Don't you just love it when you ask God for something very specific, but He's like, "SURPRISE! I know you'll love this even more!" Me, too! Our Father God delights in giving us gifts! Read about how he blessed me with a gift for which I had longed, but never thought to ask for.
One of our greatest joys as parents of young kids was seeing the surprise on their faces as they awoke on Christmas morning. (Disclaimer: this joy often came after some major grumbling about being awakened at the butt-crack of dawn after having stayed up late to assemble…umm…things.)
One of my favorite Christmases was the year Santa brought them a three-wheeler (aka death trap) that they were not expecting. That same year, Eric had asked for a “Bruno, the Bad Dog” remote control truck,
which he got.
Emily had requested a Starla doll, which she got.
But Santa knew something they both would love even more, and he delivered (much to the Momma’s protests).
When I was in nursing school, I planted the most unique rose bushes I had ever seen – Joseph’s Coat climbing roses. Although they didn’t have much to boast about in fragrance, they made up for it with their beauty.
Every spring, those rose bushes would simply burst with color! The spring of 2007 was one of their most glorious (or at least that’s the way I remember it). I picked a lovely bouquet of their yellow, coral, red, and pink blooms to take to my sweet He in her hospice bed that April. As she breathed in their mild fragrance, she smiled and whispered, “Beautiful!”
Perhaps one of the hardest things for me to leave behind when we moved out of that house in 2011 was those rose bushes. I had sought solace among their petals through so many events over the seven years since planting them.
In 2005, they comforted me when Eric flew from the nest.
God met me on that back porch for coffee so many mornings.
As I cried out to God when hearing that hateful “C” word about my He, the roses bent their heads as if in prayer. You see, she had sat with me countless times among those beautiful blossoms, always remarking about their beauty. She had a true appreciation for lovely things.
After she flew away from all the pain, leaving her broken and weary earth suit behind, we grandkids added some of those beloved roses to our floral tribute to her.
That next month, as Emily followed her brother and left the nest…now completely empty, God met me here.
And I spent a lot of time with Him there through a very dark time…
Father, May I Please Have Roses?
On my way to Jodi’s a couple of weeks ago, I boldly asked my Father to help me find more roses just like those. I specifically asked for two.
Jodi and I had talked about possibly going junking in Round Top/Warrenton the next day. I just KNEW that if I would find them anywhere, it would be there. So, I asked. Fully expecting. Palms up!
So, I cannot help but believe that God loves to surprise his children with unexpected gifts. I told Jodi on our drive to Round Top specifically what I was looking for. And that I was expecting God to come through with precisely what I had asked for. We were on a hunt for those roses!
Tears are welling up even as I prepare to tell you about this. And I’m grinning like a possum as they stream down my face!
So, we were making our way back toward where we had parked. We weren’t ready to head home yet, but it was time to hit up another field before we headed home.
I’ve been to Antique Week enough times to be somewhat familiar with where my favorite vendors set up, and there was this one particular vendor I always love to visit. As we walked into her booth, though, I realized the space was occupied by someone new. She still had great stuff, but it was different.
I looked around at so many cute things, touching everything (because I just have to touch EVERYTHING) and oohing and aahing over it all. And then I saw it! A red petticoat!
Now, some of you might not even know what a petticoat is. Please educate yourself.
We had two petticoats when we were little, my sister, Chelle and I. One red. The other (I think) was white-ish (probably more like dirty white. We were kids, after all).
Anyway, those petticoats were our go-to dress-up items. We could be ballerinas if we pulled them up under our armpits. Or if we wore them around our waists, we could be beauty queens or ballroom dancers. Those petticoats were happy to transform us into whomever we wanted to be. We could twirl in those petticoats like you wouldn’t believe! All little girls LOVE to twirl!
The petticoats disappeared at whatever point in time toy boxes are cleared of the forgotten remnants of childhood. It’s ironic that one’s innocence often exits stage left at around the same time.
I’ve never forgotten those petticoats. Just a couple of weeks before I went to see Jodi, I was telling Emily about them and how I was on the lookout for some to keep for my Little Bird.
So, THAT’S the big deal about a red petticoat! God knew my desire for that simple red petticoat even before I spoke it aloud to Emily! He had already planned to surprise me with it in Warrenton. I had NO intentions of going to Warrenton, and certainly wasn’t on the lookout for that particular treasure. But my Abba loves me, and He had already planned to surprise me with that lovely gift.
As I held the fluffy garment to my chest, I began to cry. Poor Jodi! She really loves me because she was so understanding of my strange reaction to this weird object!
I had, in fact, asked God for something very specific, but He knew my even deeper desire, and He gifted me with it. Kinda like that three-wheeler
Todd Santa brought my babies that year.
I can’t even imagine God’s delight as He waited for the exact moment He knew I would discover that crimson treasure! I imagine Him nudging Jesus with an elbow, saying, “Watch this, Son! We’re about to blow this girl’s mind!”
I still got the roses. The following Monday, I took a chance on visiting a local nursery, and they had ONE Joseph’s Coat rose bush. Granted, it wasn’t the two I had requested, but DUDES! (“Dudes” in this context is gender neutral…code for “friends.”) I had already hit the stinking jackpot!
I also bought a Piñata climbing rose, a very similar bush. It’s so similar to the Joseph’s Coat that you almost can’t tell the difference.
They were planted about a week ago, and they’re doing so well. I can’t wait to watch them climb those very same trellises my other roses climbed. I fully expect that I will spend a lot of great time with my Daddy out on the patio with those roses eavesdropping on every word. And I can’t wait until little Langley Denise (He’s precious namesake) takes a big whiff of them and looks up at me to say, “Beautiful!”