I yanked with my gloved hands as the bush’s thorns started to bite into my palms.
“Come out!” I said through gritted teeth. “You will never win!”
I was attempting to follow through with my spring cleaning list and this eyesore was being removed whether it wanted to be or not. I had worked around the roots with my shovel and thought that it would easily slide right out of the earth. Instead, it wouldn’t budge. I felt a twinge across my lower back as the muscles strained there and along the back of my calves. Without warning, I was airborne across the lawn with the prize in hand over my head. It had played a nasty trick by suddenly and unexpectedly releasing its hold. I landed with a thud directly on my back while clutching the dirty monster to my chest.
I looked up at the sky and did an inward safety inspection. From time to time when I have taken a spill, I often lay still for a minute to make sure nothing is fractured, dangling or throbbing incessantly. Feeling no pain and knowing that the coast was clear, I began to laugh. I pictured the neighbors peering out their windows seeing an irate woman yelling at foliage and then being flung to the ground in a heap. I sat up and brushed the dead grass out of my hair. I was covered in soil but I was triumphant. Not only had I gotten the rebellious bush out of its place, but I could check something off my to do list, and I had done it myself.
A few days prior to my seek and destroy mission, I sat on my back porch to write down what I wanted to get done around the house. I had come to have a love hate relationship with my dwelling after it was awarded to me in the divorce. My marriage had been one of the traditional nature where I attended to the indoor tasks while he worked outside. I had found myself slightly unprepared to handle both, and my budget wasn’t allowing for too much improvement. I had determined to do what I could to clean up and declutter where I could without generating an expense. Removing the long forgotten about landscaping had been a priority.
As the list came together, I glanced over at the above ground pool that had a stocking cap at the bottom of it. In the days when it was working properly, a cover would have concealed it at this time of the year. But, the liner had succumbed to a tear, so it was drained and my youngest daughter and her friend had found delight in constructing a snowman in it over the winter. Frosty had melted and his hat, nose and eyes were all that was left of him. It brought me a bit of sadness to see the pool in that state of disarray as I recalled the girls and I enjoying soaks in it on hot summer days. I knew I couldn’t fix it due to money constraints so I didn’t add it to my list.
As I sipped on my hot tea that morning, a thought went through my mind,
Do what you can on your list. I will send a man to help with the pool.
I didn’t know what that meant exactly so I began to clean up what I could a little at a time day by day.
One afternoon, about a month later, my doorbell rang. When I answered it, a man with a city badge hanging on a lanyard greeted me.
“Hi. I am Patrick from the city. Your home is due for an inspection for property tax purposes.”
I let him in and we walked from room to room as he made notes and checked out the interior of the house.
When we got out on the back porch, I said,
“That pool bugs me. It is so ugly right now. It needs a new liner. Since my divorce, I haven’t been able to fix it.”
He got really quiet and took a step closer to the window to look down on it.
“I think I might be able to help you with that.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When I made the statements about the pool, it was more of a complaint than a proposal. I wasn’t asking for help. I was bemoaning my existence.
“I can’t promise you anything but let me see what I can do.”
He had my contact information and we parted ways.
In a few days, he called asking if he and a friend could come over and inspect the pool. I gave the go ahead and after he and his friend looked it over, he said,
“We would like to fix your pool for you.”
“What?” Of course, my money fears surfaced so I said, “I don’t really have the money to pay for a new liner right now. So, that is very nice of both of you, but I can’t pay for it.”
“We don’t want to be paid. We want to fix it for you.”
“Yes,” his friend replied. “It should be pretty easy to do. I work in the pool business so I know how to do them, and I can get the supplies fairly cheap.”
He went on to say that he was only in town for a few days to visit but he would enjoy doing the work.
That is when it came back to me….
I will send a man to help with the pool.
I agreed to let them fix it, and within a few days my pool was up and running again. Not only did they both work on it in the evening, but they also purchased chemicals that I needed to keep it in good shape. They didn’t ask me to be home while they were there, but requested that the side gate remain unlocked so they could come and go.
One night, I arrived home and went outside to see how they were coming along. I found three different colored lounge chairs sitting on the deck. They knew that I was a single mom with two daughters, so they had purchased us each a place to sit poolside. The pool was filled with sparkling, crystal clear water. It had been restored to perfection.
After all that, and many years later, my fears of not having enough money or being taken care of should not even exist anymore. Right? No. I still fight with it at times when I am faced with uncertainty and not knowing how I am going to overcome a situation.
The other night as I was retiring for the day, I found myself wondering about my finances. In that moment, I had completely forgotten of the story I just shared with you and all the other ones that have transpired over the years where I have been blessed with supernatural help. I went to bed questioning the upcoming months and some changes that will occur. I am not an ebb and flow type person where I will ‘wait’ and see what happens. I like to plan things out at times, and when I can’t, I find myself doubting the trusted hand that has been with me every step of the way. I got this message:
Buy yourself a bouquet of pink roses tomorrow. Inhale the scent of them and know that I am in charge of everything.
My thoughts were no longer on finances but the idea that pink usually wasn’t my color of choice for roses. I usually gravitate toward bright, bold, and dramatic colors. Then, I thought,
How much will this cost me?
I drifted off to sleep wondering how roses were going to improve my outlook on life.
I was walking into the store the next day and again came the words,
Buy yourself a bouquet of pink roses. Breathe in their scent and know that I am in charge of your life.
I obediently walked right over to the floral section. There was an array of all colors, but only one small bunch that housed five pink roses. I grabbed the cellophane wrapper and turned it around to check for a price. A small label was attached to the front that read: Faith.
I immediately looked for more pink roses and found none. I checked all the other flowers for the same word and could not find it! Some said smile, some said freedom, but not a single batch of them had this message written on them. I gently placed them on the bottom of my empty shopping cart. Tears began to well in my eyes as I smiled and thought how absurd my worries are. Just more proof that we are loved unconditionally even if we don’t feel it at times. In all of your ups and downs with this life, cast your care on God to bring you through, and take some time to stop and smell the roses.