They were all sprawled out in front of us—clusters of vibrant Tiger Lilies, mounds of Yellow roses, handfuls of purple irises, and pickings of choice colorful weeds. My sister and I knelt on our knobby, dirt covered knees to assemble the perfect bouquet of flowers for our Barbies and their double weddings to Ken and G.I. Joe. We spent many a summer and spring in my mom’s garden, creating a wedding scene for our dolls or an adventurous jungle getaway for our stuffed animals. Some days we felt extra risky and combined all our toys to create a Barbie and Beanie Baby spin on Jurassic Park.
Memories like these are perfectly summed up in James M. Barrie’s words, “God gave us memory so we may pluck roses in December.” There have been many times that lush memories got me through difficult times. Whether you’ve grown up in a tropical rainforest or a frozen wonderland, you can’t help but smile when you see a garden overflowing with lush flowers. The same is true for a headful of memories.
Most of my treasured memories involve new as well as long-time friends. Rosalee Mills Appleby, beloved Oklahoma missionary to Brazil in the early 1900s, said it best, “With gratitude and praise to Him, memory brings in review the beautiful friendships, the generous hospitality, the happy fellowship, the helpful contacts, and the Christian handclasps of friends.”
I don’t know where you find yourself this spring. I don’t know whether your last encounter with flowers was for a breezy spring wedding, a rainy somber funeral, or for a lonely table in a lonely house. As I imagine you reading this blog, I pray two things for you...
A BOUQUET OF RICH MEMORIES
First, I pray that the Lord would bless you now with a bouquet of rich memories in your hard season. Maybe you’ve had a difficult last few years and are barely holding on to the hope you started with. Luke 12:27-28 says, “Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass… how much more will he do for you?” You are cared for, dear weary friend. Recall His goodness.
FRIENDS AND MEMORIES OF FRIENDS
Second, I pray many valuable friends and the memories of old friends surround you. In prosperous times as well as seemingly empty times, friends can help cheer a heart. True friends celebrate, mourn, explore, learn, eat, and serve with you. May you be blessed with many that will do so and may you be a blessing to do so for others.
It blows me away when I stop to imagine the God-given gift of being able to remember. I may not be able to remember what I had for breakfast today, but somehow He always calls to my memory those precious moments like the one in my mom’s garden with my sister for a best friend. Thank the Lord today for that ability to have memories and for friends with which to share them.
Meet the Author!
Hannah Hanzel is an opinionated, passionate gal that loves sharing what God is doing in her often busy and complicated life. She strives to show God's glory in working as the Art Director for the Baptist Messenger, serving as a multi-client freelance graphic designer, and communing with CRBC. When she's not working, you can find her sipping coffee in a hammock, watching classic '40s movies, or going on an adventure with friends or family.