As A Man Thinketh

 

One day I was feeling stressed and somehow I had forgotten to take something to the church where we were pastoring and was going to have to go clear back home to get it.  I made a comment to the secretary “What I don’t have in my head I will have to have in my heels”  She got after me, “You should not put yourself down like that.”  I did not see it as a put down, but just a fact.

 

As I thought and pondered the idea, I realized there is something to the negative self talk.  When something happens what is your self talk?  “I was so stupid/dumb,” “I am such an idiot!” “I am always wrong,”  I look ugly/fat.” or  “Why can’t I do anything right” Ugh. Those words are ugly and powerful — they damage our souls. You know what your own negative self talk is, or maybe you are a person who doesn’t have negative self talk.

 

I don’t know what your case was growing up.  Maybe you didn’t grow up with adults telling you that you were no good and the language that was used to shame you.  Or you might have grown up with words putting you down, or feeling you didn’t measure up to meet the expectations of those around you.  Other’s words become recordings in our head that continually remind us that we are no good.

 

God created you as a special person, as a beautiful person.  Even though you might not feel that way, or your self talk won’t let you feel that way, you can change that fact.

 

You may have accepted negative self talk as permissible based on bad habits and low self esteem. God is your Father who loves you perfectly and he doesn’t want anyone talking trash about his special creation as sons and daughters of his.

 

God is our source of life and He is our source and strength for healthy self-talk. He wants you to speak correctly to yourself and what you and I say to and about ourselves or even others.  I don’t know about you, but destructive habits are hard to break.  God can give you strength and wisdom to change everything, even all the lies you have told yourself in putting yourself down and replace them with truth.

 

Many years ago I realized that my thoughts were negative and critical.  I started praying for the Lord to help me to be positive and constructive instead of destructive.

 

I started looking at what negative words or phrases I was saying,  then figured out a positive to put in place of the negative.  Every time those thoughts came to mind, I could say the positive phrase to myself or if I was talking to others say something positive.   Gradually the habit of the negative turned to positive.

 

God will today reveal to you as he has done for me to change your inner vocabulary.  He loves you more than you will ever imagine.  It is through God’s love and strength for you, you can have an abundant life and positive life.  He is the God who redeems all things, even you and me when we feel hopeless and in despair—that even includes our destructive self-talk.

Don’t forget you are a daughter or son of the KING!

 

Love to you,

 

Ruth

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A thought to consider:  

“God does not expect blind faith from people. He asks for blind people to have faith.”  –  Author unknown

 


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May birth flower is Lily of the Valley Birth flower, 

 

The name “Lily of the Valley” is derived from the Latin word maius which means ‘May’, and anthemon means ‘flower’ referring to the blooming time of these plants.   It’s scientific name Convallaria Magalis is also significant in meaning “that which belongs to May”. It is a woodland flowering plant native throughout the cool temperate Northern hemisphere in Asia and Europe.  Other names include May lily, May bells, lily constancy, ladder-to-heaven, make lily, and mugent (French meaning, “lass’s tear”).

 

The flower is primarily white, but it can also be found in pink and lilac. It’s small bell shaped flower gives off a large scent that attracts not only people, but bee’s who like to collect the pollen that the flower produces.  Today it is distributed widely throughout North America and North Asia, but in England it is still found as wild flowers.

 

Meaning

 

Some words lily of the valley represent are, affectionate, reliable, ambitious, practical & patient   First chosen by the Victorians to represent May, because they appreciated its delicate scent and curving stems associated with vitality and peace.  A gift of these flowers conveys the hidden meaning of friendship and happiness.   It also symbolizes purity, chastity, hope, sweetness, humility and a return to happiness!

 

People born in May are considered to be humble and virtuous, They are considered a sign that happiness is here to stay instead of remaining just a fleeting glimpse of joy in the distance

 Symbolism

 

Traditionally, lily of the valley is sold in the streets of France on May 1 France’s day to give “muguets,” small bouquets of lilies-of-the-valley, to friends and loved ones to wish them good luck and happiness.  At the beginning of the 20th century, it became tradition in France to sell lily of the valley on international labor day. May1st (also called La Fête du Muguet -Lily of the Valley Day) by labor organizations and private persons without paying sales tax (on that day only) as a symbol of spring.

 

Lily of the valley is the floral emblem of Yugoslavia, it also became the national flower of Finland in 1967, and the Norwegian municipality Lunner has a lily of the valley in its coat-of-arms.   May Day in America is has been lost as having any significance.

 

In Christianity: The Lily of the Valley flower is a symbol of both Christ and the Virgin Mary. It is often called the “Ladder to heaven” or “Jacob’s tears.”  According to a Christian legend, the tears of the Virgin Mary turned into Lilies of the Valley at the crucifixion of her son Jesus. That’s why sometimes these tiny flowers are called Mary’s tears.

 

Although, “the Lily of the Valley” and “the Easter Lily” are often confused, they are both white and stand for humility and purity within the Christian religion.  It is also considered the sign of Christ’s second coming due to the envisioning a better world, which is also attributed to the lily of the valley.

 

In the Bible:  The Lily of the Valley is mentioned in the Bible 15 times and 8 of those times are in the book of the Song of

omon in the Old Testament.  Though it talks about the Lily of the Valley, the original language does not bear out that it is what we know as the Lily of the valley.

 

Use for the Lily of the valley:

 

Lily of the valley is sometimes cultivated as a source of perfume. The leaves have been historically used to produce green dye.  The delicate blossoms are also used in pressed floral arrangements.

 

It is used in bridal bouquets because of the flowers perfumed scent and it’s meaning of purity and “You complete me.”

 

Duchess of Cambridge bridal bouquet featured lily of the valley, it was featured in the bridal bouquet at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and Lily of the valley was also the flower chosen by Princess Grace of Monaco to be featured in her bridal bouquet.

 

History

 

Native to mild Eurasian zones, it was first officially cultivated in 1420.

 

The Hebrew phrase “shoshannat-ha-amaqim” in the original text (literally “lily of the valleys“) does not refer to this plant. It is possible, though, that the biblical phrase may have had something to do with the origin or development of the modern plant-name.  It is a symbol of humility in religious painting.

 

The tradition of Maypole and greeneries:  By the Middle Ages every English village had its Maypole. The bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was a great occasion and was accompanied by much rejoicing and merrymaking. The Maypoles were of all sizes. And one village would vie with another to show who could produce the tallest Maypole. Maypoles were usually set up for the day in small towns, but in London and the larger towns they were erected permanently.

 

The Maypole tradition suffered a setback for about a couple of decades since the Puritan Parliament stopped it in 1644. However, with the return of the Stuarts, the Maypole reappeared and the festivities of May Day were again enjoyed. One of the great Maypoles, was the changes brought about by the Reformation included attempts to do away with practices that were obviously of pagan origin. But the Maypole or May tree, was not issued in practice at the behest of the second Stuart.(The House of Stuart, was a European royal house that originated in Scotland.)

 

Although they succeeded in doing this, Maypole with most of the traditions still survived. In France it merely changed its name. In Perigord and elsewhere, the May Tree became the “Tree of Liberty” and was the symbol of the French Revolution. Despite the new nomenclature, the peasants treated the tree in the same traditional spirit. And they would dance around it the same way as their forefathers

 

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (20 April 1805 – 8 July 1873) was a German painter and lithographer, known for his portraits of royalty in the mid-nineteenth century painted a portrait of Queen Victoria where she holds her third son, Prince Arthur, as he is presented with a jewel casket by his godfather, Arthur, Duke of Wellington. In return the child hands over a nosegay of lily of the valley, a flower traditionally given as a good luck charm on May1.

The roots of May Day go all the way back to ancient world. For the Romans, the first of May stood at the heart of the Floralia, a weeklong festival to honor Flora, goddess of youth, spring, and flowers. When the Romans reached the British Isles, their Floralia festival collided with the Celtic holiday of Beltane, also held on May 1. Elements of both celebrations combined to lay the foundations for what became known as May Day—which, by the medieval period, had become a cherished holiday throughout Europe.

 

United States:  May Day might have remained an obscure holiday in the United States if not for the work of two very different groups of reformers in the late 1800s, both of whom were concerned about the welfare of America’s working classes. The first group were social reformers plucked from the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful families, a group that historian David Glassberg memorably describes as the nation’s “genteel intellectuals.”

 

The second group were the Puritans who frowned on May Day because of it’s pagan implications.  Thus the day has never been celebrated with as much enthusiasm in the United States as in Great Britain. But the tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived as a part of the English tradition. The kids celebrating the day by moving back and forth around the pole with the streamers, choosing of May queen, and hanging of May baskets on the doorknobs of folks — are all the leftovers of the old European traditions.

 

Superstitions, Folklore & Legends:  

 

A legend tells of the affection of a Lily of the Valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May. These delicate flowers are seen as a good luck charm and bringer of happiness.

 

Another legends says that the lily-of-the-valley was the materialization of Eve’s tears when she was evicted from the Garden of Eden.

 

An old tale from Sussex, England tells that St. Leonard bravely fought a fierce dragon for many hours.  Wherever the warrior’s blood fell, there grew a lily-of-the-valley to commemorate the noble battle.  Today, in St. Leonard’s Forest, these plants are said to grow in droves.

 

In The Garden

 

The lily of the valley has tongue-shaped leaves, dainty white bell-shaped blossoms adorn these plants from late spring to early fall in zones 3-7.   In the mild winters of the Northern Hemisphere they will bloom in early March.   They prefer cool weather, part sun to full shade, and are thus often planted around the base of trees.  Lilies-of-the-Valley naturalize quickly and can be separated for propagation.

 

It is a perennial plant that forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes. New upright shoots are formed at the ends of stolons in summer, these upright dormant stems are often called pips. These grow in the spring into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to the other shoots underground, often forming extensive colonies. The stems grow to 15–30 cm tall, with one or two leaves 10–25 cm long,

flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5–15 flowers on the stem apex.  The flowers are white tepals and bell-shaped, 5-10 mm diameter, and sweetly scented.

 

The fruit is a small orange-red berry 5–7 mm diameter that contains a few large whitish to brownish colored seeds that dry to a clear translucent round bead 1–3 mm wide. Plants are self-sterile, and colonies consisting of a single clone do not set seed.

 

Some consider it a weed and invasive, as it can spread over a wide area in the garden and can be difficult to contain or remove.  A place that is enclosed with edging or other barriers is needed for the flower to contain its spread.

 

Various kinds and cultivars are grown, including those with double flowers, rose-colored flowers, variegated foliage and ones that grow larger than the typical species.

 

The flower can even take full sun in areas where temperature remain cooler in summer.  The somewhat tropical looking leaves of this perennial belie its ability to survive sub-zero temperatures. The leaves remain beautiful even after the spring blooms fade and cover areas where other plants fail.

 

Technically lily of the valley is not a lily at all, the plant belongs to the botanical family Ruscaceae, not the Liliaceae (lily family). Most of them are low growing plants that only reach about 8 inches tall. The flowers grow on stalks about 4 to 5 inches tall from the center of the plant. Plants live for decades in cool climates but will die quickly where summers are hot. It also won’t survive well in high-traffic areas.

 

This flower is sold by sprouts from the rhizomes or pips. The rhizome sprouts should be planted in the spring. Planting this plant in beds with other flowers is not a good idea because this tough perennial can spread quickly and will overtake the other plants and become a problem.

 

It is not bothered by animals due to its toxicity that is its defense against animals.

 

Care as cut blooms: Place in a vase with lukewarm water and floral preservative. Re-cut the stems and add warm water and preservative to the vase every other day to keep your May lilies looking fresh. Once the stems dry out, the flowers will lose their fragrance and take on a brownish-yellow hue.

 

Edible?

  No – Toxic

 

All parts of the plant including the berries (The red berries may be attractive to children.) are extremely poisonous and almost 38-40 different cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) have been found in the plant. If ingested symptoms can include abdominal pain, vomiting, a reduced heart rate, diarrhea, blurry vision, headaches, rashes and in severe cases lily of the valley poisoning can result in death. If the plant has been ingested medical attention is needed immediately.

If the plant is touched or handled, hands should be washed before doing anything else.

 

In Medicine

 

The plant contains saponins. Although deadly, the plant has been used as a folk remedy in moderate amounts, and is currently used by herbalists as a restricted herbal remedy.

 

Teas and ointments from this plant are used for burns, fever and as a sedative and diuretic.

 

Although poisonous, the plant compounds found in lily of the valley have been used since the ancient Roman Empire to treat arrhythmia and congestive heart failure.  It has also been used in herbal medicine as a poison antidote, for the heart and epilepsy

 

 

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References:

http://eol.org/pages/1087078/overview

Legends and Facts about the Lily of the Valley

May Birth Flower

http://www.birthdaygems.org/birth-month-flowers/may-birth-flower.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilyofthevalley.

https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/406995/the-first-of-may-1851

https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/406995/the-first-of-may-1851

http://thepoisondiaries.tumblr.com/post/45116935917/lily-of-the-valley

https://englishseeds.jimdo.com/symbolism-of-flowers/

http://www.list-of-birthstones.com/birth%20flowers/Lily%20of%20the%20Valley.html

http://flowerfreshonline.com/lily-of-the-valley-flower-history.html

Watch Movie Online Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

http://www.whatsmybirthflower.com/may-birth-flower/

https://www.babiesonline.com/flowersbirthmonth/lilyofthevalley.asp

http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/may-day-americas-traditional-radical-complicated-holiday-part-1

http://www.theholidayspot.com/mayday/history.htm#maypole

 

 


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