Monday, November 22, 2021

The Joy Garden

With Style & Grace

Happy Monday! This particular blog post is long overdue but the reason I was dragging my feet on it was because I couldn't decide on a name for my garden and/or flower stand. I even polled my Instagram and Facebook friends for some inspiration. There were so many wonderful ideas but I just couldn't decide because once I give it a name, I don't want to change it. I wanted something that felt like it encapsulated the heart of what the garden is to me and what I hope to share from it. 

I just kept coming back to the word joy because I just can't describe this garden and the experience that has come along with it in any other way. It's been absolutely joyful. From building the flower bed as a family, planting the seeds, watching the seedlings sprout, patiently waiting for my first bloom, cutting flowers, making bouquets, watching my husband build my flower stand, pruning, sweating, hunting for jars, being blessed with jar donations, making arrangements for a birthday party, providing flowers for a baby shower, and giving away dozens of bouquets to other flower fans... I count it all as pure joy!

So, the name "The Joy Garden" just felt right.

This journey of growing a zinnia garden has reminded me that God cares about the little things, the small details that bring us joy. Years ago, we first discovered the “God’s flowers” flower stand on the side of a back road. It’s an honor system so you pay $3, leave your payment in a container, and choose the bouquet you want. Sometimes we took that road just to see if the flower stand was out and filled with flowers. I always told Josh that I wanted to grow zinnias, make bouquets, and give them away to bring joy to others (the way the flower stand has always brought me so much joy). Well, after years of dreaming, I have that zinnia garden (which I will share more about another day) and I was able to give away my own bouquets this year. I started the summer out by cutting the flowers, arranging them in thrifted glass jars, and sitting them out to be picked up by friends who had already claimed them. I was so proud and excited to put those first vases on my front porch! 

I started giving away my flowers at the beginning of July and by mid August, I had a real flower stand! The goal of building a road side flower stand was a dream that I was hoping would come to reality in the next couple of years. But, my husband knew how much I wanted it so he made it happen for me with some leftover wood from our deck project, some Pinterest inspiration, some ingenuity, and a lot of hard work! He dedicated an entire day to making this beautiful flower stand for me. Once I had the flower stand, I started regularly filling it with flowers that anyone could stop by to pick up. Flowers were picked up as a personal pick me up, a gift for a friend or family member, a surprise for a spouse, and a much needed spark of joy for someone going through a really hard time. At the beginning, I didn't have the flower fund jar but after several people ringing my door to thank me for the flowers, we decided to put the jar out there. Within about eight weeks, there was enough donations for us to build a second flower bed for next season! I'm so incredibly grateful to be able to spread even more joy next summer with the addition of a second bed. More flowers = more joy!

This is your reminder today that God cares about you and loves to see you delight in the little things, like zinnias, that bring you joy. I encourage you to find what brings you joy and spread joy to others, even in small, simple ways. I am so grateful for this garden and all that it has taught me!

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