A Petal for Your Thoughts: Doing and Being

With my vase full of flowers, I’m thinking of Anne of Green Gables and her opinions about the feelings of flowers. 

Whether or not flowers actually have personalities and might argue with each other, I think there is a truth we can learn from these spring blossoms. A truth besides not to worry so much, that is. (Matthew 6).

Have you ever recognized that flowers are good at both doing and being? They grow, they produce roots. stems, petals and pollen and they blossom. Some do this year after year. But then they can stand in a garden or vase and just be. They can be cheery and beautiful. We love them for this being. Then it comes back to doing because they are cheer givers, sunshine sharers and beauty bearers. 

For us people, it can be easy to value doing, can’t it? It’s fun to check off a list of accomplishments! Doing is important. God thinks so, too. There are plenty of verses in the Bible about doing. Like this one from Galatians 6:10,

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (ESV) 

But sometimes it is easy to overvalue doing, isn’t it? To value it more than being perhaps? 

Just like there are verses in the Bible about doing, there are also verses about being.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2, ESV)

When I pray for people I care about, I have prayed that we will be doing the things God wants us to be doing, but maybe I should pray more that we will be being the people He wants us to be. The cool part about this is that no matter what our physical capabilities, by God’s grace, we can be.  And I would venture to say that – like with the flowers – we appreciate other people’s doings, but we love most their beings

Still, like with the flowers, doing and being are intertwined as much as mandevilla on a trellis. For example, being kind and tenderhearted leads us to “forgiving one another,” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV). One leads to the other and back again. Interesting, eh?

Well, while you’re doing something out of being a kind friend like arranging a vase of blossoms to brighten someone’s day, you may want to put some thought as to whether such-and-such bloom really would appreciate being with such-and-such…just in honor of Anne. 

A Tale with Tea and a Certain Tall Clock: When It’s Time to Dream – and Live!


Bird songs. Flower blossoms. Sunbeams. 

It’s a time of new life and growth. A time when it just might feel like anything is possible…even dreams that have been hibernating.

Have you ever had a dream? Not the “head-on-your-pillow” kind, of course, but the “tucked-in-your-heart” kind? Have you had a dream that stayed buried for years and years? 

Then you have something in common with Liz, Kellie and Opal – the three main characters of Sisterchicks Go Brit!

Let’s take a look at this trio. 

Liz  – a tender-hearted, cautious soul with a deep passion for British literature and dreams of meeting a “tall, dark and handsome” someone face to face. 

Kellie – a go-with-the-flow yet organized woman who loves creating beautiful environments and dreams of doing it as her work.

Opal – a late-seventies lady who specializes in inspiring others to live their God-given dreams – even if it means taking risks – and has a dream of her own.

But these women are – one might say – in the autumn of life not the start-something-new spring!

Opal is the one who makes the inspiring point,

“[My] dear, do you know what the dearest kindness is that a woman can offer herself in the autumn of her years?…It is the gift of giving herself permission to take risks.” ~pg 2 Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn

Here’s a glimpse of the story from Liz’s perspective.

Ever since she was fifteen, Liz has wanted to go to England and see the fellow of her dreams – Big Ben himself. Years later and joined by her best friend Kellie and an elderly Opal, Liz’s dream comes true in extraordinary ways. But will time run out before she gets to “meet” Ben face to face? Even more importantly, will she realize and live out her truest dream of all? Come along with these Sisterchicks across the pond for a heart-lightening adventure pf merry cabbies, identical twins, castles, hot air balloons, cups of tea and the joys of unfolding dreams. 

Even from this short peek, I think we can learn a few things about those tucked-in-your heart dreams. 

  1. Sometimes dreams take time.
  2. Sometimes dreams take risks.
  3. Sometimes dreams are achieved when you help someone else live their dream. 

Now I will say that I think sometimes God gives us dreams that He intends to keep as dreams. Maybe they’re meant to be that little inspiration – that happy thought – that keeps us going through a tough time. I’ve had a few of those, so I don’t want to give the wrong impression and make everyone think all their dreams are going to come to fruition someday. Still, there are those other dreams that are simply meant to be, and God simply lets them steep for just the right amount of time.

Do you know someone who needs to live in spring even though her years put her in a different season? Perhaps you can share this story. Then you could have your own little high tea together. Or maybe you are the one who needs a little encouragement to dream – and then live!   

A note for all of my British-literature-loving friends: Within the pages of Sisterchicks Go Brit! are some fun connections to both C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. Yes, I thought you should know!