This is quite possibly my favorite time of year. There is so much to love about this season.
Leaves changing color.
Still, clear air.
Reading and writing outside.
Even my brother’s puppy looks extra cute with fall leaves as her backdrop.
But in the midst of this abundant enjoyment, life is never perfect, is it?
There are days here in Texas when the weather is still too warm for comfort. Boots, thick socks, and sweaters are still too much the majority of the time.
And then, there’s the Maiden grass. You’ve never heard of it you say? Well, let me introduce you.
To be quite honest, though I have grown up with this grass, I only found out its name while working on images for this post. For a little while, I had mistakenly believed it was Dallis grass, another type of grass we have on our property that shoots up stalks with caterpillar-like tips. But, that’s a completely different grass.
You know how in the fall, as the weather cools off, the grass slows its growth, and the mowing season draws to a close? About that time is when Maiden grass delights in sending up tall shoots.
These shoots grow over a foot in length and make patches of what would be a tidy lawn appear more like a jungle of weeds. And if you want to mow them (even though the rest of the grass really doesn’t need it), their stalks are much tougher than regular grass and may need to be gone over more than once before you can be rid of them.
That, my friend, is Maiden grass: a plague and a pest.
Or, is it?
This year, these annoying stalks began to attract me for what they really are. As I was taking a walk with my sister, I started thinking about how they had a fall-like appearance and what they might look like in a cluster.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
When I mentioned to my sister that I had thought of something to do with them, she had a guess.
I didn’t catch her meaning at first but eventually linked her comment to the popular quote about making lemonade when life gives you lemons.
Anyway, I don’t think they would make very good actual lemonade, but what do you think of them in a bouquet?
I think they’re quite beautiful. My mom described them as resembling a fireworks fountain that isn’t moving. And yes, my family was impressed to learn that these tufts of grass could actually be pretty. My brother used to have a mowing business and did battle many a time with these tough stems.
Do you know what else I learned when I found out this is called Maiden grass? It’s actually an ornamental grass that people plant for its beautiful fall display. For so long, we missed out on its beauty and only viewed it as an annoyance.
There may be a reason why the quote about life giving you lemons is so popular – besides the fact that it’s catchy.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We all have irritations, both big and small, in our lives. What are we doing with them? Are we simply puckering up, making faces, and complaining about them? Or, are we moving beyond our natural response, thanking the Lord for allowing them into our lives, and starting to look for their beauty and purpose?
Yes, even sour lemons have their place in life. If we respond by running to God with them, they can become sweet opportunities to know Him more and experience His grace in new ways.
Maybe, just maybe, what we complained about will eventually be something we want to put on display – reminders of how even the struggles and trials of life produce beauty in the hands of our Creator.
Can you think of a blessing enclosed in something you’ve been viewing negatively?
Until next time, look for the beauty in what God brings your way!