A Message from Callie the Caladium

Sometimes I’m drawn to the most insignificant things. I’ll see something and feel a quickening in my spirit. It happened a few weeks ago–all because of a Caladium–a pink and green plant I bought this spring.

First time I’d ever had a Caladium. I named her Callie.

In August, Callie’s leaves started drooping.

That’s when the PAY ATTENTION feeling came. 

Maybe  because Callie reminded me of things I’d been praying about for a long time and nothing had changed.

A situation with one of my children.

Something about writing.

A few family members. 

Based on how long I’ve been praying, I should probably give up.

But I didn’t want to give up on Callie. 

I googled how to grow Caladiums. I watered and fertilized her. Brought her inside during the heat of the day.

Nothing helped. 

In September, I noticed a gorgeous Caladium outside a store in a giant clay pot so I gave Callie a bigger home.

Which didn’t help.

I called my brother Jeremy, who knows about plants.

“Caladiums are like Elephant ears,” he said.

I walked out to the porch. “Our Elephant Ears are doing fine.”

“They’re hardier than Caladiums.”

“What if I plant it?”

“It’s too late. You should’ve done it earlier in the season.”

“Is it hopeless?”

“You can try cutting off the dead leaves. Probably won’t help.”

Performing surgery on Callie, I spotted one tender sprout near the black soil.

Only one.

She was small, but she was alive and well. 

I did what Jeremy said–I cut off everything that was dead.

And focused on all that was living. 

Guess what?

Yesterday, after a heavy rain, Callie stood a little taller and raised her face toward the sun.

That’s when the message came.

 “… if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Phil 4:8 AMP 

If you’ve been praying about something for a long, long time, I understand. And I care. Don’t give up. 






  1. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Thank you, Julie, for being faithful to bring us a blessing from your life to ours, every Wednesday!

    In fact, as I thought about this post and all the prayers-left-unanswered (or at least not in the way I desired), I got a bit overwhelmed. But as I wrote the above, I thought of one prayer I’ve been waiting, oh, so long, to come about. You and your readers, as well as many other people in my realm, know this prayer of my heart.

    And though this may not be the best time for me, with all that’s on my plate, I lay it before all you prayer warriors and at the feet of Jesus. This one desire of my heart is to get my blog site ready to publish. Almost every day, I get more ideas for blog posts in several categories, and there lies one of the issues – too many ideas! (Did I just admit that in writing??!!)

    One of those topics needs true prayer, before, during and after it’s begun. Currently, I can give you one bit of information about it and ask you to storm heaven for His Guiding Spirit to make the way clear and the words true. I believe God has called me to write a blog about bullying and abuse that is not physical. I have experienced this most of my life, from school times through working and into my marriage and home. Sometimes, I believe the people who love you most can get into a habit and not realize it. I dealt with a hard time just yesterday that made me want to do this more and more, all over a simple glass of water.

    The prayer concerns are for how and when. And of course, the tiny details. At this point, I feel it needs to be anonymous, to not hurt people involved, and I don’t know how that can happen. But there is such a strong pull on my heart to help others who deal with this very prevalent and timely subject. Please, join me in this venture by praying for that Divine Guidance to be made known to me in a way that I would not question.

    Thank you all. Blessings for a wonderful fall week!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, Cathy. Cathy. Cathy.

      My heart just started beating a little faster. Ohhh, my friend. I’m praying. This is huge. And powerful. And would be all about His Grace and Mercy.

      Oh, my friend. You know I’m praying…give us more as it unfolds….


    • Julie Gilleand says:

      Cathie, I will pray for you about this. I think a blog on these issues would help so many people, me included! I’ve always felt frustrated about how so little attention is given to people whose bruises don’t show like a physical one. Their wounds are inside. Out of sight, out of mind, seems to be the reaction (or lack of one) to such wounds, if not also to deny they even exist. So I will pray for God to guide you in this and would look so forward to the day you publish your fist blog post! God bless, Cathie 🙂

    • marci says:

      Oh, Cathy, I will be praying for you as you stuggle with this, along with the others who are praying. I have a feeling that there will be some who see your post and will pray even if they don’t comment on it. So many of us have suffered with wounds that may not be physical. Such a good thing to blog about. I pray that the Lord will guide you in this, and help you as you write each word, and also with all the details. One of my dearest friends use to always tell me, “Baby steps…” one small step at a time. That helped me. I hope it can help you, and knowing you have a lot of prayers being said for you. God Bless.

      • Ohhhh, look what’s happening? Marci’a’s agreeing to pray too!

        Thank You, Lord, for what’s to come…..

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Thank you all for your affirming words and your prayers. I wish I could share with you all the series of spiritual events that have brought me to this moment, but it would take too much space. Just one specific request – to bind Satan’s attacks. He must have caught wind that I may be getting closer to sharing this and helping maybe hundreds of God’s people, and he doesn’t like it. Today has been awful; tomorrow is a special tradition event for me, but right now, I feel so bruised inside that I can’t muster the anticipation I felt just a few hours ago. This definitely means I’m on the right track; I just need God to make Himself bigger than this, to shelter me and hold my hand (and my words).

      God bless you all. I will keep you posted.

  2. Patricia Martin says:

    I have been praying for certain prayer requests for years. I keep reminding myself that God’s time is different from our time. Tell Callie that she is going to make it–positive thinking is good for plants.((:
    Sending love from AZ,

  3. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, sweet Julie. I am sitting here weepy eyed. What a beautiful analogy with Callie and that verse. It’s way too easy sometimes to give up. But we need to LISTEN to those nudges. As Alex Haley once said (and it goes with this scripture) “Find the good and praise it.” Hope you have a wonderful day

  4. Oh, Julie! Somehow you write just the right words when I need to read them. There have been many times over the last couple of years that I just wanted to give up and quit praying about a couple of situations. I kept thinking, why bother when I never hear an answer. But, as you have reminded me here, there is always HOPE and we should never lose FAITH. xxoo

    • Eileen,

      Thank you. Thank you. This just ministers to my heart, because every single time I blog, I fight the negative thoughts, but I’m beginning to learn to listen to His Still Small Voice. He’s so quiet. And I’m learning to say, “Yes, I trust You. Yes, I’ll write about a plant named Callie.”

      All my love, sweet friend. And I adore your gift of photography!

  5. Julie Gilleand says:

    Leafy Julie — your little Callie bloom is like what I find after the dust clears from a terrible life storm (in a series of them, like a minefield!). Always, there is something there to give me hope in the end, even if not a complete resolution. Just something to keep me going. Could be a scripture through which I hear God speaking to me. Could be a song only God knew I needed to hear just then for comfort. Or a devotional. Or a passage in a book that was so timely. And a number of other things. But always there is a Callie bloom there for me. Thank you so much for this analogy! I think I will hereafter dub those feeble little gifts of hope — a Callie Bloom! I like that!

    God bless, Leafy! How are the fall colors down your way? I discovered a part of my town that has been especially blessed with vivid and beautiful colors as I took an unexpected drive yesterday. Loving it!

    • Leafy, thank you. You are SUCH an encourager!

      Leaves are barely, barely beginning to turn, but guess what? I’m going to a novelist writing retreat next week in North Carolina. I’m thinking there’ll be lots more color there.

      So glad you found some “friends” yesterday on your drive.

      All my love….

  6. Oh my heart! You just described how I feel about my life these days. I was given such a poor prognosis, especially statistically, that I’d survive with my breast cancer for very long. But nobody, here on earth, could tell if He had other plans for me. Somehow, by the pure Grace of God, I have managed over 4 years- long past the point I was given at first. I am that Callie bloom! I’ve had to endure all kinds of pruning, and trimming, and fertilizing, and yet somehow- I’m still here! Thank you for providing that scripture- its divine! So much love to you, Julie, you have a way of writing, right into my heart!

    • Oh, Callie-Vicky,

      How to respond to such magnificent words?

      Such a magnificent God. And I’ll always, always be grateful He let us “meet” each other. You teach me so much.

      How….humbling (I guess is the right word) that He’d chose to use me and Callie.

      I love you, my friend. I keep you in my heart.

  7. Yup, don’t give up for sure! Nothing beats perseverance and stick-with-it-ness. Thanks for the reminder and may Callie grow and grow.

    • Thank you, B.J.

      As I’m sitting here typing, I see your smiling face in your pretty blue shirt.

      You teach me so much. You have CALLIE-faith.

      And I love you dearly.

  8. marci says:

    Oh, Julie, I agree with Vicky, you have a way of writing right into our hearts. Yesterday a friend mentioned the verse, Phil 4: 8, and today, it is in your blog. I think the Lord wanted me to get that message. And the message, dont give up. Your Little Callie, gave a good lesson. How nice to see that one leave raising it’s head.
    I know about praying for things for a long time, and sometimes wondering if I should keep praying or if God has already given the answer, and I should just accept. But as your lesson from Callie proves, things that may seem hopeless, are not hopeless. These are words I needed to hear. Thank you dear Julie!
    God Bless,

    • marci says:

      PS I always seem to see the typos and mispellings after I click “post”. such as it should say Leaf. : )

      • I didn’t even notice. It looked right to me, Marci’a. 🙂 I was just so glad to read your thoughts. Your heart.

    • I’m hugging you from here, Marci’a.

      Callie…who’d have ever thought that such a tiny little leaf could make a difference?

      It just goes back to when we sense those quickenings (is that a word) and sense His Still Small Voice saying, Pay Attention. I love you. I won’t ever leave you.”

      You bless me so much, my friend. Always and forever.

  9. Oh Julie & Cathy, I will be praying for you both. Unanswered(seemingly) prayer is very difficult, at least for me, because while I know God has something better in mind, I start to get the doubts, questions, & second guesses-which I know are the enemy’s weapons of choice. Please know I’ll be lifting you both to Abba’s throne, & know you will see answers in His time.

    • Soooo beautiful, Cyn. Your heart and you offering to pray.

      Hugging you from here, and thanks again for “finding” me.


  10. What a sweet lesson on never giving up! I needed to hear that, Julie. xoxo

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