Writings of a Beholder 🌿 1.20.23
A Liturgy for The Planting of Flowers
Weekly writings of a beholder 🌿
A Liturgy for The Planting of Flowers
It’s been a good week. A tiring week, because I just so happen to be nursing an unwanted cold, but a good week.
Every year around this time, my husband travels for work intermittently and I’m left with a house to myself. I don’t mind one bit as an introvert and proud homebody. But sometimes, especially in this season of my life, I’m coming alive to my growing hunger for connection.
So, I invited my mom to come and spend a few days at Hotel Miller (aka my house) and it was everything I wanted it to be and more. We spent hours talking openly and honestly while drinking hot cups of tea and cooking soup. We laughed and cried and bore our souls to each other. In those moments, we came home to ourselves and one another and it was good.
While she was here, we decided we wanted to plant Amaryllis bulbs. So, after a trip to a local bookstore, we went in search of Amaryllis’. They proved to be a lot harder to find than we expected, but we persevered. It was more than worth the 4 stops we had to make to eventually locate them.
Amaryllis’ are winter flowers and their bulbs are typically planted between October and January. They represent strength, courage, and determination as they take their stand against the barren, cold, bleak mid-winter months by blooming their bright color into the world.
They stand tall and proud against the winter winds like a beacon of hope in the dark.
So yesterday morning, my mom and I sat down on my kitchen floor — an old, worn-out towel beneath us — as we opened up our Amaryllis kits. Each kit comes with an Amaryllis bulb, soil, and a pot to put it all in. After everything was sprawled out, we wet our soil, placed our bulbs in our hands, and read together a blessing over our Amaryllis bulbs from Every Moment Holy. It was titled A Liturgy for The Planting of Flowers, and I’d like to share a few lines from that liturgy because I think it perfectly describes what these Amaryllis bulbs represent to both my mom and me.
“For these bursts of color and beautiful blooms
are bright dabs of grace,
witnesses to a promise,
reminders of a spreading beauty
more eternal, and therefore stronger,
than any evil, than any grief,
than any injustice or violence…
that those who live in this hard time between glories
might see and remember,
might see and take heart,
might see and take delight
in the extravagant beauty of bud and bloom,
knowing that these living witnesses are rumors and
reminders of a joy that will soon swallow all sorrow.”
With every word of blessing over that flower, I was blessing my own empty spaces — those cold, winter places where Light is slowly dawning away the dark.
I think we all need a bit of beauty in the midst of our winter spaces. And planting an Amaryllis with my mom — hands covered in dirt, fingernails black, water and soil leaking out everywhere — is my way of taking a radical stand against the dark.
Author KJ Ramsey in her book, The Book of Common Courage, says,
“Courage is holding the heart when the mind can’t hope.”
Getting my hands down deep in the soil right in the middle of winter, as I bless the planting of an Amaryllis bulb with my momma is my own way of reaching for courage and taking hold of my heart.
It’s how I’m hanging onto beauty, radically reaching for joy, and choosing to hope in the Light even when all seems lost and dark and unknowing.
This is how we take a stand against the dark and let the Light pour in: we trust the Creator of all things to bloom something bright and beautiful right in the middle of our winter seasons.
Let color bloom in you where it wants to, and cling to courage by taking hold of your heart.
“Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NLT)
peace be with you,
A breath prayer for your weekend
Of my heart, Lord.
*if you’d like to learn more about the practice of breath prayer, check out this blog post I wrote titled, How to Use Breath Prayer.
Resources & fun things to pick up
Last week, I released a new virtual program called Sacred Spaces — an invitation to behold more of God in the sacred spaces of your everyday life through the exploration of Christian contemplative practices. You can join today or read more about it here. The first email containing the first spiritual practice will be sent out on February 1st: Sacred Spaces with Celia
This week on the blog, I shared my favorite books from 2022. If you need some good reads to add to your 2023 list, check it out here: My Favorite Books from 2022
If like me, you’re feeling overwhelmed by the new year, maybe the practice of discerning the season of your soul will be of help to you. In the latest blog post, I share the different characteristics of the soul seasons, some reflections to help you tend to your inner life, and end with a little prayer: Discerning the Season of Your Soul
My friend and fellow writer, Kari Bartkus, is offering an 8-week journaling course called Journal Gently designed to help you experience God’s presence in the midst of grief. I went through the 8-week writing program myself, and it was incredibly healing and life-giving. Check it out here: Journal Gently
Grab some breath prayer cards, a journal, and other contemplative resources from my Etsy shop: The Beholding Co.
Grab a copy of my Bible study, You Are Beloved: a 21-day study on how to root your identity in the love of God, over on Amazon.
An invitation to pause & reflect
A regular practice of reflection helps us recognize what’s going on beneath the surface of our souls so we can name it in the Lord’s presence. Because as we learn to name what we feel, what we need, and what we long for, we’re also learning to discern the Spirit’s sweet, gentle voice within our hearts and lives.
Take a few moments today or this weekend to journal or contemplate with the Holy Spirit the following question(s):
How can you take hold of your heart today?
What around you might be used as a physical reminder of beauty in the middle of winter?
Thanks for reading Writings of a Beholder 🌿 If you’d like to join the community of faith wanderers and beholders then subscribe below.