Haven:  definition- 1. A place of safety/refuge. 2. a place offering favorable opportunities or conditions

Years ago, B.C. (Before Children), I was a member of the Chattahoochee Unit of the Herb Society of America.  This is an organization that promotes knowledge on the “use and delights” of herbs. I learned tons in the 5 or so years I was a member. Everything from how to successfully grow them to how to use them in cooking. Ever since I have had varying degrees of herb “gardens” each year. This year it is just a simple basil plant or two growing in my tomato buckets on the back porch.

One of the coolest things I learned though was about the “Language of Flowers” from member Geri Laufer. She wrote a wonderful book on the meanings of flowers and how to use them to express yourself. You can check out the book, Tussie~ Mussies, here. The copy I have has been faithfully used over the years, and has inspired me to collect other books on the language of flowers as well.  I’ve given Tussie Mussies as gifts for all kinds of different reasons thanks to Geri.

I’ve also had opportunity to use the language of flowers to tell my faith story several times over the years, to different mommy groups I’ve been involved in.  I find that my presentation changes from telling to telling each time depending on where God is working in my life at the time. The outer flowers in the Tussie~Mussie have become more interesting.

At the beginning of May, I had such an opportunity with the Mom’s Inc. group at my church. Little did I know that one of the “new” flowers I shared would mean even more to me in just a few weeks.

This flower…

… is called Queen Anne’s Lace. There is some cool folklore behind the name, but it’s the language of flowers meaning that I love.

Queen Anne’s Lace, in the language of flowers,  represents the word “Haven”.
When I last shared my story with my new mom friends at Moms Inc. in the early part of this past May, I was thinking of a physical haven. The first definition given above.

1. A place of safety/refuge.

I was thinking of the home my sweet mother in law has been so gracious to share with us this year as we start from scratch with a new business. She has made it a safe, easy, loving place to live and we are so blessed by her for it. I was also thinking how God provides when He asks you to do something.

In just a matter of 3 weeks, I was brought to the beginning of a place where I would come to a  better understanding of  the second definition.

2. a place offering favorable opportunities or conditions.

The preparation for the understanding has been in the making for awhile now. Several years in fact. As I have written before, fear has been a theme that God has really been been giving me some insight on over the last 4 years especially.  I’ve been challenged over and over to ask myself, “if it (it being what ever I was afraid of) happened, what would I do next?”.  I’ve been resolving to live through the “its” that will come in my life. I’ve been resolving to give them to my God, my “Haven” if He ever allowed it in my life, trusting the promise in Romans 8:28.

There were “it’s” I didn’t think to ask myself about though, even  though they had crossed my mind in the past.

What if “it” meant that one of my closest friends didn’t make it through another severe asthma attack?

What if “it” meant that an hour after her funeral I lost the surprise pregnancy, the baby I had become so excited about, to a 14 week miscarriage.

Me, choosing to go to my Haven that week was a challenge, but He was there, just like He promised here.

A week and a half later, when I finally felt like getting out again, I drove down a road I go down all the time and was awestruck by how the Queen Anne’s Lace had just completely taken over most of the drive to the community where our church and Robert’s office is.  Yes, the road I take to worship. The road I take to meet with my local body of Christ. It had been there before, but not in nearly as prolific a quantity.

The photo really doesn’t do it justice. There is so much more for several miles. It was there to comfort me  and to prepare my heart on the way to the physical haven of my church.

It wasn’t long, before my Haven began to show me the little gifts that came out of the sorrow. Gifts I could not have seen had I not had the Haven to rest in first. That when I could see outside myself and begin to understand a little tiny portion of the bigger picture,  I could tell that my Haven had provided me with favorable opportunities. Opportunities that I know will help others down the road, just as the countless number of women who contacted me that first week to offer sympathy and their own experiences,. Some who faced much bigger losses than I had,  helped  me face the next day, and the next. Women who reminded me that life does go on and it is good if you let it be good.

Take a look at what Queen Anne’s Lace looks like as it goes to seed.

It makes a little nest, a haven for the seeds. A place that is favorable for opportunities or conditions.

A Haven that promises rebirth, and miles and miles of life.