Pricked Prodded Pruned – Lori Rinehart

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.  
Because of the Lord’s great love I was not consumed, 
for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; 
     great is His faithfulness.     
Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV
That’s the number of plants I had.
In the house!
They were at various stages. You may be thinking that some of them didn’t really ‘count’…like the rootlings protected in a clear umbrella-like small greenhouse damp with condensation in the south window of the sun-drenched family room.  But I believed that each was a plant in its own right, with tender extensions nestling in the pearlized Lori2vermiculite.  
I easily recall the smell  of growth.
My horticultural interest had been pricked by well-meaning friends some time before with good but not amazing results.  I determined to learn the art of cultivating patience and developing schemes to grow all things beautiful in the space they were allotted.  
My plants were really gorgeous now, some hanging, many not, arranged in various settings to compliment each type, each leaf and frond hand-cleaned and polished.  It absolutely delighted me to see them afresh each day, noting new growth, intricacy and detail.  I frequently told them they were beautiful and that I loved them and was thankful for the joy they brought.  They were happy!!!  
And so was I!  
I had finally found something that could completely absorb me and in which I could find the contentment and peace that I had thought was not part of this sometimes seemingly purposeless earth-bound journey!  I relished the freshness, the smell when I watered them, the feel of the potting soil on my hands, the care in determining just the right planter pot, the right soil and light and amount of moisture.  I was amazed at the new growth from day to day.  
Whenever I gave a gift, it was often a plant produced from my own ‘garden’!  I called them ‘giving plants’; some are still around today.  I invested in constructive and functional resources which enhanced my knowledge and wisdom of these ‘greenlings,’ developing practical strategies as I joyfully prodded and pruned them into their fullness of being!  
I had become an absorbed potter!!

And this is the way it was for quite some time.  Then…

I remember it all – oh, how well I remember – the feeling of 
hitting bottom, the troubles and utter lostness (Lamentations 3:19 The Message), my soul downcast within me (NIV)…the delivered diagnosis of Trisomy 21, the “normal” type of Down Syndrome…and the days when unfamiliar people started to come, these “guides from the side” as it would be, to team together for the sake of Ben, the one who would become “the man who taught me the most in my life. ” 
A new journey had begun.
One of the professionals later told me that upon entering my home and seeing “all those Lori4plants,” she was moved to consider “This will be a good place for Ben.  And for Mom.”
She already had seen what I would learn anew:  If I had care and patience to nuture all those plants,  I would surely be able to care, with patience, for this little life…and that I would have solace for the journey  in the care of my plants!  
That I would be able to be absorbed in the healing power of tending God’s creation, find peace in a passion that refreshed me, discover new resources and wisdom, embrace gratitude in each new development no matter how small, perchance to find other potters…to be pricked, prodded and pruned for this new journey!

And I would not be overcome!  ~ Lori

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Lori1After Ben was born with Down’s Syndrome, Lori Rinehart discovered her mother’s intuition and graceful humor to nurture a community of other parents and caregivers.  Serving 5 years as Early Intervention Support Coordinator for PTI of Nebraska, she trained families to not only survive but thrive in their “new normal.” 

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