I received this in an E-Mail and thought I would put it here. I know since it's running around the internet some have probably seen this but for those that haven't here it is.
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease.
During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.
"She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder.
Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? She wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an air bag that saved her life but took that of her child?
"Good afternoon, may I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her.
"I....I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.
"For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving "Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"
"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong."
Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."
Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order."
She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses; Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.
"Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.
Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.
"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her chest.
"Uh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uh....she just left with no flowers!"
"Right, said the clerk, "I cut off the flowers. That's the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."
"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra.
"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery."
"That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk, "and for the first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel."
"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.
"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for good things in life and never to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."
Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."
Just then someone else walked in the shop.
"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.
"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement...twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems," laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?"
"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us."
As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special."
I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life," Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too...fresh."
"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."
Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment.
"I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.
"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."
"Thank you. What do I owe you?" Sarah asked.
"Nothing; nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."
"My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the life I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."
Praise Him for your roses, thank him for your thorns.
These were in some of Mark's things that he won and he was going to throw them away. I'm like No! They look very old to me and if you consider the age of some of the other things that they had,they may be.
...that this American Home Journal is a Vol.1 No.1? I am doing research to see what it might be worth. So far I have found out that they were in circulation a year and then changed the name to Conkey's Home Journal. I also have the December 1897 issue. I have read them and I just love reading things from back then as well as the vintage ads. They were mixed in with the sheet music. If anybody is interested I will keep you informed of anything I can find out.
I keep getting things at auctions that I don't know what I really have until I get home and go through it. I knew these were vintage but not how vintage. The newest is 1901 and the oldest is 1876. The paper is very brittle and I am hoping there is someone who will want these that knows how to keep them from falling apart further. There is a lot more than what I have pictured, I didn't want to handle them any more than I have to and also my camera is a pain to use right now.
Here is a scrapbook loaded with greeting cards that someone saved. They are too cool!! There are probably about 30 to 40 pages of cards. I haven't put them on E-Bay, yet (this is where I look over in my sister-in-law, Becky's direction :-). I may put more on here tomorrow, 'cause there are lots! Click on the pics to see them better
...to all who have been praying for Kim. Her surgery is over and she now is in recovery. The Doctor spoke to her husband and said that it went well. God is so good!!
There was one negative and that was that they only had 10% of what they had hoped for cell transplant. Kim will be diabetic. It sounds like they don't think 10% is enough to make the insulin that her body needs,that part is not good. She still needs prayer.
Update November 16th: The islet transplant was a success to the point that with the loss of a bit of weight Kim will be able to handle her diabetes with diet and oral medication. That is great!!! Kim comes home on Monday, November 19th. It will be great to have her back here. God has been awesome with the answer to prayers!!
Thank you to all who have been praying for Kim.
Take care and God bless you all!!
I am sharing with you a story about my friend Kim, a dear friend and sister in Christ who has not been well for quite a while. This is an article that her town newspaper, Troy Daily News, did about her. One thing that is not mentioned in the article is that she will have her pancreas totally removed in this surgery. The surgery is on Monday (Nov. 5th) and will last 12 hours with 3 teams, each working at different things that she is having done (not at the same time). Please, keep her in your thoughts and prayers and notice that there is an account set up for her at National City Bank for anybody who might want to help financially. Yes, their insurance is paying for quite a bit but the expense of flying out to Minnesota and staying at a Hotel and meals kinda adds up. Please, if you only want to pray for her that would be very good. Prayer will do more anyway. Please, forgive the small print at times.
October 6, 2007 Troy Daily News (used by permission) Troy woman to have experimental pancreas surgery
I just wanted to make sure to say "Welcome to my blog!" I hope you will enjoy coming here and seeing what I have added. I call my style kinda hodge podge, kinda this and that. I would like to invite you to make comments. So, get yourself a cup o' tea , pull up a chair, and join me in a journey that could take us anywhere. . Who knows where we will go next.
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Take care. Cheryl
Check out these Cool Scrapbook fonts (can use them for anything)
I am a homeschooling mom. I have 3 boys, ages 16, 15 and 12. We love to go to auctions and see what treasures we can find.
I am originally from Washington state (Wenatchee). Been in Ohio since July of 1999.