Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heartfelt Gratitude and DIY Craft

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Do you have a favorite flower that just feels your soul? My first flowers from RB were in the form of a yellow rose corsage. I was fifteen and invited to his high school senior banquet. Do you remember the lime green and yellow combination (not to mention the polyester of it all) of the 70s? So when I see yellow roses I smile -- remembering that first date.

But RB knows that my favorite flowers are wild flowers. I'm not a perfectly-arranged-fresh-flow-er sort of girl. I like the abandonment of flowers tucked in every which way. I like the varying shapes and colors of God's creation. My Creator thought of putting thorns on roses and pompom centers on black-eyed susans. The same Creator that thought of peonies whose presence brings elegance to a home, and the tiny purple crocus that pokes its head through the snow as a promise that spring is coming.

And then, this same Creator took dozens of tiny flowers and put them together to form one large ball of beauty -- none other than the hydrangea -- definitely another favorite. Whether growing outside, fresh cut from the florist, or dried and put in an antique basket (like my sister has) -- these flowers show off the handiwork of God. The whites, creams, blues, purples, mauves and pinks of their dramatic show speak to something in my soul.

Hydrangea bark has been used in medicinal purposes such as easing muscle sprains and burns -- it's even used today in as a tonic herb in alternative medicine. And, according to folklore, if a witch put a curse on someone, the hydrangea could be used to break the curse. (can't vouch for the validity of that one!)

They are big, they are showy, but they convey the message of Heartfelt Gratitude. First of all, their showy flowers point us to the Creator of all things, the One to whom we should be filled with gratitude for. Look around at the flowers today and thank God for their colors and variety. Thank Him for the sunshine that helps them grow and the soil that feeds them. Thank God for the times He tilts His watering can and sprinkles them with the water they need.

And then, pick up a sheltering bouquet of hydrangeas to express gratitude to someone who has blessed you.  Wrap some white blooms in tissue and present to a friend who helped make your life more simple.  Pink symbolizes gentleness.  Green hydrangeas can express to a friend that you appreciate the hope and peace she gave you or the patience she showed.  Your compassionate and caring friend needs the blue hydrangea while the lavender flowers should go to the lively, creative and witty.  The deeper purple blooms signify riches and can be given to a friend who helped you in a financial way.

Sometimes we just need to shelter the shelter-er. The one who sacrificed their time to bless you, the one who prayed for your need, or the shared their garden bounty. Scribble your heartfelt gratitude on a note (explaining the color-coded significance) to present with it. You, the sheltered, can be the shelter-er.

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Hydrangea Balls

I found these balls on Jenn's blog, Clean and Scentsible. I couldn't find the hydrangea punch but I thought the flower punch I already had would work.  And it did...but I didn't consider the difference in size.  Pinning those babies on took forever.  So when I was at a Michaels and saw Martha's punch there, I decided to try it.  So much quicker! I think they are both pretty, but the hydrangea punch made them look more hydrangea-y.  

Joanns carries the pearl paper which I love -- the sheen makes them dressier.  Check Jenn's blog for the exact directions.  No need for me to redo what she already has done.  And when you're there, leave a message and tell her Pamela from the Sheltering Tree sent you.


Anonymous said...

I believe the "flower of gratitude" growing in the heart is one that our LORD favors over all flowers....I believe he will always stop and smell the fragrance of the gratitude of one that has learned to be as the flower in "Hinds Feet On High Places" book, her name was "Acceptance-with-Joy"...once I read that book, I have incorporated that into my prayers, LORD I want to be as Acceptance with Joy, a heart full of gratitude for each day given, each trial purposed!
Thank you for your post this a.m.! Truly I felt the presence of the LORD while reading and meditating upon your post.

Elizabethd said...

You have written so much that I did not know about Hydrangeas. they are almost the national flower of Brittany, and grow in profusion here.
What lovely ideas you have.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Pam! I love hydrangeas, too! When I lived in New England they grew profusely there - in those deep rich purples and blues! This fall we're transplanting one of my grandmother's bushes into our yard from her yard before the house sells. Grandma was such a green thumb - lived to 101 years, gardening until she fell at age 98 coming in from her vegis. I hope the hydrangea moves well. So many things in her garden were special to her and our family is trying to salvage what we can before letting the old homestead go. Your information and devotional thoughts on the flower were touching. How grateful I am to the Lord for good things and beauty!
Miss Kathy

Anonymous said...

Pamela I love your idea of Hydrangea giving and what each color stands for. I will check out Jen's site. Thanks for tagging me on my blog! I appreciate all you wrote. God bless.


Our wedding dishes (pottery) are lime green and yellow. Yup, we got married in the 70's and I still love the dishes. (and the man I married.)


Dineen A. Miller said...

I love Hydrangeas. I have such fond memories of the giant bushes that grew in front of my grandfather's farm house in New York.

Right now my gardenias are blooming. That is my favorite. I put them in a bowl of water on my desk and smile every time I get a whiff of their sweetness. Great post, Pamela! :-)

Jenn said...

What a beautiful post! Thank-you so much for linking back to me - I really appreciate it. Your display is wonderful!
Jenn :)

no spring chicken said...

You are always brimming with great ideas, and giving us a practical and generous application. Thank you. I love it.


LivingSoAbundantly said...

My grandma's favorite flower is a yellow rose. I am not curious if my grandpa gave her yellow roses. Hmm! I will have to ask. :)

starla said...

I love this. It is so beautifully written that as I started to read I realized that I began to speak the words out loud. The sound of beauty about God's beauty. AWESOME!

Esther Asbury said...

I'm never very good at picking favorites -- I like so many different kinds of things, BUT hydrangeas are definitely near the top of my list for flowers!
Loved reading what all the different colors symbolize too.
I saw those flower balls over at Clean and Sensible a while back, and I too loved them. Still haven't gotten around to making any --- but still think they are so pretty!

Carol said...

Flowers are truly a gift from God. I enjoyed reading all of your ideas for gifting! Hydrangeas are stately and so lovely to give as a gift.

I have a heartfelt connection with lilacs. I transplanted a shoot from my grandmother's lilac bush to my backyard. I am delighted by the range of colors that lilacs have also.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Kristin Bridgman said...

I love all flowers, but I am one of those wildflower girls. I think it's so sweet when my husband has been out and he comes home with a bunch of wildfowers for me that he picked on the side of the road or walked out into a field just for those:)

Thank you so much for coming over to my place and your prayers are SO appreciated! I treasure my blogger friends and their sweet, sweet hearts!

jhunnelle said...

I like all kinds of flowers, your post reminds me of Matthew 6:25-31 and reminds me of God's faithfulness, imagine He is taking good care of these flowers how much of me, I am made in His image and likeness. He will surely take care of my needs. I've learned so much about this flower through your post. Thank you for sharing.

Jocelyn said...

Beautiful post!! :) I didn't know much about flowers - the different types until you wrote about them! :) Hydrangeas sound like a great heartfelt gift - love how you talked about which color to give to which type of people :) Beautiful post, again - - Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! :)

Renee said...

Beautiful post! Your blog is always such a lovely, uplifting place. Blessings!

Toyin O. said...

Yes, we should show gratitude to the people around us, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is so beautiful! Thanks for visiting me at Taylor Made Home. :) I do hope you will stop by again soon. I will definitely be back to read more from you.

Tricia said...

Yellow roses were the flowers in my wedding bouquet so I have a special fondness for them. I love hydrangeas too or pretty much any flower for that matter :)

Dave Lord said...

I like Lantana, mainly for the number of butterflies it attracts.

Unknown said...

Flowers are the most beautiful way to express feelings to your loved ones, their perfume and color brings a sense of freshness and beauty in the life. The gifts presented in the form of flowers or bouquets are the best gifts ever given to someone.