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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Jensen

Peonies (A Grateful Mom)


My favorite flower is the peony. It is soft and lovely and reminds me of my great-grandmother, Joannie. She had a field of pink peonies growing in her backyard and was an avid gardener. 

Something I loved about my great-grandmother was that she had a heart that was filled with gratitude. I attended college at the University of Tulsa, the same city where Joannie lived. Every time I went over to her house, gratitude would lap over the sides of her heart and spill out and over into my little cup. Every time I left Joannie’s house I always felt more grateful, more peaceful, closer to the Lord, and thankful for our relationship. 

I want to be like Joannie and have grace and gratitude to spare. Joannie made her money as a seamstress. She lived by herself, and always had a cup of coffee nearby, a tea cup to be exact. Joannie took life at a different pace, a slower pace that enabled her to experience a fuller, richer life. She was not rich by any means, but she appreciated the little things and relished all of the diminutive details of her day. Encounters with others, sewing, telephone calls, and peppermints, Joannie knew how to live. I want to experience this kind of richness of life. In order to do so, I must slow down. I must spend less energy on social media. I must take time to notice people and inhale the sweet aroma of the relationships in my life.

I know that wisdom comes with age, but we can strive to become wise even in a young adult or mid-life state. You don’t wake up one day and become wise. It is a process and partnership with the Lord, much like cultivating a heart of gratitude. We must point our ships to sail in the right direction, toward joy, toward lasting peace, toward thanksgiving, toward Jesus. Like Jonah, let’s direct our ships toward Nineveh and all that God has for us. Why steer toward Tarshish when God’s own Son stepped down from Heaven in order to eternally protect us and reconnect us into a loving, full-bodied relationship with the Lord God?

Like the peony flower, let’s become soft and gentle spirits, wise souls that open up our petals into a stunning full bloom. May this bloom be nothing other than the beauty of our hearts, where true beauty enhances over time, through refinement and sanctification. My great-grandmother lived for 97 years. Peonies are known to thrive for generations, some have even been known to last for a century. When I see a peony, I think of Joannie. I relive the unique way she made me feel special. I feel the warmth of her beautiful soul. I am continually blessed by her heart which was laced with gratitude. 

Gratitude leaves a legacy. As moms, let’s strive to slow down and enjoy our children. May we bask in the time we spend with our families and the Lord, offering our presence in full. Let’s die to ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Jesus. Let’s take the needle and thread of God’s Word to our hearts, and sweeten our tea cups of coffee with gratitude, each day.

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