I look forward to July for this reason.
The prized possession of my not-so-green-thumb. Aside from my children, and a few untasty tomato plants, they are the only thing that I've had part in growing.
My vases wait in anticipation every year longing for their long stems.
And if I cut them at just the right time, they will dry and remain beautiful all year long.
Yesterday morning, I opened my curtains and there they stood to greet me. I swear they stand tall, knowing they are center stage of my sun-beaten backyard.
The neighbor that lives behind me has mentioned how she admires them, too. I have been waiting for them to grow bigger before I cut them, giving her a bouquet that would dry and remain for her all year, as well. I grab my shears and take to my plant.
And as I start to cut, I start from the bottom. Choosing the smaller of the tree - not wanting to taint the view I enjoy from my kitchen window.
I hear the Lord, "Cut from the top. Cut the best ones for her."
Some say they don't know when the Lord is speaking, and I agree, His voice can sometimes be hard to discern. This morning not so. I knew it was Him - because this one was hard."
I start to dialogue in my Spirit.
But these are beautiful, too. Just smaller.
"Off the top. Give your very best, Becky."
The Lord knows me well. Cutting flowers was only a picture of my giving heart. I offer myself to the Lord, I offer my life, my kids, my money, my service, but oftentimes my sacrifice is from the bottom. I want to hold the top for myself. I withhold my best for fear there won't be any left for me.
Then I hear further instruction...
"Give them all away. Every flower. Everyday, cut a bouquet to give. Until they are gone. Sacrifice your best, everyday."
All of them?
I come in from my backyard and Brent looks at me. "What are you doing?"
"The Lord wants me to give my flowers away. All of them. Today, He wants Kelly to have these."
(Brent must think I'm crazy.)
So before eight o'clock yesterday morning, I drop these off on Kelly's porch.
This morning, I think of Abraham who waited his entire life for a child. He was 100-years-old when Isaac was born. Abraham loved him so. Isaac his prized possession.
Can you imagine how Abraham felt when he heard the Lord say, "Take your son, your only son--yes, Isaac, whom you love so much--and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you." (Genesis 22:3)
And Abraham did it. He got up the next morning and obeyed the Lord. Thankfully the story ends well, but imagine the obedience involved in the "getting up the next day and going" part. I could just cry at the thought.
But the Lord asks similar of us. With our children, much like my Limelights, although we have watered and fed and grown them, they are not ours. We will be asked to give them back. To send them out into the world as a blessing to others.
So on a very small "Abraham scale", I cut my prized limelights, practicing the art of sacrificing my first fruits - my very best for the Lord.
Cutting flowers in Jesus' Name. Who knew?
In every area of my life - my money, my love, my time, even my children, I give it all back to Him. For His Name. For His Glory.
Be blessed today. And if you see me coming towards you with a mason jar of flowers, you'll know why.