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Fall Flowers

 

Every fall Norm participates in a yearly convention, a networking event for professionals within his industry. Sometimes they go cool places like Quebec or Kawaii. Last year was virtual, but this year they were excited to meet in Maui. We bought a plane ticket for me to tag along too. A few weeks ago we were really disappointed to learned the convention was not happening in Hawaii, but doing it all virtually instead. 


We cancelled our flight reservations. I'd known in the back of my head that we might not go, but I needed a break from the routine, from the crazy fall schedule, and from my kids. Rather, I needed a break from my job as a parent. I love my kids, but I love them even more after I've been gone for a few days. ;) And Norm and I needed a chance to go on a date and hang out together. I highly recommend Marriage Maintenance for every couple in every season. That said, it's incredibly tricky for us to get time away together in our current scenario.

I'd known that if I started drooling over the ocean and the sand and thoughts of walking along the beach, it would be super disappointing if the trip got cancelled. So I hadn't even started dreaming about the beach. But I had been looking at photos of Hawaiian flowers.  Well, the day came when we cancelled our tickets, so I put the island flower book on the shelf. 


Yesterday I went to the Dallas Arboretum. Notice the hibiscus in the previous photo.

(This side note is for my Utah people. They charge you $15 for parking! %&#$% Count your blessings whenever there's Free Parking. At Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, you don't have to drive into the city center, either. I'd already known they'd zing me for parking, and it was totally worth the $8 in toll roads on the way there and back. But by the time I paid admission and transportation, I was already at $40. smh=shaking my head. It's only money.)

Monday was a school holiday, Tuesday I did a bunch of chores and errands lickety split, so that Wednesday I could carve out four hours to be alone and curious and free. It was glorious. Instead of being bummed about the trip I missed, I went to see flowers right here in north Texas. 



The weather was a big question mark. It was supposed to be raining a LOT around noon, so I almost cancelled my plan. If it's pouring, it's like the heavens turn on a faucet and everything floods. Some of the roads in that area are especially bad. But here's my compensatory blessing. The weather was MUGGY and sticky but it didn't start pouring until I got home.



What's a compensatory blessing? Here's Richard G Scott saying it much better than I can. "Find the compensatory blessings in your life when, in the wisdom of the Lord, He deprives you of something you very much want. To the sightless or hearing impaired, He sharpens the other senses. To the ill, He gives patience, understanding, and increased appreciation for others’ kindness. With the loss of a dear one, He deepens the bonds of love, enriches memories, and kindles hope in a future reunion. You will discover compensatory blessings when you willingly accept the will of the Lord and exercise faith in Him."

Losing a trip to Hawaii isn't a super huge loss, but it mattered to me. Losing the chance to discover flowers in a rain forest was replaced with an opportunity to discover flowers before a rain storm


These tiny white ones smelled so good. I wish I could share that smell across a screen.



The next little orange ones captured my interest for a few minutes, watching the bumblebees work their magic.

Elder Scott also taught this profound truth:

"You are here on earth for a divine purpose. It is not to be endlessly entertained or to be constantly in full pursuit of pleasure. You are here to be tried, to prove yourself so that you can receive the additional blessings God has for you. The tempering effect of patience is required. Some blessings will be delivered here in this life; others will come beyond the veil. The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not."


He continues, "When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you.
"


Here's another compensatory blessing. Yes it was muggy and sticky, my hair was frizzy and my skin was glistening. But it was warm. I wore sandals and shorts and put my hair in a messy bun in October. What a glorious season! I have legs that work, and toes with purple sparkly nail polish. Also see the gigantic pumpkin? That's super cool.






The statue of the mommy with her daughter is pretty great. And then the following red flowers spoke to my heart. (New Guinea Impatiens, or Impatiens hawkeri,  Deep Red Sakata.) Why does that flower's name sound so impatient? Lately I've been waiting for a lot of things, and I've been super irritated and frustrated and well, impatient. Maybe I needed a field trip to see some flowers, and a reminder that even when I'm waiting for something huge, that there are small blessings right here in front of me.




Even with all the awful things in the world, with the difficult details in our nation, with trouble here and there and everywhere; even with my own personal disappointment and grief; at least we live in a world with flowers. L.M. Montgomery said it really well through Anne of Green Gables: "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

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