How could the official first week of summer be here already?! Winter sort of blended with Spring this year as the much-needed rain fell and fell in California in between an occasional stretch of sunny days…the perfect balance of sunshine and rain.

I knew that I’d deeply miss the rose garden at my previous home when I moved. I had tended to that garden for 11 years. It was a work of art…one which I was proud of each time I created a colorful bouquet for my own enjoyment or someone else’s.

I needed another rose garden. How could I not? Colorful flowers brighten anyone’s day. I planted seven bare-root roses this past winter, and watched in anticipation as they took hold in their new environment and began to grow.

And then…pure joy at the first bloom! I felt it was a sign…a reminder that everything happens for a reason. This new yard, this rose garden, this moment in time confirms that I am where I’m supposed to be. I’ve spent time in the valley of life, now I’m headed back up the mountain!

How about you? Are you in a season of renewal? Have you also weathered a few storms? Well, try this. Pastor Joel Osteen has perfect advice which I love. He says, “Don’t just go through it…grow through it!”

Denise Lee Branco