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Sitting outside on a Sunday morning….

August 3rd, 2003 · No Comments

This morning I sat outside on my porch for a few moments of quiet. Simple observations in the silence spoke many words to me inside.

I looked at my fountain, which I had fixed yesterday. Two years ago while taking a water features class, I desired to have some sort of sophisticated fountain, so I bought a large granite rock drilled and piped so that water could flow through it. But this fountain never worked as well as it should have, and I unplugged it a couple weeks ago (to the appreciation of local wildlife – see snake posting July 30 ). On Saturday I bought a simple bamboo fountain to replace the rock, but it didn’t seem to work well either. To test what was happening with my pump, I played with a short piece of black plastic tubing…and then I realized that this option worked the best. So now my fountain is a short tube from the pump, spurting up water around some smooth rocks. Looking at my “new” fountain, I wondered why sometimes I have to choose complication and sophistication, when simplicity would be best.

I looked over at our birdhouse collection, kept on a pillar near our front door. We had had three birdhouses, but the clay one had broken on Saturday, leaving two wooden ones. The clay birdhouse had been a gift from our neighbor more than a year ago, rejoicing with us when she heard we were expecting Elisabeth. While I appreciated the gift and the symbolism of it, I realized this morning that the clay birdhouse, with its big puffy ribbon and different styling didn’t match the other two. Abigail cried when it broke and was upset. It was special. But I realized this morning that sometimes when God takes things away, they didn’t fit in the first place. Now the two wooden ones look great together.

On the porch I saw our “shoe zoo” – all the shoes that have piled up on the porch while our back door has been off limits due to the deck staining. Piles of old shoes and some new shoes we bought this week. I am particularly enjoying a new pair of shoes, brown leather slip-ons, with thicker, higher soles, and lots of support. At first the shoes felt awkward but then I realized that they hurt because I was walking on the side of my foot. So these shoes are helping me learn to walk the right way. In the past, if shoes hurt, I wouldn’t buy or wear them, but this time I was willing to change and to learn something new. What a wonder to wear new shoes and to walk through the world in a new way!

Then I glanced out at a piece of Abigail’s garden where the snapdragons are growing up beside her ladybug windmill. We had rescued the snapdragons a few months ago from the sale rack at the grocery store. At the time we bought them, only one was blooming and that one had yellow blossoms. After we planted them, the blooming one died, and I thought that the plants were done, that I had gotten my fifty cents worth. I didn’t expect anything more. Now though they are bursting into bloom, several plants, a beautiful rich red-pink that matches the ladybug wonderfully. And I realized how great it is when God surprises us, how it turns out better than we could have planned, more beautiful than we could have imagined!

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