Wish I Was An African Violet

My husband loves to laughingly quote the Little Rascals episode in which the gang all takes a turn “wishing” for something. “Wish Cotton was a monkey”…says one, and coincidentally around the corner comes a monkey that had somehow escaped his owner. Where did Cotton go? Suddenly wishes come true! Then comes our favorite line, one we tell our girls when the materialistic bug comes biting: “I wish there was two days in the week…Christmas and Saturday. Um-hm.”

I watered my African Violet this evening, and thought how hearty it is…year in and year out it survives my caretaking (major brown thumb). I bought it for my husband’s grandma during her final days in the rest home two years ago and adopted it when she died. Or it adopted me. I get year-round flowers for very little maintenance. I can forget to water it for weeks, it sits on my widest windowsill and thrives whether in blistering sunshine or withering frost. And, for the record, this ole farmhouse has leaky windows!

Oh to be an African Violet. In my marriage and friendships…to be the giver of joy always, and able to subsist on the merest of care. I repotted this violet once, into a bigger pot and like an obedient little flower, she grew into the new pot. I bet she’d continue to grow if I kept giving her the chance.

Have you known any African Violets? Though surrounded by chaos and testing, you’d never know it thanks to their smile and the peace they radiate. These people bloom in whatever circumstances God’s planted them.

To grow children, marriages, and friendships we invest ourselves deeply in other people. Sometimes we die a little in the process. Wishes may be what dreams are made of, but it takes hard work to make them come true.

The sweet thing is, this sacrifice usually pays back. Husbands respond to wives who respect and appreciate them. Children respond to kindness and time well spent together. True friends stay friends for a lifetime.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

Don’t we all wish we were African Violets?

8 thoughts on “Wish I Was An African Violet”

  1. How is it possible, again?
    While driving here this morning I was listening to Phil Johnson’s sermon on, among other things, true forgiveness. And here you write about this, too…
    Beautiful text, Mary.

  2. It’s truly amazing the amount of things that we can learn about God from His creation around us. Your post reminds me of that passage that tells us to consider the beauty of the field– and the Father that clothes them. How much better we would be if we took your admonition to show more kindness.

  3. Ann, I love it when things like that happen–thank you for your kind words. ((hugs))

    Colleen, you’re welcome! I see that you wrote a good one on grace and forgiveness today too! Loved it.

    Thanks, MIn. I can effectively write it because I need the admonition myself!

  4. Yep, I know an “African Violet” my precious spiritual mother! She is always seeing things through God’s eyes and always, always, has something to praise God for, no matter how inconsequential it may be. She inspires me.

  5. My real mom is like that…that is so wonderful that you have a spiritual mother. Godly older women aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, or maybe they are, they’re just not readily available for us younger wives and moms to sponge off of!

  6. That’s so true about the violets, they are also quite delicate too, unfortunately I do’nt seem to do very well with them
    :-)

  7. Well, that really makes mine special then, Amy! I did find some websites on African Violets and some made it sound like they were really persnickety to care for. Other’s made it sound like you could hack pieces of them off and grow new plants without half trying. Wonder why the discrepancies? Different strains? You’re the plant lady!

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