Last spring, my husband did something he should not have done. It wasn’t entirely his fault. He got caught up in yard work and wasn’t thinking and pruned all of our hydrangea bushes. Let me repeat, last spring…he pruned all of our hydrangea bushes. For anyone who knows about gardening, you know this is a big, HUGE no no! We didn’t have a single blossom all summer, not one. Kind of fitting for 2020, I guess.
All summer, I kept hoping we would see a bud, but we had nothing. It was disappointing but a powerful lesson to learn…
We’ve all heard the song and the reading from Ecclesiastes that tell us there is a time and a season for everything. There’s a time to be born and a time to time, a time to plant and a time to reap, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, and so on. Included in these tasks are a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to tear and a time to mend.
I think we, as a country, are in that time to speak, that time to mend. We are at a crossroads, and we need to move forward and not back. It’s time to embrace our fellow men and women, not refrain. It’s time to build, to heal, and to seek peace.
So many things have come to light over the past year, so much sadness, so much fear. Whether it’s injustice, intolerance, or matters of physical and mental health, we stand at a juncture and must make a choice.
Are we going to tear down or build? Are we going to scatter or gather? Are we going to love or hate?
Whatever we do, we must proceed with caution. We must not tip the scales. We must not speak out without understanding our words. We must not build without a foundation. We must not kill and expect to heal.
There are too many politicians making too many decisions. There are too many voices shouting for anyone to be able to hear the truth. There are too many “experts” espousing conflicting views, opinions, and advice. There are too many areas where common sense is being crowded out by fear, loathing, and greed.
Somehow, in some way, we must figure out how to get past the noise, the anger, the fear, and the hatred. We must learn to relate to each other with love and acceptance. We must teach our children how to see past the propaganda to the truth.
And honestly, I don’t know how we do that other than… to pray.
We must ask for the same thing Solomon asked for, “So give your servant a heart to understand how to govern your people, how to discern between good and evil, for how could one otherwise govern such a great people as yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).
In which direction will our country and its people go? Will there be peace or war amongst us? Will there be continued mourning or joyous dancing? Let us work together to prune back the growth of hatred and scorn and cultivate a land of justice and peace, of love and understanding.
There is hope that we can fix this. There is hope that we can all live in harmony and beauty. I know that we can create a new normal, a better normal, a happier normal. It is time to plant new seeds, build people up, to gather all together, to search for answers, to mend what is broken, and then we will laugh and dance at the outcome.
This morning, our dog, Rosie, and I took a short walk around the yard, and do you know what I saw? A bud. A beautiful, pink hydrangea blossom beginning to grow. I can’t wait to see the other blossoms that will follow and the beauty that they will restore to our home.
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What I was writing about a year ago this week: The Gift of Time
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020).