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Lessons From Petunias

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. ~Psalm 145:4

I love walking out my back door in the morning while the dew is still on or after a rain, to inhale the soft, spicy scent of my heirloom petunias. The ‘name’ heirloom couldn’t be more appropriate as far as I’m concerned. These scented beauties with their delicate white, purple, and pink blooms are an heirloom of sorts to me. I am not exaggerating when I say they are a significant part of what I call my ‘flower heritage’.

Granny is the matriarch, so to speak, of this heritage. Many of my earliest memories in life involve Granny and Pa Pete tending their flower and vegetable gardens, and their little orchard. My memories aren’t of being kept on the sidelines or ‘out of the way’, though. They let me help even when it would have been quicker, easier, and far more productive not to—for them to do it themselves.

Working alongside them was great! It made me feel so grown up and important—not to mention that it was the best kind of ‘classroom’ I could have had. It was one continuous show-n-tell. Not only did I learn to identify plants, but how to propagate, care for, and use them. And petunias were always involved.

So, when I see and smell my heirloom petunias I see Granny deadheading hers with an old pill bottle in hand used to collect the ultra-tiny seeds so that she could spread them around, i.e. share them with people who (in her words) needed them.

I also remember the first day I was the recipient of some of those seeds.

“You need to plant these here,” Granny said, pointing to space between the little front porches of our house. “They will look pretty with your zinnias and the snow on the mountain (more seeds she had brought because I needed them).

And you know what? For the next twenty-three years heirloom petunias flourished abundantly in that space…as well as few others, too.

When the time came for us to move, one of the first things I did in preparation to leave was to start gathering seeds from my heirloom petunias. I had to take them with me! They were…and still are part of my heritage! Their teensy, tiny leaves are the first thing I look for peeking through the soil each spring. Their return is a proof of sorts that Granny’s legacy…my ‘flower heritage’ is still as real and relevant as ever.

Real and relevant are the perfect words to describe an even greater heritage I have. My heritage of eternal life in heaven. As precious as Granny will always be to me, and as much as I treasure everything she taught me, it is nothing compared to what I have because of Jesus. His sacrifice for my sins, his unconditional love, his constant care, the blessings he pours into my life…all of it is sweeter and more beautiful than all the heirloom petunias in the world. But I also believe that he gives them to me each year as a reminder of what I have in him, because he knows they speak to my heart, and my heart is where he wants to be.

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. ~Psalm 145:4 5:4 :4 4 Noble, Darla: 9798540523073: Books

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