As I glanced outside my kitchen window at the flowers blooming in my backyard, I couldn’t help but feel the joy and anticipation of which one would bloom next. No matter how many different kinds of flowers my husband, six young children and I plant in the garden, there can never be too many.
The deep purple and bright yellow dahlias evoke a feeling of wonder each time they burst open in full bloom while the hot pink and purple fuchsia still mystify my eyes when the blooms open up like a secret gift that is seen fully only when inspected closely since it blooms downward so brilliantly unique. The small butterfly milkweed plants attract numerous species of colorful butterflies who flutter continuously around my children as they play in the garden. Then, there are the red, yellow and hot pink roses along with soft, white honeysuckle that smells like a sweet hug from above. Add in a bit of aroma-filled yellow jasmine growing up our vine, some peach geraniums and my absolute favorite, blue and pink hydrangeas. They are marvelous!
These precious flowers bring a distinct and vivid image to my mind when reading St. Therese of Lisieux’s floral quote,
“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”
She is spot on! Every week I cut different flowers to arrange them so beautifully on my kitchen table and each time, the arrangement is completely different, yet so delightfully enjoyable to the eye. In addition to the flowers’ beauty, is the gratifying fact that we grew the flowers ourselves. We took the gift God lovingly gave us: the seeds, and put in the time and effort to sow them, water them, carefully pluck out the weeds around them and finally, watch them flourish in the warm, California sunshine. As a mother, it equates so tangibly to my efforts as I raise our children with my husband. While in prayer, I was inspired to write down, “the seeds of sacrifice yield the fruit of love” and how true that rings as I strive to raise our children in a holy and virtuous home. Each child is such a unique and completely different creation full of special talents and gifts, and yes, challenges too, but all so wonderfully put together!
“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”Psalm 139:14
How Our Creator knows what we need when He gave us the gifts of our children and bestowed on us the blessing of becoming mothers. And to think, it all began for us, and for each flower, with a simple seed. That small seed, when nursed, fed, cleaned, taught and loved, grows up to be a flourishing human being, made in the image and likeness of God, with a body and a sparkling soul, ready to take on the world and discover the vocation God has for them that He has not given to any other. What joy!
A few years ago, I awoke early on Mother’s Day morning and felt a burst of emotion from the heart that inspired me to compose and send this to my own mother in gratitude while reflecting on the most admiral gift of becoming a mother myself:
The day begins at dawn, no
It never really ends…
For every breath we take,
Every decision we make,
It’s with our children in mind
For once the seed is made,
And there is life within us,
There is no going back…
God has breathed His Mark of love
In the form of majestic joy that comes together little by little
Eyes, fingers and toes
That turn into hello’s, goodbyes and delights that begin to be discovered
Oh, the gift of motherhood is the foretaste of the world to come
How else could one describe the ache of genuine motherly love?
What a mother feels for her child is too deep to even describe, but the gift comes first from her own mother who carried her deep inside
Who protected her from harm and offered her up to God, who guided and protected her every moment and beyond
This life is very difficult, it’s full of peaks and lulls, but tucked in between is a force that never dulls
That force is never-ending, it’s a constant lullaby of kindness and fore-bearing,
Strength to weather the storms and cheer to reach the clouds.
Rain to calm the sorrows and love to guide the way
Each and every single moment of this life has been shaped by a gift freely given
Delicately, meekly and humbly
First given by my mother, now offered up by me,
For each and every member of my children blessed to be
Thank you, Holy Trinity, for mothers, what a gift!
Only You could give the strength and love we need,
To face the narrow and rugged road until we finally meet thee!