Miracle of the Marigolds and Me

This spring, I decided to play in the dirt again. I’d avoided all things green for three years after I got a horrible case of poison ivy  by pulling weeds without wearing gloves. I wanted my husband to think I was a real gardener.

And only thing I knew for sure about summer plants was that marigolds love sun and heat.

Anyone can take care of them, right? How hard could it be?

I found my tin watering cans and bought a potted caladium and a tray of marigolds.

I didn’t waste time reading plant care directions. 

I threw potting soil in my watering cans, and in less than five minutes, I created a summer garden on our porch!

Days later, I moved the marigolds to our patio. Total sun. 

They’re tough. They can handle it. 

For almost a week I ignored a gentle prompt.

Water the marigolds.

Saturday morning, their lovely heads were bent toward their feet. Their poor leaves had shriveled up. 

I’d ignored them for so long, I’d killed them!

I gave them a long, cool drink, but I was wasting my time. They were goners.

I left the kitchen. Couldn’t bear to watch them die.

An hour later they were a tad perkier, but the damage was done.

I left them overnight, hoping and praying for a miracle.

The next morning, I peeked with one eye shut.

It’s a miracle! 

My marigolds had been restored! 

“Welcome back, girls,” I whispered. “Sorry I forgot about you.”

At times, I’ve ended up just like my wilted marigolds.

Parched. Exhausted. 

I thought I was tough enough to do life on my own. 

I forgot I needed God every hour. 

I forgot to drink from the Living Well.

The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life. John 4:14 (MSG)

If you can’t see the video, click here. It’s a beautiful reminder of how much we need Him.

 Have you ever ended up my wilted marigolds?




  1. Brenda E. Greene says:

    Proud of you Julie Girl…You didn’t give up! Marigolds are very forgiving and they will bloom when all else dies.

    I can so relate with your story as I always said the only thing “greene” I could raise were our two amazing daughters! However once we moved to the country 15 years ago and my retirement ten years ago, I’ve been surprised (and blessed!) by what’s surrounding me now! (Wish I could upload a picture of my “back deck garden!” Its beautiful! Sadly setting things out in the yard becomes a buffet for the wildlife)! I’ve discovered that just as I must “nurture” my walk with Jesus each and every day, I must do the same with my flowers…water, deadhead (remove dead blooms), feed, and even converse with! The rewards of both are what gives me joy!

    Cool blessings on another hot and humid Georgia Summer Day Sweet Julie! Thanks for writing and causing us to reflect on our personal walk with Jesus! Love from my front porch table!

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Brenda, your comment, for some reason, brought to mind, “I come to the garden alone…” Always loved that song!

      • Julie says:

        Brenda, you’re such a wise woman. So much Truth in your response. And yes, Cathy–isn’t that the perfect song for her words! And Brenda, how I LOVED seeing your gorgeous flowers this morning on FB!

        And your comment above about reflecting on your walk with Jesus… My, My, thank You, Lord. You’re always working on each one of us, loving us, reaching out to us. And us to each other.

      • Brenda E. Greene says:

        Cathy…that’s one of my favorite songs and sing it often in the cool of the morning as I water my plants! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Nancy Griggs says:

    Loved this lesson this morning, Julie. I think we have all been in dry places in our lives. We do need Christ and His living Water in our lives and at all times.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, Nancy!! Means so much to read everyone’s thoughts–and hearts!

  3. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Julie, you’re singing my song! I either don’t water (poor African violets!) or over-water (poor succulents!). My husband enjoys telling people I even killed an air fern! The only time I remember having a plant live a long life happened in my childhood. I grew a sweet potato vine in my bedroom that grew so long, I had to tack it up around the ceiling!

    And speaking of songs, love the one you added for us to hear. One of my favorites on the radio right now. In fact, music holds the keys to unlock hidden places when I feel physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually low. I enjoy my Don Moen cds and use them in various ways. One recent day, when I was close to bottoming out, I put one on, went to the track for, “God Will Make a Way,” and pushed “repeat.” I must have listened to that song more than 50 times until I felt calmed. But the point is, I did.

    Of course, certain songs make me miss my dad more, and certain others make me wish my daughters all still lived at home, where I could hear them sing, especially my oldest, who God blessed with an amazing voice. Just the other day, she called to tell me she’s teaching a song to her daycare toddlers, one she (at about 2 ½) and I made up while walking to Grandma’s. “I picked a purty purple flower the other day…” It went on to tell how the purple flower turned blue, red, etc. What fun memories music brings! It can make things right with my world faster than most anything else.

    “I will sing of mercy and justice. To You, O’ Lord, I will sing praises!” (Psalm 101:1 NKJV)

    • Julie says:

      Cathy, I could just see that sweet potato vine becoming a children’s book! Can’t you just see the picture?! What a neat story it would be.

      You’re SOOOOO right about listening (no matter how long it takes) until the calm comes. Even though I wrote this post, I just keep clicking on the song and raising my hands, all alone, here in my office, and praising.

      Precious words about your daughter. So sweeeeeeet! I love hearing about those little family “secrets” that keep people close over the years. I know what you mean about missing your daughters. Sometimes I’ll tell mine (they’re 33 and 30)….if we just had one more day to spend together with y’all as little girls, wouldn’t that be fun?!

      Love your praise Scripture! Thank you.

  4. Loving this analogy, and also loving that misery loves company and it appears that we are the same sort of gardener.

    • Julie says:

      I’m smiling, big time, Elizabeth! One day we’ll HAVE to meet!! Gardening twins!


  5. Patricia Martin says:

    So happy God resurrected your Marigolds! Thank you for your prayers.((: Maddy will find out the test results on June 26 which feels like an eternity from now. How’s your novel doing? I would like to buy it as I am an avid reader who loves reading good books! I hope you all are sitting back relaxing with a cup of sweet tea.
    P. S. Hope that your garden lasts all summer long.

    • Julie says:

      Can’t wait to hear the GOOD results about Maddy. You have the kindest, most tender heart, Patricia. And I know He hears our prayers–especially about our loved ones. ALL our loved ones.

      Smiling with your sweet tea comment. You know what? I think I’m going to pop some popcorn–it’s almost 9:00 p.m. and have a Diet Caffeine Free Coke.

      Novel…just started writing a new one–waiting on news on my last one. Keep praying!!

  6. Patricia Martin says:
  7. Georgia says:

    I love this post, Julie! I am so glad God is The Restorer. I share your “gardening talent”. LOL
    Peaceful day wishes to you.

    • Julie says:

      Hahahaah! I’m lovin’ to find out there are plenty of gardeners just like me. 🙂

      Thanks so much for writing and letting me know. I feel better!!!!! And I’ve watered my marigolds every day since I discovered they were so close to dying. :/

  8. Out in the desert the heat is unrelenting, but the winters can be biting cold at night as well. The gorgeous flowering bougainvillea was frostbitten early this year (temp went down to 31 degrees). It appeared dead. A brown stick twig in the ground. But hubby didn’t give up on it (he has the green thumb). By early March it was sprouting green leaves and now has beautiful pink flowers. Incredible, just like your marigolds.

    • B.J. I LOVE hearing about plants and life in your part of the country. I’ve never heard of this particular plant you mentioned.

      What a life lesson–your husband didn’t give up. And now life has been restored. Resurrected even!


  9. marci says:

    I do not have a green thumb, so I relate to that, and once one has an encounter with poison ivy, it is hard to forget, so I understand your not being in a hurry to garden. How nice your little porch garden looked on your little table! I could see so many lesson in your writing today. 1) Sometimes what we think is gone/ dead, isn’t, .. be it a plant or a relationship that is in need of “watering’.
    2) Grace is a wonderful thing. Seeing something that we thought was gone spring back to life, and all is forgiven. That is a miracle. 3) Simple- water, that so many times is taken for granted, ..yet is needed.
    God indeed blesses us, and forgives. In recent times, I have pondered, Value, and do the things we (I)do, as small as they seem sometimes, make a difference?.. God seems to be answering me overwhelmingly, “Yes!” It all makes a difference. And the whisper comes to me, ..from reading your writing today, we never know when a kindness, even a small one given to someone may be the very water that keeps them going. ? Just a thought. They may be the marigold in need of a drink of water.
    I will look around and see what is close to me that I may have been slow to water and start doing some watering.

    Your final thought, also touched home, when you said, “At times, I’ve ended up just like my wilted marigolds. Parched. Exhausted. … and to drink from the Living Well.” A reminder that sometimes we try to do too much on our own, and lose sight, that He is the Vine.. -John 15:5. .. Earlier this year, I bought a cross called “Vine”, as a reminder of that, at those times when I am parched and exhausted.
    Thanks for your simple yet so profound lessons– from the everyday things in our lives.

    God Bless,

    • Ohhh, Marci’a.

      Such wisdom. And truth. wowowowowow.

      I need to print out your beautiful thoughts. You gleaned so much from my dying marigolds and my parched self!

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Drinking it all in right now!

      • marci says:

        Julie, Thank you for your kind words, you are always such a spirit lifter to me. I am humbled and honored that you would want to print out my thoughts. With your blog, combined with the sudden death of Rodney (the local stock boy), I have been in a reflective mood, as I put in the e-mail.

        As you can tell with all these comments, you are not alone with your gardening skills… Only one looked at the flowers and said they didn’t look like Marigolds. I have also bought things that were mis-labeled. Once I bought what was labeled, Beets. It didn’t take too long to know it wasn’t beets… so we saved one of them to see what it turned out to be— it was popcorn tree! Still have it in the back yard, and the birds love it in the fall and winter. .. My daughter when young liked to go sit in it. .. I guess there is a lesson I could get from that ‘mistake’ also.
        I have gotten so much from the comments here– like you, there are some plants I will have to look up to see what they are.

        • such beautiful thoughts, as always, Marci’a…a popcorn tree! who knew! A mistake that really wasn’t one at all.

          Just read your precious email. Sending you a really big hug right now. And lots of prayers.

          I’m so glad you listened and moved to the Spirit’s prompting.


  10. Beautiful, Julie. We need Him so. You know, I’ve never done good with Marigolds. Never. I do better with Lantana. 🙂 Or roses. But my girls always gravitate toward the Marigolds, we get them, and kill them every time. 🙂 xoxo Maybe I give up on them too soon. I need to think about that.

    • Hey Shelli, now I need to google Lantra. Have never heard of it. Must be a flower grown in TX?

      How sweet that your daughters care about flowers and love marigolds…just like me.

      Thank you, my friend.

  11. I have a strip of dirt, next to the sidewalk going up to our front door. I have learned so much over the years, about how to help all kinds of flowers grow. They get so much sunshine, that often I have to water twice in the day, or they all begin to droop quickly. But time and again, they spring back to life with the littlest splash of water. I love your story of restoration and sustenance from the Living Well- such a great reminder and exactly a key perspective for me to keep in mind! Blessings and love to you, Julie~

    • What patience you have, Vicky–to water some of them twice a day.

      I’m in awe!

      You teach me so much about life and love.

  12. Jan says:

    Boy, your marigolds look like zinneas to me. But they do look happy, and a zingy orange. Hope you saved a watering can for the actual watering needed! Meanwhile, this dry person needs a shower, and prayer! Have a blessed and refreshing week!

    • Jan……………………. maybe they are zinneas!!!!! Which they could be because I didn’t read a word of instructions or anything printed on them whatsoever.

      Oh my….maybe they’re zinneas and I treated them like marigolds. Hope THAT wasn’t the problem.

      Who knows? Only that I’ve learned a lot through almost killing the poor things!

      Thank you. Praying for rain for you. We’re having thunder in GA right now, and it’s really dark outside.


  13. Another beautiful analogy, Julie. Thank you for sharing it. Your insights always encourage and challenge me! ((Hugs))

  14. Beautiful, beautiful flowers. The sun did the miracle then? Amazing nature.

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