Don’t miss within this week’s post an invitation to a special flower party this Tuesday evening and a Q & A with Kathy Kitchel, Sarah Schafer and Heather Cain on the joy they find in flowers.
By Jaime Sherman
Simple joys are often hidden from view and must be uncovered like a child searching for Easter eggs. One look at my yard and garden would suggest to even a little child that nothing good could be found within the overgrown weeds and untended vines. My garden bears testimony to our family’s nine-month journey from the operating table to restored health. Instead of bemoaning what could have been, I chose to confidently step within the jungle and search for the beauty God had sprinkled into my world, and I found my greatest summer joy within these invading grasses and vines.
Clipping blossoms of various hues sitting atop short stems searching for sunlight, I felt the Father’s love in the rainbow of colors, promising hope for tomorrow and the encouragement to simply rest in this season and let go of past expectations for the manicured yard and fruitful garden harvest. I cut single stems and set them in individual jars on my kitchen windowsill. Simple colors. Simple beauties. Simple promises of God’s care for me and reminders that I am loved by the Father who created each one of us in His image as even more precious than the lilies of the field, which themselves are arrayed in beautiful glory (Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-31).
I took the joy found in single blossoms a step further and started gathering the flowers from the backyard disorder into mini arrangements, like an artist brushing coordinating colors onto a canvas. As I delivered these mini bouquets to friends, the act of giving a touch of color brought even more delight to a soul learning to rest in the simple joys of summer. Within the tangle of posies spilling from miniature glass bottles, God showed me a glimmer of His artistry, beauty and majesty.
The words about flower arranging from Edith Schaeffer, the wife of Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer, came back to me:
He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation. Creativity is His gift to you and the “raw materials” to be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well.
— from “The Hidden Art of Homemaking”
As the vivid summer flowers begin to fade and the rusty hues of autumn pop from tight buds, you are invited to the UFC Women’s Flower Party to arrange beautiful blossoms and greenery into the empty vase you are asked to bring along. The time of enjoying flowers, friends and food will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Tuesday evening, August 27, at the home of Jamie Harms, 2765 Onyx St. in Eugene.
Please let Kathy Kitchel know you plan to attend, so we have enough flowers on hand. You can text 541.915.7861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Kathy along with Sarah Schafer and Heather Cain will provide direction as we arrange the blossoms.
In anticipation of our evening with them, we asked these master flower arrangers a few questions about the joy they find in flowers.
What is your first memory of flowers?
Kathy: My first memory of flowers was of an amazing hydrangea bush under my great-grandmother’s bedroom window. I lived with her as a child, and I always think about that bush.
Sarah: I grew up in Eastern Washington surrounded by wildflowers like Indian Paintbrush, yarrow and lupine. We moved to the western part of the state, and I worked my first job at a u-pick flower farm. That was also when my family began a lavender farm. I guess flowers were in my blood from the beginning.
Heather: I just remember that my mom always knew the name of every flower we saw, and she always said, “We could grow that!” When I was very young, my grandma taught me how to dry the roses growing in her yard and then make wreaths from them. Flowers have always been a big part of my life.
What is it that you enjoy about working with flowers?
Kathy: I love all the colors that flowers provide.
Sarah: Flowers offer an immediate solace and peace to me. Besides their natural beauty, they represent something far deeper (seen as early as the Garden of Eden and parables of Jesus). They offer us a distinct representation of the beauty of new life and the surrender of death. They are certainly God’s gift to us.
Heather: In my job as a flower farmer, I meet people because they need flowers for a big event in their life — wedding, birthday, funeral, to comfort a friend, to celebrate new life. I love being able to help people show their love through the flowers I grow.
How do you incorporate flowers into your daily life?
Kathy: I enjoy having a container of flowers in the kitchen. They just make me happy.
Sarah: Besides working with flowers as a job with my flower company, I try to plant them around my home to invite pollinators into our garden and cut them to bring color into our home.
Heather: I grow flowers for a living, so they’re a big part of my life. People assume my house is filled with flowers, but growing flowers is more about dirt, water, weeds, and manure. I do try to bring flowers inside for myself, but I often just don’t have the time.
What do flowers teach you about the Master Creator?
Kathy: I imagine God using a paint brush when He created flowers. He painted the landscaping with all the colors of creation. Every season has color. Sometimes we are in different seasons of life. Some seasons have more color than others. Winter has the least floral colors just as a winter season in life. Thank goodness for spring when we get to renew.
Sarah: There is divine evidence of our God’s master plan in a creation of a seed. Our Lord’s fingerprints are all over His Creation, and one can’t help but smile and marvel when they are surrounded with flowers. What a gift.
Heather: I always tell my kids, “God didn’t need to make flowers. He did it because He wanted to, and as a gift to us.” It’s so incredible to see the intricacy and beauty of flowers — so many nuances of color and shape and fragrance. Our God is so infinitely creative. I picture Him getting started making a few flowers and then getting “carried away” as He enjoyed making more and more different types. Flowers absolutely make me love God more; they are such a gift.