Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Symbolism of Tulips by Sarah



Every October, as far back as I can remember, my family followed an odd tradition. While other families are putting out Halloween decorations and making their homes look spooky, my family would be digging in the dirt. That’s right, dirt. Time to plant bulbs for Spring. 
When you’re a teenager spending time working outdoors planting in 50 degree, sometimes lower, cold windy weather doesn’t sound too exciting. Despite the grumbles and complaints, my Mom made sure those bulbs were planted and that my siblings and I helped. Hundreds of bulbs strategically buried for seemingly no reason. 
Through the Winter holidays and those cold months that followed the arduous Fall planting was all but forgotten. Till that day would come, whether it was coming home from church or school, when I would notice a beautiful array of colors in our lawn. The tulips had bloomed.  
My Mom, like any good parent, knew that all that effort and hard work, all of the suffering (her hearing our complaints mostly), and all of the dirt and sweat were worth what was to come. We would all need to see the tulips in the Spring. Their blooms a wonderful reminder of rebirth and hope. 
For me, it is not at all a coincidence that tulips come around Easter. Easter is a time for us to reflect on not only the Atonement but Christ’s resurrection. “He is not here; for He is risen” (Matthew 28:6). The Resurrection also brings with it both a commandment and a promise. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20). 
As the tulips bloom in Spring bringing the promise of a new beginning, so does the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout our everyday lives it is at times easy to forget the gospel and it’s truths. Yet it is is always there, despite our shortcomings and trials. For some it is never forgotten, for others it comes as the tulips from my youth. It comes softly, subtly, and it brings the promise of hope and rebirth that only Christ can bring. 
If you see me, as you are putting up your Halloween decor this October, digging in the dirt like a mad woman, please remember this. It is the hopeful reminder of Spring and rebirth that I am planting and an opportunity to ever so gently, as my own Mother did, teach of Christ. 


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Sarah is the mother of one beautiful girl, and is expecting another child very soon!
Sarah is also my visiting teacher and an amazingly thoughtful friend.
Thanks for this post, Sarah!)
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Our next giveaway comes to us from the new Etsy shop
Their shop is full of beautiful jewelry for spring!


Would you like to win this lovely nest pendant?
It's perfect for Easter or Mother's Day!

Enter by doing either of the following.
Please leave separate comments for each entry:

1.  COMMENT here in response to Sarah's post!

2.  VISIT nonsense & whimsy.

Good luck!

I will announce the winner on Friday!

49 comments:

  1. how appropriate and sweet. Spring certainly does give evidence of the resurrection from the dead of winter...

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  2. I so want to do this when I have a home of my own! I didn't know that you could plant tulips in the fall! What a great surprise for the Spring!! Thanks for the story! I love this time of year!!!

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  3. Tulips always make me think of my mission in the Netherlands and the amazing beauty of tulip fields and spring there!

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  4. I love the nonsense and whimsy etsy site! I would love to purchase the three pearls in the nest, but I only saw the one pearl in a nest. Cute stuff!

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  5. I love anything that reminds us of Hope in Jesus Christ. Hope is a foundation for faith I think. Hope and action leads to faith. Thanks for your great blog!

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  6. I love the little nest with one little egg. I was only able to have one child, so I probably hang on to him more than I should. I should let him "fly" more. This necklace would remind me that even though he is flying on his own, he is still mine. Thanks!

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  7. What a beautiful analogy. Spring is my favorite time of year. What a blessing we have to be reminded with the rebirth of the earth of our Saviors sacrifice for US!

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  8. I'm new to reading this blog and also new to being a mother. I LOVE all the ideas you guys provide for teaching children gospel truths! Tulips are a beautiful flower and I never thought of them in relation to Easter. I'll probably be thinking of this post and of hope in our Savior any time I see them now (which come to think of it, I don't think they have a lot of tulips here in Mississippi... I went to the botanical gardens yesterday and there weren't any there either... bummer. I'll just put up a picture of tulips :) That'll remind me!) Thanks again!

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  9. Tulips are my favorite flower and what even more beautiful imagery to connect with them!

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  10. Tulips are my favorite flower. I just did a painting of a tulip and found it so refreshing to look so close and try to copy the beauty HE creates. He didn't have to make this earth beautiful, but he loves us. We are so blessed!

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  11. I agree with Sarah. I have always associated tulips with Easter. The symbolism is perfect. (And so is that tulip photo!!)

    =)

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  12. I love tulips. I love the pendant too, because there are three eggs for my three little ones. count me in.

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  13. Oh, how I love the symbolism of rebirth each spring. God truly created a magical season for us each year to remind us of him. Beautiful story and I love the picture!

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  14. Okay, I knew you could plant tulips in the fall and I have a daughter that was born in October who LOVES flowers. Why didn't I make the connection to give her some each year for her birthday to plant? I think it would be a beautiful tradition to start for her.

    Now to remember that when October comes around. . ..

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  15. The jewelry from nonsense & whimsy is gorgeous! I love the purple pearl earrings.

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  16. I love tulips!! They remind me of our home town Mount Vernon, WA!! Love the Nonsense & Whimsy site.

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  17. What a wonderful tradition. I just got some bulbs and don't know if I should plant them now and hope for something, or wait til October. :) I do think it's a gift from God to see the eternal and spiritual things in the simple things in life.

    I also love Nonsense & Whimsy site. The pearl nest is adorable.

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  18. Such a beautiful reminder. I know what I'll be doing this October.

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  19. What a wonderful lesson! Makes me want to plant bulbs this fall!

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  20. Oh I love Tulips. I like this post a bunch too. Tulips reminding us of Easter. Awesome. :) Beautiful jewelry too.

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  21. What a great post. Tulips are my favorite. I also planted some in the fall and they are starting to grow now. I think they were pink, if I remember correctly they will be pink! I would love to win some new spring time jewelry!

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  22. I just took a look at the site! Super cute and springtime pretty!

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  23. You make me want to plant tulip bulbs and it's not even anywhere near fall! I love the spring symbolisms of Christ. That was our FHE lesson a couple days ago. Such a wonderful time of year:)

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  24. I don't have dirt to dig in right now, so I'll have to buy some potted tulips! I love spring flowers!

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  25. Sarah, that was a lovely post. I loved the pictures and the thoughts. It is so fun to see the bulbs turn into beautiful flowers. Another evidence of the hand of the Lord in bringing beauty into our corner of the world.
    Blessings! LeAnn

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  26. I always wanted to plant bulbs. I love daffadills. Thanks for the giveaway, mamatkins@hotmail.com

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  27. I love the pearl drop earrings, red clusters earrings, and the pink droplets.

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  28. I love tulips and the planning that is needed to have them bloom. Just like the planning in the plan of salvation. In addition my first missionary companion LOVED tulips and today is her birthday!

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  29. What a sweet post! Spring and Easter are definitely teaching of Christ. If only I could ever get my bulbs to sprout! :)

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  30. Wow, everything in the shop is just lovely! My faves are the turquoise dangly earrings and the black droplet hoop earrings. I'm an earring gal :)

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  31. I love this analogy and will gratefully use it to teach my children about the hope that we can have because of Christ when they are a bit older (they are 17 months old). For now we will look at the beautiful flowers and glory in their beauty and I will remind them how much Jesus loves them!

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  32. I visited Nonsense and Whimsy and love all of her creations!

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  33. I loved this post today. It is so true. I don't have any tulips here, I am not sure how they will do in the weird weather of the mountains, but I think I will try a few this October and see how they turn out. I love the thoughts that go with them.

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  34. I loved the correlation between the tulips and Christ. I think I'll have to incorporate bulb-planting into the usual Halloween decoration duties. :)

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  35. I love it! Being from Arizona I didn't understand the *magic* that flowering bulbs can have in the spring. I had the opportunity to visit Maryland for three weeks and to see their daffodils bloom in the midst of such bleakness was truly amazing. Not only did it lift our spirits but now I can appreciate the analogy between the flowering bulbs and Christ's resurrection.

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  36. I love the nest necklace, just beautiful!!

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  37. What awesome stuff N&W has! I'm not much of a jewelry person, but I want to change that for some of her great stuff!

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  38. Tulips are so beautiful! And the symbolism is really something to think about. Can't wait for Easter!

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  39. Love this post! I love tulips they are my favorite!

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  40. I visited her shop, I love all of her stuff it is so classy!

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  41. i always love when the tulips arrive, spring. My grandmother had a very similar tradition of the digging in the dirt, I wish I had her green thumb.

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  42. what a great shop, i love all the bracelets. So many Mother's day gifts possibilites.

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  43. Such a beautiful ring...I would love to wear it.

    HINT...HINT?

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  44. Love the inspiration for Easter.

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  45. What a great post! I love tulips, but I haven't put the effort into growing them myself. I think I'll do that this year, with my children, sharing this story with them. Thank you!

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  46. The jewelery at Nonsense and Whimsy is beautiful. I saw several pieces I'd love to have. I think I might direct my husband there for my birthday.
    mk530mackay-at-gmail.com

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  47. I love this post!! I have always loved tulips and now I know that there was a spiritual connection as well. Thank you for sharing such a lovely story and for making tulips have an even better meaning in my life. I don't live where I can plant tulips but now I can look at them when I buy them from the store and think of a new beginning with Jesus Christ!

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