Have you gardening enthusiasts ever had a plant that you gave up on because it wasn’t thriving and didn’t look like it had much of a chance?

My planting was a cauliflower.  It was back in 1991.  We lived in a house in Southeast Denver, an older neighborhood of 1950’s cookie-cutter houses that had nice big yards for playing kids, barbeques, and gardens.  In the back, we had a huge vegetable garden, herb garden, strawberry bed, dwarf cherry tree, and raspberry bushes.  In the side yard, I had a cutting garden where I had planted several varieties of annual and perennial flowers for the birds, butterflies, and me!  I totally loved digging in the dirt and seeing what I could grow in this Colorado climate that is so different from Iowa where I grew up.

This particular year I had decided to try growing celery and cauliflower.   The celery took too much room in the garden as each plant needed a “mound” in which to be planted upright so the stalks could develop safe from the sun and elements.  So I needed to find a place for the cauliflower, which also required ample space.  This location was found in the cutting garden behind the lilac bush.  I made sure the lighting fit the requirements and gave them plenty of food and water.  I babied those plants until mid-summer when I realized I had miscalculated my time for planting because they were not holding up under the summer heat.  They were cool weather plants….duh.  I let them go; no more water or food.  I concentrated on nurturing the celery.

Skip ahead two months to September.  It had been a little cool but nothing too uncomfortable.  Most of the garden was spent, having been harvested already.  One particular day, it was rainy, and I was depressed.  I had been sober almost a year and that being said, recovery is not the easiest task to do.  Seeing one’s self and life with a clear head and honest evaluation could depress anyone!

My cutting garden was visible from the kitchen window and I stood there for quite a while crying, just watching the rain fall and the birds eating at the bird feeder. After a while, the rain turned to snow, and not a light one either.  It was coming down heavily and was quickly  covering everything in a white blanket.  As I stood there watching, I told God, “I really want to die but I’m too scared,  it’s up to you….would you please just send down a big bolt of lightning and take me out?”. (Yes, my dramatic flair is at it’s best when I’m sad.  What can I say?!!)

I looked out the window at the birds flying back and forth to and from the feeder… up to the bush… down to the ground…..hopping around in the snow………wait a minute…….what……no…..I tore out the front door and around the house to the cutting garden, and behind the lilac bush, covered in snow with just a small patch visible, was the biggest, most beautiful, white cauliflower I had ever seen!  How could it be?  I had completely forgotten it was even there and hadn’t given it any attention for weeks.  I saw its huge leaves growing but how could I pass by it several times a week without noticing its white growth? It was a miracle!

I was amazed at its beauty.  It was huge…about the size of a honeydew melon, and pure white, no blemishes.  The only reason I saw it when I did, camouflaged with snow, was because I was at that window, focused and praying to God , and He gave me His answer.  I recognized that, and because of it my mood was lifted immediately.

What a gift!  I thanked God for answering me in a way I could understand and for giving me the most tasty, succulent, cauliflower I had ever tasted, for dinner that evening.  I had a totally new perspective and appreciation for the creativity of the Lord’s answers to prayer, and even for what might be considered to be His outrageous sense of humor.

My Lord rocks!

Psalm 66

18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

(My written experiences are for me, my kids, and family.  If anyone else happens to enjoy them, I’m honored.  If not, it’s ok!)