Friday, March 21, 2014

beauty will rise

 I never plant bulbs.

Daffodils, tulips, dahlias...all of them beautiful, all of them happy harbingers of spring...none of them do I plant. I appreciate and enjoy from afar those that my neighbors plant.

I require a little more instant gratification in my gardening. I mean, I can plant things that aren't instantly beautiful (like seeds), but only because I know they'll start doing SOMETHING soon and then I can monitor them and talk to them and coax them along for the weeks it'll take for them to turn into something pretty and/or tasty. Bulbs don't give you that. Bulbs are ugly gross little brown blobs that you have to go dig deep-ish holes for, bury, and then they DO NOTHING for half a year. And they are expensive. And don't nobody have time or money for that. If I'm going to go spend $20 on plants, I'm getting something that I can enjoy immediately. Every spring I wish I'd planted bulbs the previous fall. Every fall I think about planting bulbs, but by the time I get to the nursery, I'm buying mums and pansies...things I can be guaranteed to enjoy instantly. I never get around to getting bulbs. And then it's spring again and I'm regretting that I didn't plant bulbs. Again. For the 10th year in a row.

It's a vicious cycle. 

Apparently I broke it this year.

Last night I got home from a meeting around 10:00 p.m. It was dark, but as my headlights panned over the driveway, something pink in the mailbox flowerbed caught my eye. I thought it was trash that had blown over. But then I noticed there was another pink thing a few feet over. I stopped to investigate.


Well, well, well...

Infinitely better the neighbor's litter being blown into my yard...those are daggum TULIPS coming up and blooming so prettily!!

I parked the car and went back out with a flashlight to investigate further. Sure enough, spotted throughout several flowerbeds in the front yard are a whole mess of tulips popping up and in various stages of about-to-bloom.


Once I saw them, I remembered. Oh yeah! Sometime late last summer or early fall we'd seen a bag of tulip bulbs at Aldi. The grocery store. I remember that it was something so ridiculously cheap...like 20 or 30 bulbs for $6 or something. (For comparison's sake, even at places like Lowe's, tulip bulbs are typically around a dollar per bulb- for the CHEAP ones.) I was so appalled by the shockingly low price, I threw it in my cart. Then I remember that they sat on a shelf in the garage for weeks. Or maybe longer. Things were crazy then...we were in the midst of our adoption. I had fifty million things to think about, and none of them involved burying plants that would probably never come up the next spring. But every time I passed the bag in the garage, I would think well, they DEFINITELY won't come up if they're still in a bag in the garage come March

And so I remember one afternoon seeing them and being like FINE, WHATEVER, I'LL PLANT THE STUPID THINGS! I WON'T EVEN CARE ABOUT THEM IN THE SPRING, I'LL HAVE A BAAAAAABY AND PLANTS ARE STUPID COMPARED TO BABIES!!! So I spent about 3 minutes frantically running around, digging half-hearted holes, throwing in the bulbs, and not even talking to them or anything. This is very unlike my normal planting, just so you know. I had absolutely zero confidence they would ever come up, I spent about 3 minutes putting them in...and then, obviously, I completely forgot about the whole thing.

Until last night.

It's spring now. I was already happy about that. And now I have tulips. My most favorite bulb-flower. All over my yard!! Pink tulips!! I can hardly believe it. 

I went out this morning to enjoy them in the sunlight and take these pictures. As I looked at them- bright, happy splashes of color springing up from the still cold, dead-looking ground- I couldn't help but think of this verse in Isaiah: To all who mourn...he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. (Is. 61:3)

Beauty out of ashes. The fall was ashes. The winter was ashes. And out of that, beauty will rise. 

25 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful testimony and wow-za.....gorgeous tulips. Love you chicka!

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  2. And now you must go listen to the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, to top off this hope-filled post :)

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  3. Sitting here at work, trying not to cry. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers. What a beautiful illustration of God's timing in our lives.

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  4. I love this!!! They are beautiful and I think they represent more than you even know at this moment. I think great things are ahead for you!!

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  5. You totally make me want to garden and plant stuff! So pretty :)

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  6. Such a fabulous story!! The surprise of bulbs in the spring has to be one of the best things ever. (PS, it sounds like bulbs are weirdly expensive in Georgia. That's sad for you.)

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  7. Love this. Maybe you could call them your phoenix tulips :)

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  8. Oh I love tulips! Are you going to plant them again next year?

    My parents always plant them on the east coast, but I don't know if they'd do well in the never-ending winter of the prairies!

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    1. My mom always planted tulips and she lives in Saskatchewan. They survived. You just have to plant bulbs which will grow in your hardiness zone.

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  9. saw this verse for the first time and am praying it over you! Love this post!

    And so it was, that she having waited so long and endured patiently realized and obtained what God had promised. -Hebrews 6:15

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  10. Love tulips! What a great surprise, and what a great post! Happy Spring!

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  11. Love this post, and your tulips. My house isn't all that far if you feel the need to take a beach vacation and fill my yard with beautiful flowers! Get out your outdoor bed setup and enjoy your new pretties!

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  12. What a beautiful post, such a happy surprise. Tulips are my very favorite! Please, please let me know if you happen to see such an awesome deal at Aldi again this year!

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  13. Love it! Tulips are my favorite, too!

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  14. Tulips are so pretty!!! What a wonderful surprise!!! :)

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  15. Yay for TULIPS! They are my absolute favorite flower! How exciting! I love that you saw them on the first day of Spring... better days ahead!

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  16. Beautiful friend! Wishing you many more moments full of beauty!

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  17. Tulips are my all time fav flower. Had them all over the place at our wedding. Love your illustration here. God has great plans for you, my friend.

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  18. I'm so happy your bulbs came up and you were reminded of that beautiful passage from the bible. Thank you for the uplifting message today. Hang in there - more beauty is coming your way.

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  19. Erika, I am so sending you some bulbs. Even with postage they will be way cheaper than what you pay for them in Georgia. A dollar a bulb is ridiculous!

    And I loved this entire post. I can't wait for all my bulbs to grow. Of course, our copious amounts of snow will have to melt first.

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  20. Love you, love that verse & love tulips! :)

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  21. Beautiful verse and good job! As I sit here and see a dusting of snow on the ground, I'm just not feeling like any of our bulbs up in the north will EVER make it!

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