Friendships are the Flowers In Life’s Garden

I remember reading somewhere that we should plant the garden of our lives with the beautiful flowers of friendship. This bouquet reminds me of the gift of friendship and how important it has been during the past several months.


One of the things I’ve loved about the past two weeks since we brought Aster home has been getting to see many friends who have prayed for her! I’ve loving sharing with Aster some of the sweetest flowers in my life’s garden. I wish I had photos of each friend that has stopped by to see us or who we’ve visited. Unfortunately I didn’t capture them all on camera but if you were one of them and you have photos please email them to me. Here are a few that I did get:

The first day after we got home, Lysa and Hope came by with a big pot of Chicken Tortilla soup, Redneck surprise for dessert, along with lots of love and kisses! Holly brought us that beautiful bouquet of pink flowers above and her sweet smile. We had such a fun time visiting and getting Aster to giggle!
She things Aunt Lysa is pretty funny!
It was so sweet to see Hope holding Aster again after being the first one to hold our baby girl in Ethiopia the week after we had gotten our referral for Aster.
Holly and Aster playing acrobats. She loves to fall backwards.
My mom came by that night after work to meet Aster for the first time.
I love this photo!
Aster met her cousins Alex and Sara who came to visit the next weekend.
Sara loved playing with her new baby cousin!
Last week we made our first visit to the Proverbs 31 office.
Here are Wendy Pope and Teri Bucholtz lovin’ on my sweet girl who is wearing her princess outfit that Micca gave to her. Can you see the crowns on her shirt and jeans?
Wendy’s daughter Blair and Aster bonded immediately!
Ahh, isn’t that the sweetest photo of two beautiful princesses?
Melissa Taylor and my girl!
Tracie Miles holding the little girl she’d been praying for for months!
Sweet Samantha just couldn’t seem to get Teri to let her have a turn. I guess we’ll have to go back again and have more play time in the P31 lobby.

Last night I was thinking about how all of my friends (including you!) and my beautiful flowers have really helped me the past two weeks. Both have brought encouragement, joy and laughter to the hard places of this new transition. It’s been more thank wonderful to have Aster home but I’d be living in denial if I didn’t admit it has been hard to get used to all the changes and balance all the needs.

Yet in the midst of trash cans overflowing with dirty diapers, crusty babyfood stuck to me and my counter tops, rice cereal flakes scattered across the kitchen, emails and calls unanswered, toys and laundry everywhere, days without a shower and sleepless nights – my beautiful bouquet of flowers has sat in the center of my kitchen and each day it catches my attention and brightens my outlook.

And just like those flowers, God has also provided friends who have prayed, sent notes, brought meals, left comments on Facebook or my blog and stopped by to meet Aster and keep me company. Both have helped me find peace in the chaos and joy in the clutter.

So today I’m thanking God for the friendships and the flowers He’s provided to brighten my life’s garden these days.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Beautiful Baby girl you have there 🙂
    Thank you for sharing the photos with all of us.

  2. Such sweet pictures. I love seeing the love of your friends surrounding you and Aster!

  3. So so happy for you all Renee! And friends just make it that much sweeter.

  4. Great photos Renee. Wish I could be there to welcome Aster as well. Know that I'm there in my heart. I'm also praying for you and your men as they make this new transition in their lives!

    Blessings,
    Pearls

  5. Aster seems so comfortable in each photo. She may be a little social butterfly!

    smooches,
    Larie

  6. Renee,

    So sad I was not at the office last week. Seeing these pictures is JUST BEAUTIFUL. We prayed and prayed for this precious baby girl, and now she is here for us to love on, to hold and to touch. I cannot wait to hold her. Thank you for sharing the pictures!!

    Love,

    Wendy

  7. Sweet! I'm glad you've had so much love and support through this adoption process. God has definitely surrounded you with a blanket of friends (both personal and internet/bloggy) with a heart for loving on you and Aster.

    After reading this post, I know that the Lord is your Shepherd and you shall not be in want!

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca

  8. I am loving all of these wonderful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us!!!

    Love and prayers,
    Kimberly 🙂

  9. Hey, what's her middle name?

  10. Thank you so much for sharing all the beatiful photos over the last couple of weeks. God has truly blessed your family and pray for continued blessing on you all.

  11. I love Aster's smile and tongue sticking out in the pic with Lysa.

    Just a beautiful girl.

  12. So glad to have been in the office that day! She is absolutely beautiful!

  13. I just love you Renee~ and I always will.
    What beautiful words you have penned. May you continue to be blessed with priceless precious memories in the days, weeks, and months ahead. And may you slumber peacefully!
    love,
    holly

  14. Talking about the garden theme reminds me of a beautiful little book my friend Melody gave me. "A Mother's Garden of Prayer" It's fabulous…full of Scripture prayers for our children for every kind of purpose. Renee…I'm so thrilled for you. I will be sending Aster a special prayer letter soon. Love you, Lee

  15. So sweet! I got a little teary 🙂
    But… what I'd really like to know is… what in the world is redneck surprise? I'm kind of afraid to ask.

    Thanks for sharing such precious photos.

    Love You!
    LeAnn

  16. Sweet pictures and so touching….Can't sleep tonight, so am doing my favorite thing, blog hopping. Be sure and stop by my main blog, where there is a GREAT drawing tomorrow night! Then head over to my Christmas blog and get some Great IDEAS!!!
    http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com/

    http://grammyababychangeseverything.blogspot.com

  17. Anonymous says:

    I'm a northern girl and I don't know what Redneck Surprise is. I'd love to know! I'm in Jacksonville, IL, where you'll be coming on April 30/May 1. We are looking forward to having you with us!

  18. This was precious! I love the pictures! I want to play with her too!!

    It was a pleasure to pray for you all! She is a true joy!

    Love you!
    susan

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