African Violets: how I love thee

one of my African violets

I grew up with African Violets in the house.  My Mom loved them and we usually had at least two or three.  I spent many years without any plants in my house- I was working full- time and didn’t even think about adding a plant to our busy lives.  But since I am home all day, I have found plants to be a source of joy and inspiration for me- as well as a reminder of God’s love.

I have three African violets- they bloom throughout the year, are easy to take care of- once you learn the basics- and have lovely foliage and blooms in a variety of colors.  I would love to send a leaf to you, just ask- in fact, if you lived close enough I would love to grow a plant for you.  I love watching the plants change day to day- and seeing those first buds always makes me so excited.  Their beauty is indescribable.

Are you itching to go out and buy one right now?  Well, it is easy.  Look for a special African Violet soil- you can find this at Home Depot and Lowe’s and I am sure it is available other places as well.  African Violets also have a liquid fertilizer.  Get a gallon jug (if you are going to use one that had milk in it, be sure to clean it thoroughly) and mix as directed.  Use fertilized water every time you water your violets.  They also sell special pots for African Violets.  If you can’t find them just ask.  They have two parts, the plant sits in the inner pot and you put water into the outer pot and then set the inner part down into the water that you pour into the outer pot- don’t fill it too full or you will have a mess (I know this from personal experience).  This way, you can’t overwater- which is the most common novice mistake made with indoor plants.  (I will try to post a pic of the pots- it is hard to explain if you have never seen one)

So if you don’t consider yourself a plant person, don’t be afraid to try an African Violet and if you have trouble shoot me a message- I will endeavor to help you keep it alive any way I can.  :)

It’s All About Perspective

I was cleaning in the kitchen today and made an interesting discovery.  Stooping down on my hands and knees, I was scrubbing the floor due to the company set to arrive in about 6 hours.  I approached the area near the dishwasher and discovered a thick layer of dirt beneath the dishwasher- yuck.

As I began to clean the dirt, I started thinking about how I would have never noticed how dirty it was down here if I had not bent down and changed my perspective.

So much of life is about perspective, and since my husband and I had our first child over three years ago, I find myself asking more and more- what is God’s perspective?  How would He want me to look at this?  How do I know whether the things I value and prioritize or even how I look at myself and my life are things that glorify God or just seek to honor and satisfy self?

Because that’s what our culture loves- self.  It’s all about me.  We are inundated with it.  And I started thinking about God’s perspective vs. our perspective. There have been some tough times in my life when I have asked- where is God?  I need His help.  But lately I have been wondering- if I could step back, and see my situation as He sees it- all the answers to prayer coming- the ways that He is teaching me through my circumstances- and I have realized (thanks to Andrew Murray’s work called Waiting on God) that when I despair and/or fail to have faith even when I can’t see the outcome then I have failed the most simple test of faith.

Can I wait in anticipation of God’s faithful answer to prayer even when I can’t see the outcome and am lost in my own sadness and despair?  Will I raise my self out of it and say “I will yet praise you my Savior and my God?” (Psalm 42:5)

I pray that soon my answer will be a fervent and humble- yes.