Pretty, isn’t it?

Giftsby Christine Berglund

In the photo is a bouquet picked for me by my one and only granddaughter, Maddux, daughter of my oldest daughter. Just finding this today in my photos caused me to shed a few tears; tears of happiness and nostalgia at the fond memories, and tears of longing for Heather and her family who live in another country.

This nosegay was picked on the last day I saw and hugged Maddi, almost two years ago last fall.

What struck me on that November day and what strikes me now is that this really is a pretty arrangement — certainly not by standards set by the Society of American Florists, nor to the untrained eye. Who puts dried garlic chive seedheads into a bouquet? That late in the season, when there are literally slim pickings, I would. And apparently so would my baby girl’s baby girl. It adds an artistic contrast to the bright colors of the single stem of Pineapple Sage and the late Bachelor’s Buttons, although I would not have thought that out until the bouquet was presented.

Frankly, I was surprised she found any flowers in my garden, which was zapped by frost numerous times before Maddi’s visit.

Finding beauty among the frostbitten debris takes true talent.

What a wonderful characteristic to be able to see something that is not usually considered beautiful by the world’s standards and elevate it to something that is appreciated!

Maddi thought the flowers were beautiful, and so do I. Her eyes were wide with excitement as she presented her herbaceous gift to me. Of course, she has the largest, most beautiful eyes on earth, but no matter. She was happy to see that I picked out the prettiest vase to put them in, and happy to see that I treasured her gift.

I want to treasure each of God’s gifts, however unlikely they seem to be. I have been given the gift of time right now. Temporarily out of work with an injury, I now have time to teach my youngest daughter how to cook. Time to work with her on her college preparations, time to talk with her about what is really important in life.

It’s too easy to wish that I were given a different gift, like a job that makes more money or speedier healing so I could get back to tending the garden that used to look so pretty.

I’m not saying that I don’t throw a pity party for myself once in a while, but I’m trying to look at the blessings that I do have. Like finding the good flowers among the dead stuff in the garden. Like appreciating the graceful symmetry of a seed head, and realizing there is life for next spring within.

Did you notice in the garlic chives some shiny black seeds? That could be a blessing to someone. Those plants are yummy in soups and stews and potato salads!

Do I have some blessings that I look at as annoyances? I’m sure I do. Those shiny black seeds annoyingly ended up on my counter once the bouquet dried out a little.

I love the story of Joseph, when he told his brothers, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good,” when he forgave them for causing such misery in his life. God means everything for good in my life (Romans 8:28).

May God grant us all the eyes of a child, finding joy and gladness in all of His creation.  It’s all good.

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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