Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Turning negative thoughts into gratitude

Seems like every year up until this year, I kind of grumbled because I had "extra" work to do to water all of the flower pots that I wanted to plant. And, I like to plant quite a few of them. I love flowers! I don't usually get real expensive ones. I always feel like my pots of flowers are not as good as the gal's down the street. But,

I like to pick them out. Even if they are just simple.
I like to plant them, but I usually let them sit in their little plastic containers for far too long on the driveway, and some of them end up dying there. That is a sad admission, but true.When I finally get around to planting them, I really do enjoy the creative process of deciding which pot gets the Impatience, and which pot gets the Geraniums. What plants will look best in the hanging baskets, and how to arrange the Asparagus Fern in the big terra cotta pot on the deck.

This year, as I pondered buying and planting the flowers, I was dragging my feet. I really wasn't excited about planting flowers in the pots on the deck because it is peeling and looks bad. However, one night I decided that my negative feelings about my deck were preventing me from fully enjoying the flowers.

I decided to reframe how I was looking at the deck. I asked myself, "What is one positive thought that I can have about a peeling deck?" I decided that it really does match a lot of things in my house. (this is true) I like antiques, and I really do like peeling paint on furniture, so why couldn't I just transfer this attitude to my deck? I'm not saying that we'll never get to restaining the deck. We need to do that. But, we are too busy on other projects to get that done yet. Should I allow that to prevent me from tidying up the deck as best I can and planting the flower pots that I really like? Should my negative attitude about my deck prevent me from enjoying beauty, of experiencing joy? I told myself, "no, it should not." So, I went to the greenhouse and picked out my flowers. Impatience, Marigolds, Petunias, Vinca, plus Asparagus fern. By the time I talked myself into buying them, it was almost the end of June. I had gone way past the usual time for planting, Mother's Day. 

Since I decided to reframe my attitude about the deck. I have also reframed my attitude about watering the flowers every day. See, it's been almost one hundred degrees for several weeks. This is the hottest Iowa summer I can ever remember. My flowers are extra thirsty. They cannot survive one day in this summer heat without being watered thoroughly. In summers past, I would grumble to myself about having to water the flowers every day. At the end of the day, when I'm the most tired I would remember that I hadn't watered them yet, and I'd grumble. 

This year, I am viewing my flower watering ritual differently. I usually get up in the morning and either before or after I have tea, I give my flowers a drink, too. They are a thing of beauty in my life. I want them to stay alive in this heat. I want them to thrive. 
I give each of my four hanging baskets a huge glass of water. I fill up two quart size pitchers and water all of the pots on my front porch and my deck. Every morning. It has become a ritual that I enjoy. 

Today, as I was out in the ninety-five degree heat pouring the cool water into one of the hanging baskets, the thought came to me from Psalm 23:5, "my cup overflows". As the cool water sank into the hot dirt, and some of it overflowed the edge of the basket, I thanked God for how much He has made my own cup overflow with good things. Life, the love of my husband and young adult kids. My air conditioning in this awful heat. So many things to thank him for!

God, thank you for fresh water to drink and that I have enough to quench not only my thirst, but also the thirst of my lovely flowers. The flowers that you made. The beauty that you have surrounded my life with. 


  1. Dear Beloved Servant of Christ Our Lord,Anne, Holy Greetings To You in His Holy Name.

    I Read Your Writings , they are wonderful.

    I and We Pray to God That HE may Bless You Give You abundant Prosperity.

    Dear Servant of God, I am a Pastor From India.

    I Plead You in The Meekness of Our Lord, if it is HIS Will, Please Pray for Our The Salvation of The Perishing Millions in India.

    This is My E.mail, If it is God's Will, Please send me an E.mail so That I can tell you about Our Ministries.

    " "

    Can I use Your Writings in Our Daily Ministries?

    In Christ Alone.

  2. A lovely writing Anne. I think your deck looks great.
    I love the comment you got from India..."It's a World View".


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