Sunday, April 06, 2014

Nature's Hidden Treasures

Between the stress of having to be a responsible parent far beyond my preference or capacity this week and the clear, blue skies, this day beckoned me to enjoy some outside time.

I was in great need of refreshment for my soul, mind and body. For me, nothing sooths my soul, quiets my mind and energizes my body quite like being in the great outdoors.

After spending some time watching our kiddos and their friends splash in the spring-cold water of our nearby stream, make mud pies, jump on the trampoline and romp through our daffodils, I decided to pick up where my mother in law left off just a few days ago clearing away layers of leaves left from last fall in one of our flower beds.

What looked like a thin layer of leaves turned out to be a rather thick blanket of them which I discovered was hiding precious treasures beneath it.

First, little green sprouts appeared that may be tulips?  This is our first spring here in our new home, and we have not yet seen what beauty spring will have for us here at Montford, but we are excited to find out.

The more I raked, the more I began to see that there was quite a number of blooming plants I had no idea existed beneath all those leaves.

A part from the sheer (odd?) joy I find in physical labor, which was raking today, I was near giddy to be rewarded for my work with these gems.  This propelled me to keep raking even as dusk was settling in and my arms were beginning to quiver from the repetitive task of raking.

I could not finish the entire flower bed before I needed to set the rakes aside for the night in order to complete indoor tasks and prepare myself and our home for this upcoming week's needs.  But, I eagerly made a plan to return to my work tomorrow evening, hoping no rain is in the forecast and I can get back to raking, uncovering more of nature's hidden treasures that might still be lying underneath those layers of leaves. 

It made me think of some aspects of friendship. Initially, when we meet someone we see just the surface. But, we work at discovering what might be below the surface. And, it is work, isn't it? Asking questions. Giving time and careful attention to the details of another's story? Remembering new information about the person. Finding ways to bless her and communicate affection for her.

With time, attention and persistence, however, we often discover gems just waiting to be uncovered.

I am in a season of needing to make and develop new friendships.  There have been several changes in our life over this past year, and I know God is calling me to pursue and embrace new friendships--not at the forsaking of "old" friendships, which I always have to assure myself of because I am a "loyal to the death" type of friend and the idea of "moving on" relationally can start the water works flowing for this girl rather quickly (*if you are just getting to know me, you might want to take note of that and run now.)  ;)  And, yes, I know that was one, really long RUN ON sentence. oy!

So as I move forward relationally, I am going to hold on to this lovely picture God provided tonight as I raked my flower bed, that of hidden treasures lying below the surface. I want to gear myself up for a 'treasure hunt.'

How about you?  Have you experienced friendship in this way, finding unexpected treasures in your pursuit and/or committment to a friend? I'd love to hear about it.

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