by Christine Baker

I recently made an unwelcome discovery about something in my flower garden. It caught me by surprise as surprises tend to do. But it also taught me something. What I had always thought were Louisiana Yellow Irises in my flower bed, I discovered are not. It was a little shocking because for about ten years now, I believed this gifting from my beloved neighbor has been one thing and suddenly I find out, it’s something else.

See, the yellow irises in my flower bed are what we might call in modern vernacular, a “knock-off” or here in gardening world, a different variety. After my initial discovery and shock died down, I ascertained that such a discovery wasn’t the end of the world. I mean a beautiful flower, no matter it’s name, is still a beautiful flower.

But then, I also had another discovery on the heels of that one. This one was also unwelcomed and taught me a few things. At a recent checkup, my Doctor suggested I try a niacin supplement to help my rising cholesterol numbers. I blame this on my addiction to “all things butter,” but that’s a topic for another day. I didn’t think anything of it since niacin is a naturally occurring nutrient in foods.

So one day, when I was placing an order on Amazon, I decided to buy a bottle. I searched for the best price and found one from a company that I wasn’t familiar with personally, but knew from various advertisements. I felt confident that this was a safe bet. Well, let’s just say, the bottle looked legitimate and the supplement looked like
an ordinary vitamin, but what happened between swallowing the pill and the resulting drive to the emergency room was anything but ordinary.

I was told my allergic reaction was not to niacin because that’s not possible. Instead, it was probably to one of the preservatives in the pill. My body was in shock for a few days afterward, but eventually returned to normal. I’m not
expecting another round of shocks until the bill arrives.

Even though my days of late have seemed to be one unwelcome discovery after another, I’m determined I’m not going to let these random disappointments steal my joy. They do come to us in various forms from time to time as a reminder that nothing in this life is completely perfect, not flowers, vitamins, or even our temporal bodies. But in the midst of it all, there is joy and there is hope if we search for it.

I leave you with one of my favorite passages from the Good Book. I’ve turned to it for encouragement more than once recently in the throes of unwelcome discoveries and it has never failed to lift me up! I pray it does the same for you.

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NLT)

As always, Good eating! Good living! Good loving and Good learning!

Au revoir mes amis!

Christine Baker

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