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Friday Fave: Old House Gardens

 

One grandmother was a founding member of her local Garden Club. The other, grew plants on her back porch and came from a family who once sold drop-dead gorgeous dahlias from their car trunk in downtown Spartanburg way back when. 

Thankfully, I was able to dig up some plants from both homes before they were sold. From one, amaryllis and a hydrangea. From the other, an old-timey spice bush, daffodils, and cuttings from a rose bush that originated in my great-grandmother’s yard. 

You wouldn’t know it by the way my yard looks right now (I’ll spare you the excuses) but I love my garden and the heirloom plants that have made their home here. When our roof was replaced earlier this year, I protected my grandparent’s plants like a mama bear. This fall, I plan to venture back outdoors to clean up, weed, and clip. After all, specific areas of the yard were planted with our future grandchildren in mind and a jungle was not on that list. 

This weekend, I look forward to perusing the online catalog of Old House Gardens. I’ve always been delighted with both their product and customer service. It’s one of the few companies that still offer heirloom and hard to find plants. 

Am I alone or was there a plant in your loved ones yard that you now enjoy in your own?

The grass withers, the flower fades, 
but the word of our God will stand forever. 
Isaiah 40:8

One Life Can Change Everything

Twenty-three years ago, I was directed to a newly formed “New Beginnings” Sunday School class. My wounds, still fresh from a punt kick to the heart, made me wonder if I’d ever fit into a Southern Baptist Church.

I dropped the boys off at their classrooms and nervously proceeded to a little brick house perfectly situated on the church campus. I couldn’t help but wonder what or who awaited me behind the six-paneled door. Could there really be other young divorcees in this church who might relate to my circumstances? 

I inhaled as much courage two lungs would allow, turned the knob, and slowly opened the door.

A quick survey of the room left me both stunned and delighted as I noticed the majority of the group were older men and women who had been widowed.

Immediately, a woman who’d agreed to co-lead the new class stepped up, wrapped her arms around me, and welcomed me with a warm smile that could melt any barrier guarding the heart. Her name was Lavana. 

Over the next few months, I attended a masquerade for our group at Lavana’s home and hopped on the church bus for a local fish fry, among other things. This group of men and women embraced me despite my sinful past. Unconditional love defined. 

This past Sunday, I drove back to that church in my hometown to attend Lavana’s visitation services. 

As I made my way home, I couldn’t help but wonder how things might be different today had she not stepped up to help lead a new class so many years ago. What if she’d been too busy or too timid to step out on faith?

Lavana loved well. Served well. Prioritized well. 

And as a result, many will be forever grateful. Who will say the same about us?

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have
been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the
joy of your master.’ 
Matthew 25:23 ESV

Honoring a Life Well-Lived

Shuping and Alberta Scott

We celebrated Alberta Scott, my paternal grandmother’s, life yesterday morning at her church, Fairforest Baptist. Years ago, she had chosen her music and Scripture verses. It was simple, yet very meaningful. I couldn’t have agreed with the pastor more when, at the end of the service, he said with every confidence that the first words she heard were “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Many lives were blessed as a result of hers.

I purposefully had not shared the funeral information with my different email groups because I didn’t want anyone to feel that I was expecting them to make the trip to Spartanburg for her funeral. So, imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw my friend Lesa, aka “Fruity” Frady, coming through the doors with another friend, Shay, from First Baptist. Shay had worked with my dad years ago and now she and Lesa (friend of almost 20 years!) are neighbors.

I had just recovered from that surprise when another friend, Sandra, walked through the doors. Sandra was in the Ladies’ Class at Temple Baptist and now she’s in our class at First Baptist. She’s a single woman who works for a not-so-nice law firm in Greenville. Because I was aware of her delicate work situation, I kept asking her how she had managed to take time off to drive over for the visitation/funeral. She finally shared, with a smile on her face, that she had worked overtime the night before, would work overtime that night, and again tonight, to make up for the time lost. I was overwhelmed by her sacrifice… and still am.

It was nice gathering with the entire family for lunch after the graveside service, but I left wondering why in the world families rarely gather like that anymore unless there’s a funeral. I’m hoping that will change.

Life truly does fly by but a life well-lived resonates throughout generations.
Tiny House on the Hill

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