My boyfriend Jeremy got me two rose bushes this year for my birthday.
Anytime he gives me flowers, it’s really special because he always says, “I don’t understand the point of flowers. You spend money on something you know is going to die.”
My response…”They’re pretty.”
So when I got home on my birthday and saw two rose bushes by my clubhouse door, I was so surprised and excited that I cried. Guys, seriously, get your girl a plant/flower bush…the flowers keep coming. It’s the best.
I thanked Jeremy too much and he said, “Okay, so, I put them in pots for you, and I got you some rose food. Now it’s up to you to take care of them. …So if they die, it’s your fault.” ::sigh:: You say the sweetest things to me on my birthday.
Can I just tell you, I love these rose bushes so much because he gave them to me, but I have never taken care of my own plant before. …Well, that’s not entirely true.. At the last house I rented, there were two very established rose bushes that were beautiful, but only in the last few months that I lived there did I try to fool with them. I had no idea what I was doing, but I liked cutting away the spent roses and watching for new ones to bloom.
So I’ve taken care of these rose bushes as best I can, reading so many articles and watching youtube videos. ..Deadheading, pruning, 5 leaves vs. 3 leaves, insecticidal soap, knockout roses, etc are all new terms that have come with this gift. It’s exciting and fun but intimidating. I have worried about them in the crazy summer storms of the south and the brutal heat.
I want to take care of them well, not only because remember, it will be my fault if they die, but because I really do enjoy these roses. They bring me so much joyevery time I see them, and when they sprout a new set of leaves or buds I feel like like I helped that. But also, over these last couple months that I have begun taking care of these rose bushes, they have taught me a lot about life.
I remember a conversation a little bit before my birthday that Jeremy and I had when driving in his truck one night. He had started to grow a garden at his house and we would talk about the things we want to plant one day at “the big kid house” when we had space: an orange tree, lemon tree, watermelon, herbs, and different vegetables and fruits. Then I told him I think I would like to plant flowers. I told him I had been going back and forth a lot about if I wanted to get roses or not for outside of my clubhouse, which is a detached room at my house that I converted to be my own living room/hangout space. I loved the inside and wanted to make the outside special as well. One day I wanted the roses, and another day I thought it wasn’t the best idea (even though I still wanted them), but unfortunately, I finally decided against it and just would wait for the Big Kid House one day.
I didn’t know if it would be a good idea to pick some rose bushes out and plant them because what would happen when I moved one day? How would they do in the move? Would I kill them? What if I move far? Would I have to leave them? What if I had to leave them? All that work and I wouldn’t get to keep them. What about if I planted them in pots? Can you even plant rose bushes in pots? No, you know what, it’s okay.. Yes, it would be nice to have, but I’ll wait.
Just like a lot of things in life, I realized that I believed that I should wait on something I wanted or hoped for until everything seemed “right”. I believed that because my circumstances and living arrangements weren’t “forever” and that I am in a seemingly “transitional” time, I shouldn’t get these roses.
Sound familiar? The lie that our lives won’t start until ________?? Or “I’ll just make due until ________. Then, I’ll start ________.”
After my birthday, Jeremy told me that even before that conversation in his truck, he had already decided to get me the rose bushes for my birthday, then, when I said I didn’t want them, he thought “oh crap.”
But he still got them and that’s the first lesson they reminded me of/taught me: That belief that your life won’t start until this season is over or when something particular finally happens, and that you don’t deserve something that you desire or something that would bring you joy today because other circumstances of your life aren’t “perfect” or in place.
If you are alive today, this is your life. Don’t wait “for it to start” because it already has. Don’t be resentful because your days lack something you deeply desire, and don’t give the “lack” the power to paralyze you. Acknowledge the ache and desire and be grateful for today. Be okay, and dare I say, thankful that you have ordinary days and that you don’t have everything you think you want or is best for you. One day, you will plead for ordinary.
Embrace this season. Embrace this time. Embrace this place. Embrace this circumstance.
Don’t hold off on something because you’re afraid it won’t last, because it won’t and that’s okay, because truly, nothing does. Life always changes.
If I wouldn’t have gotten these roses bushes, I would be missing out on so much that the Lord has been wanting to teach me and bless me with through these simple plants. And if one day, I have to leave and I can’t take them with me, or they don’t survive, I will be so sad, but I’ll have learned how to begin taking care of roses, I’ll have gotten to enjoy the flowers that came from them, and I’ll always remember that I embraced my imperfect season and circumstance and new life still came.
We are beyond blessed with an amazing community of teens, young adults, priests, consecrated men and women, and families who are striving to live out Christ's invitation to authentic love and who have gifts to share their journeys through writing.