Yesterday, Sunday, September 20, 2020 was such a nice day. . . it was cool outside, sunny, and the fresh, clean mountain air an amazing preview of the fall season.
Some say I have a weird way of seeing things in the world. I don’t know, I never thought it was that weird at all, just how I see things. I have this knack of recognizing blessings popping up all over the place, and I am not ashamed to recognize from where they came.
Like this morning, walking the yard with Jim I found two woolly bears cuddled up on the lawn trying to stay warm in this chilly air that has crept in. I snatched them up and tucked them away in a safe spot of the garden, so they don’t get stepped on by us or by deer. Or the beautiful bright, rusty orange butterfly that flew by the window a bit ago to distract me and make me smile. Things like that always make me happy, give me pause, and help me recognize the value of Yahweh’s blessings. Well, yesterday was one of those days when His blessings were blatantly undeniable.
We ran to pick up our grocery order and some fresh produce. For the afternoon, we planned to have a pizza for brunch and just get some things done. Several times over the past couple weeks, we drove past this nursery, and I had seen a HUGE box off at the end of the parking lot packed full of “dead mums.” I got the impression the second or third time seeing them that I should ask Jim to stop. I wanted to ask the owners if I could grab the “dead mums” and see if I could bring them to life in our prayer garden. But I never asked Jim, thinking he would think me weird. Not even sure why exactly I thought that, I ask him to do weird stuff all the time!
We drove by them a few more times over the next several days, but I never did ask him if we could stop. Well yesterday, as we drove past on the way TO the grocer, I saw that box was now over the top full of mums – white ones and yellow and they really didn’t look dead at all. I have been wanting to add some autumnal flowers to fill out the prayer garden especially before Sukkot. But by the time we got done, I had completely forgotten all about stopping. That is, until we were right on top of the nursery, and there was no way Jim could have stopped in time without causing an accident.
When we drove by, I looked and there were even MORE mums in that box!!! GOODNESS WAS IT FULL!!!
As we drove toward home, I felt foolish for not remembering, and even more foolish for not asking to stop. I felt this strong impression, ASK HIM TO STOP! I said, “No, he won’t want to turn around now - we are almost home.” Again, “ASK HIM TO STOP!” In my head I replied the same thing only to hear ONE MORE TIME – “ASK HIM TO STOP!!! NOW!!!” Sometimes that Voice can be very insistent!
Feeling a bit unsure, again not knowing why, I said, “Ummm, Jim, if I asked you to stop, turn around and go back to that nursery back there – would you go? You see they have this huge box of mums at the end of their parking lot that looks like they are just throwing away and I was. . . .” I don’t recall how far I got into that sentence before he was turning around and going back! I finished explaining to him I hoped they would give them to me for free. And as we drove back he said, "Doesn't hurt to ask!"
When we arrived, I asked a woman out front if we could have them. She actually giggled at my request, almost as if she was saying, “They will never come back to life, but go ahead!” But all she said out loud was, “Sure.” So, we did!!! Friends, these mums are HUGE. One had a tag in it that said $34.99! I was dumbstruck – they had no pots, just open root, but they were holding together pretty well because they had been pot bound. They were a bit dry, and some were broken a bit on the stems. Jim kept telling me we were full, but I kept giving him one more, one more, and another one! We came home with 6 or 7 HUGE plants. If they have them again next time we go by, we are going to stop and grab more!
I planted all but two later that afternoon, watered them well, prayed over them and put berry bags to protect them from the deer. I plan to drop the other two in the ground tomorrow, and then, several of the broken stems actually have root starts on them, so they will go into pots of their own! I don’t care if they grow big enough to go in the garden or not – they will decorate our Sukkah in a bit!!!
But wait – there is MORE!!!
While I planted, Jim was mowing the yard. We have some of the most precious neighbors – one who comes often to help mow for Jim because all we have for now is a push mower for this “almost 1 acre” lot of land. It’s good exercise, yes, but some days you just don’t want to! Jim was doing fine yesterday when someone ELSE came along – a DIFFERENT neighbor from up the road and around two corners. Not one of our close neighbors. We don’t even know why they were driving down our little dead end street.
Jim said they pulled up, and volunteered to drive their big mower over to mow our lawn for him! The husband said he remembers when HE had to mow THEIR big yard with nothing but a push mower. His wife jumped in and said, “We really would like to do this for you – our good deed for the day!” Then they drove off! Next thing we knew, here comes the husband, on his mower, driving down the street, pulls onto our lawn and whipped it out in no time flat!
Jim came up to me after the gentleman had gone and he said, “WOW!!! Isn’t this amazing???? What a DAY FILLED with blessings!!! FULL of them!!!” I said, IT SURE IS!!!
I hadn’t even had time yet to brag to him about all the blessings from the grocery store! I saved that for later. For now, we are just truly feeling humbled by all that Yahweh does for us – the little things and the big things. Feeling greatly blessed.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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