Where Hope Grows is a movie title, but it just seemed to fit today. So I stole it. (That and the monarch.)
I’ve always loved a cheerful gerbera daisy. And since 1994, it’s been a symbol of hope for me. Last June I planted a gerbera annual in a shiny red pot by our side door. It got plenty of sunlight and water, but it never bloomed. The leaves were healthy and shiny, vivid green.
So in July I started regularly fertilizing it to encourage it along. Nothing. My gerbera daisy simply refused to comply. By the end of August I pretty much gave up and left it to its own devices. So many pretty green leaves, but no blooms.
So imagine my surprise this past week when I came up the steps from grocery shopping (mid-October) to discover an enormous, cheerful orange gerbera daisy peeking out from under the foliage. I was so surprised. Guess it was just a late bloomer after all.
It reminded me of that time over two decades ago shortly after Jon and I were first married. We lived in a little rental house in Easley, South Carolina right around the corner from the local fire department. We had lots of potted flowers on our front steps during the summertime, and when fall came, we stored them in a small shed area attached to the side of the house.
When spring arrived – early March down there – we headed to the shed for the yard tools and pots for planting.
I’ll never forget how blown away I was opening the shed door after the long winter. Sunlight flooded in, and there sitting on the ground was a pot. Growing from the pot was one long green stem about a foot tall with one brilliant coral gerbera daisy in full bloom. Not one leaf. Just a lone stem and flower. It was a miracle. The pot sat in darkness for five months. No water. No sunlight. (No classical music!) And still the brilliant bloom.
I was reminded then as I am now, that sometimes beautiful things happen in the dark. That’s often Where Hope Grows.
I’ve chatted with many friends and family in the past few weeks. There are a lot of discouraged folks out there right now for a lot of different reasons. (And the debates didn’t exactly help.)
And I’m reminded that hope is a beautiful thing. And that beautiful things often happen in the cover of darkness. Sleep and rest. Babies grow inside their mamas. Seeds germinate. Stars twinkle.
Caterpillars morph into beautiful butterflies.
And it’s the darkness that best displays the brilliance of true Light. So now’s a good time to light your candle if you haven’t already. I’m lighting mine.
NEWSFLASH: Happy weekend, friends. Thanks so much for dropping by to read my weekend musings. I’ve published a weekend post nearly every Saturday morning for almost two years now. My heart is full and I so appreciate each of you who take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to stop by.
I want you to be the first to know that my publishing schedule is changing somewhat. I won’t be publishing a Saturday morning musing each week. While I’ll continue writing my musings from time to time, they won’t be every week. Or even necessarily on Saturdays. I’ll also be republishing some of my favorite musings along the way.
Why the changes? Well I initially started this blog as a business. I really had no idea what direction it would take. But it’s the recipes that overwhelmingly draw the web traffic and produce income. With one in college and several more waiting in the wings, I’m needing to focus more on the ‘bread and butter’ of my blog.
While the weekend musings have without a doubt been my favorite part of this blogging journey, I recognize I’m needing to live more, work ‘smarter’ and spend more time with my precious family.
Thanks for being such understanding, loyal friends and the best readers anywhere. Have a wonderful weekend! XOXO
You may also like: Buried or Planted?
Nancy. Hammett says
I always enjoy read your post. This one today was very uplifting. I need that . Sending Gods blessing to you’ll . Have ab good weekend. Love you’ll.
Dear Nancy – thank you so much, I love writing them. Thank you for all the kindness along the way. xo
Aunt Pinkie says
Loved today’s muse. Love seeing whatever appears on TYLG.
Thank you so much Aunt Pinkie!!! And looking forward to seeing you in November.
Sarah Wittke Williams says
Thanks for this Allie!!!!
Dear Sarah, you are very welcome. I love you.
Good luck to you. You have your head on right. Family comes first and so many don’t seem to realize that until they are grown and gone. Love your blog and will enjoy reading it whenever you can do it. God is in your plans.
Hi Ruth – thanks so much for this gracious comment. I’ve felt torn about it because I love the writing side of it so much. But I so agree, I want to enjoy my family while they’re still home. There’ll be time for more writing down the road. Have a beautiful day!
Christy Smith says
I love your musings and today was no exception! But your recipes are delicious, creative and uses in this household! It’s neat to see how God is leading you and having kids in college is a huge financial feat! Thanks for keeping us “in the know” and will always love this blog no matter where you take it! ❤️
Thank you so much sweet friend! It’s been quite a journey and I so appreciate you coming along for the ride. God has been faithful and I am so thankful. Looking forward to what’s ahead! <3
Love this message of hope. Always look forward to your thoughts, challenges, and recipes!
Dear Shirley – thank you so much for this kind comment. It means so much, especially because it’s from you. XO
Susie Mandel says
You know how much I LOVE your musings. You are such a gifted writer, but I totally get what you need to do, so you go, girl!! Loved this post and am sharing it on my FB page, and I have decided that I will never be able to figure out the blooming schedule of any of my flowers. That they grow at all and survive from year to year is a miracle!
Everybody should have a wonderful. loyal and encouraging friend like you. It should be the law. Because there have been days along the way that I’ve been discouraged and you pick me up. You always take the time to read and be supportive. I’m so blessed, and thankful for you. You are a truly beautiful person Susie.
Susie Mandel says
You are so very sweet, Allie. I just had to respond and thank you for your kind words. It is MY pleasure to read your wonderful posts. You are one awesome wife, mom, friend, cook, and writer! May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. <3
Barbara Child says
Love your musings, but totally understand if you have to curtail them a bit for now! “Mother’s work is never done”–especially the listening, encouraging, helping, and so much more that comes each day!
Dear Barbara – thanks so much. You would know, as a fellow mother of four! xo
Aunt Margie says
Just what I needed TODAY! Thanks so much, and WE know that you can’t help yourself, your muses just bloom like that wintered gerbera daisy! Love you, all your creative musings, and your recipes which are the go-to of my week. We’re always feasting on “Allie’s” this or that!
That makes me so happy, sweet Aunt Margie. I always love hearing from you! I love writing and take after ALL my aunts (and mama) — you are all excellent writers. (And cooks I might add.) It’s in the genes. I sure am blessed to be part of this wonderful family. Thanks for dropping by and being so encouraging all the time. You are a blessing to me.
Denise Q. says
I’ll take what I can get! I love and adore you and I’ll happily take whatever blog posts I can get. I love all your posts, recipes, musings, etc.
Love you back Denise Q – and so appreciate ALL your encouragement on this journey. It’s been quite a ride and I’m so thankful to have a friend like you.
I LOVE your blog!! Recipes and muse. Love the way you look at life. You teach us all, wether it be a little life lesson or a recipe. Both are enjoyed and add value to my life? I’m so glad you can now have a bit more time for your precious family. So here’s to two fantastic years at THLG and many more!!! ❤️
Dear Tracy – I learn a ton from you too my friend. Thanks for listening so much and being such a wonderful part of the journey. Blogging has taken more time than I ever though it would, and I always hoped and prayed I’d still have friends on the other side of it. Ha ha. Seriously, it’s taken an adjustment working full-time. There’s less time for me and my family and my friends. But I’m so thankful to be at a point that I’m able to cut back some and have a little more time all around. YAY!!!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
You know I LOVE your musings and this one is no different, the gerbera daisy growing in your shed truly is a sign of a miracle and that beautiful things often happen in the dark. While I will miss your regular musings, I completely understand! Sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do, and focusing on what drives traffic to your blog makes sense! Can’t wait to follow along, regardless of what direction this blog ever takes!! Cheers, my dear! xoxox
Friend – you’ve been SUCH an encouragement on this journey. Thank you. I know a lot of my posts aren’t exactly food and yet you come along anyway with such kind words. You humor me in my writings. And that is a good thing. I’m lucky to have a wonderful blogging friend like you. Thanks for all the encouragement along the way. I love visiting your blog and wish you all the success in the world. You deserve it. Hope you’re having a fabulous week! XO
Linda Jenkins says
As always, this is so full of inspiration. It reminds me of a bamboo plant I received from a group of students at the Mount. I followed all the instructions to the letter. It remained pretty and brought me wonderful memories; however, it didn’t grow any bigger. I continued to nurture it. Surprise! After a 3 year period of adjustment to my home, this plant has become a small tree. It is a constant reminder to me that all things happen in God’s time.
The musings have always been my favorite, but I know that every once in a while I can still look forward to being treated to one.
Dear Linda, thanks for all the kindness and love you have shown me and my family through the years. I’m so thankful for your friendship – your words means so much – because they’re from you! I loved hearing about your bamboo plant – now a tree! You must love seeing that reminder every day. You’ve made a difference in so many of your student’s lives, including my Jonathan. We’re so grateful. XO
Dear Allie, what an inspiring and heartwarming blog post. You tell such beautiful stories, and I certainly will look forward to the surprise musings. 🙂 You also share wonderful recipes, so I will continue to enjoy those, as well. Blogging is a business and an adventure for you, and it’ll be fun to see where your journey takes you. Always appreciate your blogging friendship, and support. Take care. Xoxo
Beautiful! Love your blog, whatever direction it takes!!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Oh Allie – this is such a beautiful post! Reading each line filled my heart – and it’s overflowing now! I couldn’t agree more “beautiful things often happen in the cover of darkness” – yes there’s a lot of discouragement about what lies in store – but in the big picture – no political party can dictate how we treat one another – how we uplift and encourage – like your post does here – reminds me of a line from the movie “Wher Hope Grows” – “even when am doing bad, am doing good” 🙂
I know I haven’t been reading your musings over the weekend but catch up with them during the week and I hope you share your musings in your recipe posts – they are priceless!