Monday, August 15, 2016

Rest Stop Blessings

 

“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."  Phil 4:11

 
My husband and I have traveled a lot and often stop at highway rest stops for breaks. When we were younger, we were usually on a mission to get to our destination, so we zipped in and out as fast as the lines in the bathrooms would allow. As we’ve grown older, the stops have become longer as we hit the bathrooms and take a few minutes stretching our aging legs. On those rest-stop strolls I’ve discovered something very interesting—mini-gardens dotted throughout the rest stop landscape. These tiny gardens are a visual blessing to road-weary travelers.


I’m not sure why these mini-gardens have become fascinating to me recently. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and thinking about downsizing my own garden. Or maybe I’m captivated with rest stop gardens because  I’m always on the lookout for fodder for the two garden blogs I have, entitled  Through the Garden Gates and A Writer’s Garden where I talk about my garden, gardens I have visited, and the gardens of other writers I host. After all, you never know what might spark an idea for a post or story. At any rate, I’ve begun to appreciate small like I never have before.


When we think about gardens our minds often go to places like Versailles or Biltmore where a small army of gardeners tend hundreds of acres of landscaping that is perfectly trimmed, perfectly weeded, and always blooming. (Well, at least that’s where my mind goes, because I adore walking though and drooling over those gardens.) Likewise, the pinnacle of authorship represents best-selling books—lots of them. And that perfect home is all-brick (for easy maintenance), located in a fantastic neighborhood, and boasts five-bedrooms, four baths, with every room big enough that you can see empty wall space. If it’s bigger, then it must be better, right?
 

But sometimes, the best things come in smaller packages. A tiny garden in a plot or a recycled trashcan can bring as much joy as an acre of lush landscape you have to tend daily. The sweet success of seeing your name on the cover of your first published book is something that will never fade, even if you never reach best-seller status. And I guarantee you will always remember the first time you cross the threshold of your tiny, starter home.

 
So, the next time you’re tempted to wish for something bigger, or declare what you have already isn’t sufficient, step back and look for the rest stop blessing—that small, but beautiful, nugget that lets you know how much you really have.  You might be surprised at what you see.

 

Today's Birthday Bash giveaway is a winner's choice of one of Caryl McAdoo's books. The winner will be announced in the Weekly Windup post.  Good luck!

 

7 comments:

  1. A great way to look at life. I don't garden, but I do appreciate them.

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    1. How can one not appreciate gardens? They bring such joy. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. Beautiful thought this Monday morning. Love the scripture you shared.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming by.

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  3. I love to guarden and I have both vegetables and flowers in my gardens. Yes, garden plural because I have small plots of vegetables and flowers scattered on the acre of land we kept when we sold our farm. So many of my adult years were devoted to our dairy operation, raising a tobacco crop and growing a garden to provide our food. There was little time to plant and care for flowers. When we sold our farm and I began a second career as a librarian I devoted my spare time to flowers. Many of them were started from perennial plants shared by family and friends. Now I have vegetables to nourish my body and flowers to feed my love of beauty and as I watch them grow, I often say a prayer for their first owners!!!

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  4. What a wonderful tradition you've created with your garden prayers. I, too, have many flowers from family and friends in my garden. Thanks for coming by and telling us about your garden.

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