Thrive in the Heat

My thornless hybrid blackberries aren’t very sweet this year, so I had to add a lot of sugar to the cobbler. They really only provided the purplish-blue color, and a little bit of sourness, but mostly it was just bland.

My red hardy hibiscus is blooming nicely but the flowers are smaller in diameter and the petals of the flowers are skinnier. It also took a long time for them to bloom. The crape myrtle is doing well, but the bloom heads are not as full this year. The flower petals all seem to fall off quickly.

I haven’t heard a thing from anyone about okra this year. Makes me wonder how it is bearing in local gardens.

This has been a very cool summer, over all, with an a lower average temperature compared to the last couple of years. Add to that more rain in July than we’ve had in quite a few years, and I believe the summer crops just are not getting enough heat.

All of these—blackberries, hibiscus, crape myrtle, okra—all need heat to bloom and set fruit. They are plants that thrive in the heat of the summer, one of the main reasons I have chosen to grow these things. If it isn’t hot, they don’t do as well. Oh, they will grow and put on blooms, but the results will be sort of skimpy.

I used to always say that I did well under stress. My job at the phone company was one of the most stressful jobs in the company—taking care of local and long distances equipment. We had constant trouble tickets to resolve, with some of course more important than others, but all customer reports were considered important. Almost every part of my job was high priority, but I got used to the stress and considered myself not just a survivor, but a thriver, (if there is such a word.)

Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV.

Jesus overcame, so that we could overcome. Use tribulation to thrive; don’t settle for survival.

Music More Perfectly

You all probably would never guess it but I’m just a little bit OCD—Obsessive  Compulsive Disorder. When combined with Perfectionism, this can be serious. I’m not one to make fun of psychological problems, but I guess it’s okay if you’re talking about yourself..

I started taking piano lessons in the 3rd grade and stopped about halfway through my senior year, because I was too busy with senior things to practice. Then I took a year of piano and music theory at ORU in college. I will never be a concert pianist, but I can play hymns and praise music. I have always considered myself a singer who plays piano to accompany herself to sing.

I have one peculiarity—I have to finish the “phrase” in a song. If I am interrupted when playing, I have to go back and finish the verse or chorus. There is something in my brain that nags at me until I go back and finish it.

Then you add Perfectionism, and if I get stuck in a song when learning it, I have to practice it over and over until I get it right.

This is not to say, I always play every song perfectly, but I strive to practice to perfection, and then when it’s time to play it for real, I do the best that I can do, and don’t feel bad if it’s not perfect.

King David brought the ark of the covenant into the city of David, Jerusalem, and placed it in the tent or tabernacle that he had built for it. Then he appointed musicians to minister before the Lord in the tabernacle, singing and playing the musical instruments of God. (See I Chronicles 16:4 & 42.)  These musicians were well-trained and spent their lives worshiping the Lord.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23 New King James Version.

I would never compare myself to those musicians of God, but I strive to be perfect in everything I do. Every song I sing or play, I do it for the Lord.