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Need a Little Hope Today?

You’ve probably come across the saying, ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ And it’s a great sentiment, especially for military families and others who find themselves moved around quite a bit. But what about those times when you feel you’ve been strewn not moved; crushed not planted?

Bloom anyways.

Life is a force. It's a promise. It needs only the barest essentials to begin.

I was reminded of this truth on my recent return to our home in Virginia. Living two zones north now, I left New York with 2 feet of snow on the ground and came back to a world of germination. As I walked around my rather unkempt property, I couldn’t help by chuckle when I came upon a Star of Bethlehem peeking out of an overturned clay pot.

As you can see in this picture, this early spring bulb is just a little 4”bloomer – often

naturalized in lawns and along woodland paths. I never planted these bulbs that are officially called Ornithogalum umbellatum and belong to the Lily family, but they keep spreading in my garden beds.

Isn’t it uncanny how sometimes life springs up and surprises us when we least expect it?

It’s true of love as well. A dear friend of mine’s daughter has been serving as a missionary in Egypt and was strapped this past semester with projects and papers, new assignments in addition to her usual load. But wouldn’t you know that’s when love found her?

While we were all praying that she could manage her many tasks without losing her mind, love comes knocking on the door. And now she’s engaged.

Sometimes we fret that our plans are too much or too little, too close or too far away. We look down the road and see where we want to go, but it’s the things we can’t see that might surprise and delight us the most. Just like these patches of smiling flowers – all the more joyful because they push through snow and leaves and unlikely conditions.

According to Flowerinfo.com The star of Bethlehem flower is best known for its biblical associations. Because of its pure white, star-like shape, it was named after the star that rose over Bethlehem to reveal the birth of the baby Jesus.

In addition to being called the star of Bethlehem, these plants are also known as the Arabian and wonder flower, as well as ‘the florist’s nightmare.’ The latter title is due to the fact that these plants are not only vigorous in their growth habits, but they also have an exceptionally long shelf life – lasting at least two weeks, sometimes longer.

The website also states that although it is not widely known, these flowers have many uses in both the culinary world and the world of folk medicine. Although this bulb is considered highly toxic to animals, most species are thought to be perfectly safe for human consumption, and the bulbs are frequently dried and ground. The flowers themselves are occasionally baked into uniquely-flavored breads. The bulbs of this plant are also used to treat some forms of cancer; while the essences created from the flower are used in aromatherapy.

For those who like to know what “meaning” a flower has, this normally white flower (mine has a tinge of the lightest purple) is most frequently associated with the symbol of purity. The blossoms are sometimes used in weddings, and given as gifts for special romantic occasions, as they are also representative of hope – a hope for a new life, or the continuation of happiness and love.

Hope – sowing itself in my flower bed – that’s what I love about spring! We are reminded this season that even when everything looks bleak, another force is at work. And it can bloom anywhere.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4: 6 & 7

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