Friday, April 20, 2012

Root bound

This week I was hanging out in my favorite place-my greenhouse!  Last weekend we had purchased some habanero and annaheim peppers at the Orange Big Box up in Bella Vista.  I took time looking at the plants and picking out the ones I thought to be the strongest, healthiest, and most likely to produce lots of peppers!  I brought them home and gave them a cool drink of water and let them rest for a couple of days.  I've been taking advantage of having a greenhouse; I have grown most of our plants from seed.  Starting them in a peat pellet then moving them up until finally they reach the quart size containers before they graduate to the garden.  When I can't grow from seed, I purchase smaller plants then repot them into something a bit larger so they can have additional grow time before going into the big world of my garden!  Now these particular orange box plants were in the pots that are "biodegradable and will become part of the earth." 

Now that sounds absolutely marvelous, right?  It has to be so much better for the plants because it *breathes* and becomes the earth.  I got my handy dandy snips and cut off the piece of plastic and since I was repotting I thought I would go ahead and remove the "earth" pot.  I'm so glad that I did because what I found underneath was a mess.
There was a tightly woven tangle of roots wrapped inside that healthy pot.  Those roots weren't any healthier or fresher or livelier because they were in an "earth" pot!  They were in a POT.  Even though the POT was permeable, these roots were still bound and confined by the size and shape of their pot and it got me to thinking about me.  Am I root bound?  Have I been complacent with my life for so long that I have forgotten to put out new roots?

Last week, Blake was talking about this very phenomenon during his sermon.  He told us how his mother purchases plants and then gets frustrated because they don't grow when she plants them in her yard.  He goes over and pulls it out and the roots are still wrapped up looking like it was just pulled from the pot.  Even in rich healthy dirt, the roots had been so crippled, so bound that they couldn't seek out the sustenence that is right before their eyes.  When a plant has been in a *pot* it is inevitable that it will become root bound and when it does you must tear the roots a bit before you plant them in the earth or they just won't grow.

As human beings we should strive to not become root bound in our *pots* of life!  While tearing our roots to loosen our soil may hurt a bit, in the long run we will become the beautiful beings we are meant to be.  This week, I would encourage you to look at your roots...have you been in your *pot* too long?  When is the last time you loosened your roots a bit and did something outside your comfort know like seeking out the least, the last and the loving others like we love serving someone else, not just dropping some change in the offering plate but going out and getting your hands dirty or spending some of your precious time giving of yourself to help a stranger?  If you're reading this today, you are indeed crazy blessed.  Take a minute right now to think about all your blessings.  Your family, your home, your clothes, your computer, your smart phone, your car, your clean clothes, the food in your refrigerator...the list is endless.  So consider shaking up those roots and letting yourself grow just a little bit more :)  You might just be surprised at what you can be!
(by the way this last picture is from my 2011 garden.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Refresher course in the cotton candy clouds...

In 1989 one of my favorite actors, Robin Williams, uttered two words on the big screen that made a huge impact..."Carpe Diem."  I can still remember the hairs on my neck standing up as he whispered by the trophy case those words to young boys full of life and future.  Boys who already thought they were seizing every day but who really had much to learn.  My eyes still swell with tears at the scene where the boys all stand on their desks and proclaim "Oh Captain, my Captain!"  These boys had learned the lesson but would they remember?

I think the lessons we learn when we are young are forever imbedded into who we are as adults but I know sometimes they get buried beneath being the adult--you know, running the kids and doing the tasks of everyday life.  Then something happens and what we learned from that lesson comes to the front and everything else comes screeching to a halt as we shake our heads in astonishment that we had forgotten.  I had one of those this morning and consider myself crazy blessed to catch that brief fleeting moment that God had just for me!

I cook Ted breakfast in the mornings.  (Now before you storm off in disgust that I'm a throw back to the 1950's, realize that I'm selfish I do it so I have a reason to crawl out of bed...otherwise I would still be sleeping when Melissa drags out of bed around 9:30 or 10 every morning!  The hour after he leaves for work is my time...)  Well, this morning I had this nagging feeling that he didn't have his name badge so I rushed out the door to catch him so I could prevent an extra drive across town.  He had it, I gave him a quick kiss and darted out to the curb to collect my daily paper.  I turned around and the sky had erupted into cotton candy.  I rushed over and opened his truck door and asked, "did you see the sky?  Did you see all the cotton candy?  Isn't it beautiful?"  I know he thought I was crazy but the laugh and the sparkle in his eyes took me back to the night he first kissed me when I was young and had the world ahead of me.
As I walked to the house I thought about waking Jessica so she could see the pink fluffy clouds but opted to grab my "real" camera and rush back outside to capture a more professional quality shot so I could share it with the world.  My heart was full of anticipation as I rushed back out to get that perfect picture and the cotton candy was gone.  The sky was regular blue and grey...

I stepped back and was sad for a moment but realized I saw the cotton candy sky...that beautiful moment that let me catch a glimpse of the boy I fell in love with and it all made sense.  I needed to "carpe diem," I needed to sieze the day.  Ted and I celebrate a big one this year, the time has flown and the kids are growing and getting more independent each day.  Anna leaves for college in four short months and in the blink of an eye Melissa and Jessica will be gone, too.  I have to "carpe diem" each crazy blessed moment with each of them because before I know it, our home will be just that boy with the twinkling eyes and me.  So today we're going to make peep s'mores for Melissa's cheer friends, make some cupcakes with Jessica and make a Mocking Jay t-shirt with Anna. 

This morning, I got my refresher of that lesson I learned from Robin Williams all those years ago.  Today, I am going to seize every crazy blessed moment and strive to remember each and every day!!  I wonder what lesson refresher will come next?!?!?!