I’m not a fan of store-bought flowers, even florist-bought flowers. But I love having flowers in the house. I’m also not a big fan of Mother’s Day–or I should say, I’m not keen on the pressure we put on the day to be more terrific than any day is capable of being. My prayer that morning was “Lord, help me keep my expectations low.”

That may sound cynical–but that’s not my heart. Maybe if I sugar-coated it, I’d pray, Help me not to buy into the hype the world puts on this day. this is my 16th Mother’s Day as a mom. My family gives it their best effort.  I knew my husband would be furiously scribbling a card even as the kids hand me theirs. I knew my husband wanted to cook for me, even though it took him several hours to make dinner–I appreciated his efforts, if only for the fact that they made him appreciate my daily ability to get dinner on the table. But I think we put too much pressure on this day to be more perfect than it possibly can be. So I vowed to take the day as it came and find joy in it.

My family knows I prefer nice words, inscribed on homemade cards. (which I received this year, with great joy). Don’t get me flowers–I’d rather gather those myself. This time of year, there are plenty of flowers coming up in my garden–perennials I planted years ago, which return every May to delight me and remind me that life is always renewing itself, that God’s mercies are new every morning.

So on Mother’s Day morning, I wandered out to the garden, to shop in God’s free store for myself. Most of what’s blooming was small and close to the ground. Forget me nots, for example. Their finger-tip sized blossoms, intricate designs of periwinkle with a yellow center which can only be seen if you are inches away, often hide behind other plants (okay, weeds). Finding them is a delight.


I also noticed that Lily of the Valley was blooming. The narcissus were almost done, but I found two that were still in good shape. I added some fern frods–I have so many ferns in my perennial bed I’m tearing them out. They were choking the bellflowers. Here’s the bouquet I created from what was blooming in my yard–all perennials that come back each year. I far exceeded my own expectations, and found joy. If you didn’t get flowers this Mother’s Day, allow me to share mine with you.