My newly potted peace lily was anything but! Over the past 10 years it has made its way to various places in my house, from one window to another in search of the perfect amount of light and heat required to produce towering white blooms. In all those 10 years, I have nurtured this plant as it has continually struggled to survive, getting a grand total of “0” blooms. Many times I considered just throwing it out and starting fresh, but the challenge of getting it to bloom was stronger and won out. Nothing seemed to work despite my efforts, and finally, in October, I resorted to placing it on my patio beneath a large palm tree in hopes that it would receive just the right amount of shade to combat the heat of the afternoon sun. Weeks went by, and a within a couple of months, I saw small signs of growth, but still not enough to convince this skeptic that I had placed the plant properly. In one last effort, I began pouring my diluted morning coffee grounds over the plant as I had been doing to my native plants in my garden, which were responding with significant growth. To my surprise, last month the plant finally thanked me for all of my efforts by producing the very first bloom which towers above the multitude of green fronds. My excitement multiplied last week as my attention was drawn to a total of 5 new sweet smelling lilies bursting their way through the foliage. Now, when I tend to my patio garden each morning, I cannot help but smile as I count the blooms and relish in my long awaited success. Was it worth it? Absolutely, and who knew coffee could make such a difference!
This process of tending to my plant for so long serves as a reminder of the same process of tending to those most important relationships in my life; my marriage, my children, family and friends. Although I would never characterize these as “struggling to survive”…… well, on second thought that could actually characterize a few. I must acknowledge the ease at which these relationships can be taken for granted and how often they need to have fresh approaches and little shots of fertilizer to produce ongoing sweet smelling blooms. Life is busy and fast paced, making it easy to neglect or simply miss those valuable nurturing opportunities when they present themselves with my husband or my children or friends. Sometimes the blooms are just waiting to pop through the surface but require a little tending and encouragement. Often, those relationship blooms are as easy as fostering a little variety, adding a new adventure, creating a new memory, implementing a new tradition or designating a separate space in a day to intentionally connect heart to heart.
This year, April for me is all about embracing and celebrating the “new” in my life….. new changes, new challenges, new directions, new opportunities, new relationships and new blessings. It’s also about renewing….renewing my mind, my thoughts, my emotions and my attitudes in order to be able to embrace the “new” with it’s many challenges. With that in mind, this week I will be “focusing on fertilizing.” adding a few new experiences, a little creative variety and some more intentional space in my days for those closest to me, starting with my husband and children. As my mind brainstorms the possibilities, I look forward to seeing those relationship blooms pop through the surface and tower over all the other foliage of my life. Sounds like a good excuse for coffee to me!
“But exhort one another every day as long as it is called “today” ……Heb. 3:13
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…..” I Thes. 5:11
So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Gal. 6:10
Luke 2:52 Project Plan:
1. Write verses on index cards. Title and highlight them under “Growing in Favor with Man.”
2. Place in pocket album and memorize.
3. Commit to intentional tending and fertilizing of those relationships closest to you and identify
just a few ways you can begin the process this week, expecting nothing in return but simply
acting out of a desire to love and nourish these relationships in a deeper and more meaningful
way. Trust God to take care of the rest!
4. Leave a comment sharing what you did and what new changes you observed.