Water Lilies

Our local park is not something foreigners get excited about. At first glance it seems pretty pathetic and it doesn’t improve with closer examination. There are patches of grass and small groves of trees. The zoo section holds one camel, a few sheep, deer, and the occasional tiger. There’s a dozen or so old amusement park rides and some of them work. Honestly, it takes a lot of positive thinking and imagination for a person to consider our park beautiful, unless that person has lived through a Yanji winter.

When you live in a place with many long, cold months, warm days are cherished. The cherry blossoms in spring and the green hills in summer seem more spectacular because of the bleak winter landscape that just recently disappeared. The park that so many visitors snub their noses at overflows with beauty, if you’re willing to see it.

For me, the most amazing sight is when the water lilies bloom. I am awed and inspired by the transformation that takes place. So much so that I decided to drag the girls to the park with me with the hopes that they would be inspired as well. It worked. Alia hung over a fake log examining the minnows, tadpoles, water bugs, and dragonflies. Torie and Charis drew beautiful sketches of blooms and giant leaves. Rachel wrote and I shot dozens of pictures.

I am so thankful that my girls have learned to see and enjoy the beauty that is all around them. I’m even more thankful for a Creator who can take a dingy, city park and use it as a backdrop to display His amazing work. It is the same miracle He offers each of us. We may be broken, stained, and ugly, but He desires to and is able to make us beautiful.

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May you be blessed with the beauty that He has prepared for you.

~ Regina

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