Its been a rough few weeks. I'm unable to give details, but suffice to say parenting isn't for sissies. I've been short on patience, shorter on grace and often ready with a double-barreled, fully-loaded tongue ready to fire my furious frustrations out at anyone who happens to step in my path.
And all I could think is that I just can't go on like this. I can't. I can't do it. I can't parent this child. I don't have a clue what to do and everything I do appears to be the wrong thing. I'm tired. I'm burned out and I'm ready to just give up.
Now change gears with me.
I'm in the running for an award at the county fair called "Homemaker of the Year." There are 5 different categories that I must enter something in and points are awarded for each item, depending on their quality. The contestant with the most points wins. So, true to my competitive nature, I decide to max out every single category so I have as many opportunities for point accumulation as possible. Four ornamental plants are permitted for entry so on my entry form (which was due at the end of August, but I submitted in July to be sure my place was secure) I listed petunias. You must have a plant for 5 months or propagate it yourself to be eligible. No worries. I can have petunias from seed by October, right?
I submit my form and THEN check my seed stash. I know, cart before the horse... story of my life. I had NO petunia seeds. So I look in every local seed source for petunias. Nothing.
I didn't spend much time fretting over it. I didn't have time. It was now or nothing and the "nothing" was apparently chosen for me. Oh well. That's a few points I'll miss out on. I don't exactly expect to win anyway.
This morning was a pretty bad morning. Literally, it was pretty crappy if I may be so crass. My husband was taking one for the team and allowing me time outside to myself while he wrangled the young-uns. I began setting aside plants that I'd chosen for the fair: repotting, pruning, selecting, fertilizing, etc. A few weeks ago I noticed a rogue plant growing among some lettuce. I didn't pull it out because it didn't look like one of my common weeds. And the kids help me plant seeds so to have a bok choy among the dill or a calendula among the mustard greens is really no rare thing. I just let this plant grow and figured soon enough it would show its true colors.
Never did I expect those colors to be those of a deep purple petunia.
So this morning, when I was taking my frustrations out on my weeds, tears streaming down my face, I find this petunia.
Now, travel through time with me. The last time I planted petunias would have been a year ago. I recycle the dirt in my seed boxes, but it always gets mixed up, added to, turned around, shuffled here and there. This dirt must have grown 15-20 different types of seedlings by now and has remained continuously warm and moist. Petunias don't survive our summers. Petunia seed should definitely not. Yet, NOW, 10 days before I submit all my entries, I have a blooming petunia.
And then my God, my precious, sweet, always loving, always understanding Father spoke so clearly.
What you thought you didn't have and couldn't find I have always provided for you. Trust me.
If I will look through the weeds, I'll find the seed of patience. If I'll hold fast, I'll find ever-blooming love. He doesn't wipe away the problems, He doesn't say it's going to be easy. He says, "We do hard things. Its who we are. But you can do it. I'm with you. Now come on. Let's go love a child."
A year ago, He knew I was going to need a petunia. And not for the fair. Right now I don't give two cents for the fair. If I did, I'd be sewing, not recording this precious memory. But if it weren't for the fair, I never would have paid much attention to my lack of petunias and the miracle this one is. He knew, a year ago, that I'd need to know right now that He had traveled this road ahead of me.
And what a beautiful way to communicate it to me. I do believe the petunia has become my favorite flower. The question is will I ever be able to look at one without crying?
I wonder what seeds He's storing for me this year.