Raising a large family has made me a very practical person, which is a nice way of saying I'm a tightwad. I hang onto money because I know how quickly it disappears just when you need it. Having gone through some hard times in my adult life has made me want to be prepared, to not be impulsive.
But now I have a teenage daughter who loves beautiful things, whether they are practical or not. She pleads for nice things, and she is so pretty herself, it's hard for me to say no. She has made her case so well, in fact, that lately I've been wondering if I really am too practical, and I need to loosen up a bit and have a few things just for fun.
I thought about that this morning when Angel-Leah came in all excited because my new magnolia tree had a flower on it. This magnolia tree is something I have wanted for a LONG time. I even found one in Cleburne a couple of years ago that I - well, okay, I'll admit it - I coveted. I wanted that tree SO BAD! But it's more than $200 price tag certainly put it out of the realm of practical. So I just dreamed when I passed by the nursery, something I did every homeschool co op day. In fact, that tree is still sitting there, calling to me every time I pass by. And every time I pass by, I still look at it and, well, covet...
BUT...God is good and sometimes he gives us presents just for fun. Recently, I went to the Grandview Feed Store, and guess what they had? A magnolia tree for only $35! Much more practical than $200! I managed to get it into my cramped car (I did pay for it first), brought it home, and my son Beau planted it for me. I won't tell you the part about putting a dead chicken in the hole first, something a friend had told me would really make the tree do well. Right, I won't tell you about that part, BUT...my tree has a bud on every. single. limb!
I am so pleased!!
However, just so you know I am still practical, while I have this magnolia tree which is pure pleasure, I also have fruit trees, which will help feed my family:
Due to Mary Susannah's influence, I now have lots of pleasurable things mixed in with my practical things.
I have these birds, which give us both eggs and meat:
My many chickens are very practical (and have always been well loved by me)
And after a trip to Traders Village, I also have these, which are pure pleasure, and something else I had been wanting a long time - my canaries:
To add to the pleasure of these canaries, my pleasure seeking daughter and mentor bought me the beautiful cage they are in with money she is earning from her daddy. It doesn't get much better than that!
Another thing I've always loved is flowering vines, and I especially love them if they also smell good. So when my boys ganged up on me and insisted that I take down my rickety picket fence, I agreed as long as they left up the corner where my honeysuckle is flourishing:
My three little children have learned the great pleasure of pulling the stems out of these little flowers and licking the tiny drop of honey on the end, so there aren't a lot of flowers left. But that's okay. That's part of the pleasure of growing up, right?
So to counter the honeysuckle, I have another vine that feeds us - or at least it will someday, I hope. So far, not so good...But I have one struggling blackberry vine:
We'll see. Who knows, maybe we will get to eat at least this one berry?
And I also tried a garden again, even if it is a very small one, and I'm getting results this time!
Mary Susannah is on a quest to make our yard a pleasure even in the midst of my practical stuff. So this spring, you will find flowers in my garlic patch!
And you will find roses in my herb garden, right behind the Lemon Balm, Lamb's Ear and Aloe Vera:
And of course, we have the human variety of pleasure and practical. I have these two, who are not only great joys to me, but they also mow the lawn, take out the trash, cook and do the dishes:
I have this little stinker who is not only way too cute, but is the best alarm clock I have now that he has decided to wake up every morning at 6:45 and come down to snuggle in bed with me, taking up my Bible reading time. We burrow under the soft blankets and tell each other our dreams. Who wouldn't want to be waken up in the morning by this smiling face:
We have some very talented artists in our family, whose pictures are practical, as in this guy might make us some money some day:
And we have the pleasurable ones, who just make us laugh:
And last but not least, we have the champion who mixes both pleasure and practical by the place he chose to take a nap today, the foot stool in my room while I wrote this blog:
May all our days have both the pleasurable, and the practical!
Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is your strength!