Genesis 3:18: ..."Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herbs of the field..."
My inspiration for "THiStLeBiTs" is truly based on personal experience with thistles. A few years ago, my husband and I, along with our 4 children, bought some land (10+ acres of prairie) and moved a large church building onto the property to renovate into our home. ("The Church-house") It's been a few years and the project is not yet finished....probably never will be!
As the projects on the inside of the house languished, I spent time planting gardens around our home. I became a ditch-hopper, braking my truck at the slightest glimpse of color in the roadside ditch, jumping out with my small shovel to dig up a clump of flowers, then speeding off! I salvaged plants, like my wonderful hydrangeas, from old buildings, coaxing the "starts" of the roots into small, sturdy bushes.
Unfortunately, as I worked to till, hoe, and dig, the thistles in the prairie waged war on me! They attacked the freshly seeded lawn, spiking their way up and spreading out. They wove through the rows of the potager, fighting with my organic greens...and winning! They thrust their way up through the neatly mowed trails, which wound around our property. I wanted blood! Thistle blood!!! I hoed them, raked them, sprayed them, dug them, sliced them, and boiled them. They returned. I thought about them day and night. How would I win? How could I beat this adversary? I prayed...."Please God, give me a beautiful garden, full of color, full of birds and bees, full of life! Oh, and please kill those nasty thistles!"
I picked out plants to accent my terracotta home...white, lavender, green. Lovely! Still the thistles returned. One day I hiked along a path, wearing flip flops. Prickly leaves poked my toes and heels as I went. "Grrrrrr." Suddenly, I rounded a bend and looked out across the prairie toward my house. Glory! I couldn't believe it! The colors jumped out at me...whites, lavenders, greens! A huge, amazing garden, filled with birds, bees, & life! The thistles rose to the top, over the clover & over the yarrow. They stood proudly showing off their purple tones. They were beautiful! I knew that God had answered my prayer but differently than I expected.
I had beauty all along but there was a cost. Prickles. I learned a great lesson that day. I had been dwelling on the discomfort caused by the abundance of these thistles, the whole time missing out on the beauty they possessed. I wanted vitality, color & life in the confines of my gardens. The whole time, I was surrounded by exactly what I wanted...yet never noticed!
I want to see the beauty around me. Even during the struggles (the prickles) of my life, I want to turn a corner, lift my eyes, and see the glory that is surrounding me. I must only take the time...to notice!
A thistle as a whole is intimidating. However, if you take the time to avoid the prickles and notice the "bits", you'll experience true beauty! Who or what is a thistle to you right now? Focus on just one good bit of that person or thing. You may be surprised to find that there is beauty there....a wonder to behold...!
*~* Debbie *~*