s been about a year and a half since Kate Spade left this earth too soon. That day is burned in my memory. Although I did not know Kate personally, I had an acquaintance who was in Kate’s inner circle who always spoke of Kate’s generosity of heart.
My heart is forever grateful for Kate and the elegant, simplistic beauty she shared with the world. She has always kept me mindful that some of the most beautiful things in life are exquisitely simple. I was in her store recently and noticed a bouquet of hand painted peonies (her favorite flower) on the wall. That image caused me to reflect on all of the “peonies” in my life that have created an extraordinary bouquet.
My “peonies” bouquet represents my grateful heart—a heart that has been enriched by the beauty around me. I have peonies that represent each of the cherished friends in my inner circle. Each unique, each having a profound impact on my life. Other peonies in my bouquet represent special women who have come into my life through their transformation in Sisters of the Crown. I am forever changed by the coronation that was a birthday gift, the coronation that ended the cycle of being a life saver, the coronation that happened only because someone endured hundreds of miles and travel hardship to be there, the coronation that was the end of the line and cloaked in a cloud of hopelessness, the coronation that brought a dramatic “ah ha” moment, and the coronation that took effort to attend but came with a promise from the Lord of emancipation. These stand out in my mind in the moment, but represent so many others that are woven into my gratefulness bouquet.
And finally, my life has been incredibly enriched by the peonies of my family (blood and spiritual), including those harvested through hardship. I am grateful I had the opportunity twice to have life growing inside me and the promise I will be reunited with my children one day. I also am grateful I was able to spend quality time with my best friend, my mother, as she spent her last days on earth in the cloud of forgetfulness as she continued to mentor me on what it means to be a daughter of the King. Through illness, emergencies, trauma, and the hard seasons, God has always brought things back to finding gratitude in every moment.
As we enter this month where gratitude is highlighted and celebrated, what is in your peony bouquet?
I pray in this season you will find moments to arrange peonies into your “gratitude” vase.