Harvesting the Limelights
Saturday afternoon found me between crumbling up hamburger with a potato masher for Sunday and Monday chimichangas, simmering chicken breasts for Tuesday and Wednesday enchiladas, and harvesting the blue hydrangea and green limelight blossoms to just save the beauty of them for the winter coming.
The limelights leaned over the sidewalk to the front door. If they wanted saving, I needed to do it today – before the rain and before my husband pruned them back for winter – otherwise, they’d all be lost.
So between the hamburger mashing , the seasoning and simmering, I grabbed my clippers to fill tubs and baskets of fading summer blooms – and called a friend to bring a laundry basket. . . or two. . . . maybe. There was more to be saved than I realized.
In short order, I stripped the leaves of the blue-faded-to-pink-to beige hydrangea – there were fewer of them and arranged them in one tub. I settled then on the porch with limelight’s strewn all about – and spent time, one at a time, stripping the limelight leaves, organizing into crates and tubs in small, medium and large blossoms.
It reminded me of snapping beans as a little girl on my best friend’s front porch. Main Street America separated our houses in what was once small town living. After five minutes, sitting still to a little girl who wanted to climb trees and catch bees was it’s own adventure – the grace of it totally lost on me. Today, I understand ; you can slow down and breath in the green-bean snapping. Unless tormenting thoughts of the to-do list creep in and breath down your neck, creating the illusion that time’s wasting when it’s not really wasting at all – just a devil-mirage designed to steal peace and quiet and miss the blessing of it all.
My friend came with her laundry baskets – one large and two small – and we stripped green leaves on the porch, talked about our boys, our families, and weddings.
There’s blessing in the harvest, in the sitting down, in the sharing hearts and stories – in the saving before the winter comes. I’m glad I turned the busy down to simmer slowly, to harvest the limelights, to trim its leaves – and share life – but not just that – to find God’s message in the harvesting of the blossoms.
Just as cooking is never just about food – gardening for hydrangeas, zinnias, tomatoes, and cucumbers is just never about the blossom. There are God messages in them all.
Each blossom represented a soul needing harvesting. There are more of them than we realize. Right in front of us, that need saving before the winter pruning.
I’m not sure how to do it – except it involves taking time in the busy, having heart conversations about living, building relationships that care. God doesn’t deal in acquaintance; He’s a God of intimacy, who wants to hear the stories, heal the brokenness, pull the strangling weed roots that threaten the soul. When God asks, “How are you?” – He really wants to know! God wants us to be like that with every soul needing harvest like a limelight blossom on the edge of summer and winter on the horizon.
Today, I’m remembering – remembering how God saved me. How He really wants to know how I am – and is eager to hear the long and hard of it, even the selfish in it. . . because He knows if I pour it out to Him, He can heal it, weed it, grow it into good soul health. I’m remembering the laborers in the field who listened to me, encouraged and cared that I was a soul needed harvesting, needed my leaves stripped for saving – and took time between the mashing and simmer of their daily to salvage a soul that needed a loving God. I’m remembering and asking God to show me how to pass the saving down, to open my eyes to each individual He sets in my path to ask, “How are you doing?” – and really mean it, so that by my words and actions, they discover the love of a might God who wants to be a loving Father.
“Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” ~ John 4:35
Remember Me Monday: #17 & Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Grace & Truth,
Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story,
Recharge Wednesday, https://welcomeheart.com/blog, Worth Beyond Rubies,
Share a Link Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Legacy Link-Up,
Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire,
Oh thank you so much for sharing these thoughts and photos today. In 2 days, my dear friend who gave me the gift of gardening her hydrangeas with her will be selling her home and garden. I am so very grateful that God caused me to pause and still with her, to receive the gifts of His presence there between us in the middle of her beautiful hydrangeas. You have brought such tears to my eyes today. Thank you and blessings to you, dear Maryleigh.
Gardening is so much more than gardening, Bettie – it’s relationship, it’s remembrance of those we love and God’s love for us, and friendship! Blessings and peace to you during this change, friend! ~ Maryleigh
Beautiful. And what a wonderful memory you brought up for me. Snapping beans with my grandma.
There’s blessing in those slow down and stop moments, even in the snapping of the beans! I bet it’s sweet memory with your grandma! ~ Maryleigh
A delightful post, I was sitting on that verandah with you! Yes, the harvest is ripe, it’s all about relationship.
Yes! It’s all about relationship – relationship leading to God! Thanks for stopping by in the limelights! ~ Maryleigh
It has taken me way too long to learn that the chance encounter, the interruption, the unexpected visitor are all God’s appointments for me, the main part of what He wants me to attend to that day. He always took time to stop and listen to people, to hear and meet their deepest need. I’m sorry to say I haven’t, but hopefully past failures can be fuel for future changes.
I used to think that when God opened my eyes to something He wanted me to understand, even to do, I always panicked because I thought I was behind – I should have known – why didn’t I know? And I felt like I was failing – but then He made me realize that I am not behind – I have arrived to the realization at the right time with more than enough time to complete the task He’s given me. I was never behind at all. . . . I cannot tell you the pressure and the censure that were lifted from me when I realized that!
Beautiful thoughts. Building relationships that go deep requires time and energy, but it is really has eternal value. Your hydrangeas are stunning! When dried, I like the limelights best of all.
I think God wants us to go deep for the lost – to use what time and energy we can muster – I know the older I get the more energy is something I need to be intentional to use and not squander. Hydrangeas are pure grace flowers – they bloom and bloom all summer long, giving the most beautiful – and are happy to give them away for the house and for friends! I’m always thrilled when the blue stays blue in the drying, though!
I love those limelight hydrangeas. Now, tell me, I was told never to prune or cut back hydrangeas???
I think it’s a certain type of hydrangea you don’t cut back – but the newfangled blue ones (are they newfangled?) – just wow! My husband cut them back – to my dismay – last year and it grew bigger than ever – less blossoms, though, but still plenty.
I love garden analogies and I know God loves them too when I think of John 15. What a sweet time of harvesting and hearing from God.
My gardening this year has resulted in a lot of fails – but those limelights – God left me a message in those! He leaves a message in everything! I just need to listen!
I’m very late to this party, but this post helped me to breathe deep. Having always been a city girl, it’s been tricky to learn how to not let “busy” consume still moments God’s crafted for me. This here resonated: “God doesn’t deal in acquaintance; He’s a God of intimacy,…” He does want to know how we are. I loved how you brought this a step further in sharing how when we lay out our honest thoughts and heart-struggles with Him, He’s able to do the weeding and refining within us.
I love your flowers. I never knew limelights were called that. 🙂 (See? City-girl!).
I am still learning how not to let busy consume still moments, but at least I recognize that I do and that I need to change that. I’m kind of a city girl, but I’ve been in small town America for quite a while – and just love all the flower and plant names – still learning myself! Can anyone really ever be too late at a party? Thanks for stopping by!
Beautiful flowers! And such wisdom about community, being known, and letting others get to know you.
It’s so important to go beneath the “Hi – How are you doing” – and discover people’s hearts! I think God wants us to connect that way – to grow our hearts for others to go deep to what’s real! Shalom, Anita!!! ~ Maryleigh