To celebrate my recent birthday, my neighbor, C.F., wanted to take me to lunch or to the annual quilt show at the Springville Art Museum. C.F. really enjoys “doing lunch” and all manner of “lady” sorts of things. You would like her. Everyone does. Our first lunch date was at The Brick Oven in Provo. Our most recent lunch date was at Mimi’s in Orem to celebrate my mother’s 86th birthday in May. C.F. is a delightfully companionable table mate.
When she phoned the other day to arrange another “ladies'” event with me, I tried to let her down gently as I declined. She did not understand. She sounded irritated. So, I tried to explain my lifelong social anxieties and my recent decision to do myself a kindness and stop trying to please everyone to my own detriment and discomfort. In the end, she exasperatedly gave up on me.
In God’s flower garden, C.F. is a rose—a flower for all seasons and all climes, universally admired and cultivated. God’s flower garden, however, has an infinite variety of flowers. In God’s flower garden, I may be a lesser blossom, but I am grateful that there is room in His garden for one like me. He not only prepares a place for me, He values me for who I am (a “shrinking violet” ), and for what I—even I—contribute to His garden.