to see a single bud, one flower, force itself forward and into bloom.  That's what I hope for...just one look.  But I also know peonies won't bloom--at least not in Tulsa, Oklahoma--for several more weeks.

And then, just when I'm about to give up hope that they will bloom, I see a single white peony burst open.  And then two, three, four.  So many more that I could count.  So many more than I thought possible.

Isn't life like that sometimes? 

It seems like you've seen so much of our hard work pay off...that our dreams are about to come true...and then the waiting starts.  You thought the waiting was over, but it's really just beginning.

In moments of waiting it's far too easy to give up or give in or just move on.  I've felt that way far too many times.

Encourage yourself.  Don't give up.  Know that the waiting will end.  

And when the waiting ends, you'll find all of that dreaming and all of that hard work has rewarded you with beautiful blooms.

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