The story of the irises and the short hailstorm strikes me as a metaphor for life. We can be doing well, "June is busting out all over," we are productive and "blossoming." We feel blessed and like things are just going our way.
Then the clouds gather ominously. Our experience is, though, that often clouds are just that - clouds. The rain or snow may go somewhere else and effect others' lives, but not ours. But this time, a cloudburst hits and it's not just rain. It's hail, and it wreaks havoc on the beauty of our lives. We feel shredded and useless. It is all out of our control.
But God is still there. He is a redeeming God. He creates beauty in the midst of it all, and in spite of it all. The words that come to mind are endurance, courage, fortitude, perseverance, persistence, stamina, tolerance - it is amazing what can come out of trauma. These flowers popped out as soon as the sun came back out. (See my previous post if you missed it).
But the most interesting thing of all to me is that the new growth, in some cases, grew right THROUGH the destroyed blossoms. Reminds me that God can work THROUGH all the "stuff" of our lives. And He can create something beautiful out of trauma.
It gives me such hope that, no matter how tough things get, no matter how long it takes to see the beauty again, it can and will happen, and beauty can come from the ashes of our "stuff."
On Memorial Day, our family met, as is our tradition, in my folks' back yard for a picnic. This event began when my parents moved here from Oklahoma to retire close to my sister and me. They moved on Memorial Day week-end that year and the tradition began - my brother and his wife and son always run and work at the Bolder Boulder, the 10K race which has become the largest race of its kind in the world.
This year was extra special because of the significance of my nephew David's graduation from West Point the week before. My grandgirls are crazy about David, and the feeling seems to be quite mutual.
David will make a great daddy someday - he is great at making up games - and he's really good at figuring out ways to get a little break from hard playing - this one is called the "Rock Game" - see how long you can keep the rocks from falling off your body!
Care Bear and Feisty had a great time that day - Great Grandpa put up the swing in a tree when they first moved into this house - probably the smartest thing he ever did.
The twins love being here without the big girls, I think. They've spent a couple of nights here by themselves and they think they don't need to go to sleep for some reason. They were playing hard this night with their little tunnel -
One trip to bed didn't do the trick, so Grandpa got them back up. They played and played. I finally put them back to bed and they continued to chatter with their "twin language" until after 10:30. I sure wish I could understand what they're saying!
They have become huge fans of "Dowa" and Boots - if you haven't watched Dora lately, I'll fill you in a bit. There is a character on the show called "Swiper the Fox." He is always trying to swipe something from Dora and her friends. The kids watching are supposed to yell, "Swiper, no swiping!" When he is snafued, he says, "Oh, Man!" That's one of their favorite things to say now, "Oh, Man!" So cute.
These girls are just like their big sisters - whatever you do one time soon becomes a "habit" - something they think has to happen every time. So I started this one - turning on Dora right after their bath while they are getting dressed. The second they get out of the tub now, they run into the t.v. room where they get dressed and "demand" Dora to be turned on.
The most recent new "habit" just happened this week. We came home from the library with a few videos to watch. Care Bear was tired and feeling kind of puny that day, so she was lying down to watch it. Before you know it, all four of them were dragging out quilts, sleeping bags, and pillows to join in the fun. Now they immediately head for the closet when I put a video in for them.
The other day I went to find some little strollers for them - they love to play with the ones in the nursery and the gym and at church. Turns out the only ones I could find were Fisher Price and required a lot more assembly than I felt like tackling. So Good Old Dad (great grandpa) was willing to do the job for me.
Let me tell you, they have had more fun with these two little strollers than anything else they've had in a long time. We've been on so many walks since they got them. I read a book by Chuck Swindoll that's called Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back, which reminds me of our walks. Only I'd have to call it Two Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back, as I am constantly running back to bring one up with us as the other one is too far ahead. Herding cats, I say!
We made the mistake of taking the strollers and their babies to library story time - will never do that again. Every kid there wanted to take them for a spin - caused quite a ruckus!
On these walks, we often have a good time with the "wildlife" we find - Care Bear has loved roley-poleys since she was the twins' age. Emma says "EWWWW" when she sees a tiny ant.
They love to "help" Grandpa with whatever he is working on.
Emma is a budding fashionista - she insisted on wearing this ensemble --
Katie seems to be pondering the meaning of life - or how to learn to jump rope.
Well, I hope you're all having a good week -