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. 

Thoughts?

Love,

Julie

 

Having Faith and Dreaming Dreams

I got brave and asked my husband a bold question at our porch party Monday morning. “What hopes and dreams has God answered in your life?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Marrying you.”

My throat got all warm. We rocked for a few minutes without talking. Love is bigger than words, you know.

Two years ago, I was ready to give up on a dream. I was inches from quitting, so close I asked Rick to promise not to let me give up.

He promised.

Thinking and rocking Monday morning, I spotted my old watering cans. I’d almost thrown them away. Sort of like my dream.

Then I saw my friend’s Robin’s post.  (Robin from All Things Heart and Home.)

Inspired by her creativity, I bought some potting soil and a few little plants.

It’s amazing what inspiration and faith can do.

“See those old watering cans?” I said. “They had ferns in them, but they died during the winter. I almost threw them away.”

Like that dream of mine.

When I almost quit writing.

When I was at the bottom.

So low I couldn’t imagine coming up with…

One

More

Word

“Remember when you wouldn’t let me quit?”

He nodded.

“Thanks for encouraging me. You were my springtime that year.”

And then he did the most wonderful thing. He stopped rocking. Bowed his head.

“Lord, keep Julie’s dream alive.”

If you’re wrestling with a dream, I understand. Sometimes all you need is fresh inspiration and prayer.

Want me to pray?

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Christmas in the Now

Saturday night, as my husband Rick and I walked through Target for a box of ornaments, we passed the toy section. “Hang on,” he said. “Let me look for a minute.” As he studied the tiny cars, I had a feeling he was reminiscing. Our children are grown. “Remember when Jamie and Katie were little and you gave them your Matchbox collection?”

He nodded.

“Remember all the Christmas Eves you’ve spent putting toys together?”

“Um-hmm.”

“Here’s Thomas the Train,” I said. “Remember how Thomas loved this stuff?”

At home that night, I dug through boxes of pictures feeling older. Pondering the past.

Jamie and Katie, Christmas 1988.

 Baby Thomas’s first Christmas, 1991.

Now it was just the two of us. Middle-aged people.

I found Rick hanging lights on the tree and showed him the long-ago photos. He smiled and kept working.

Tying gold strings on each new ornament I thought about how fast life goes.

How much I’d missed by hurrying

“I’ll help you,” he said, after he finished the lights.

Decorating together, both of us wearing reading glasses, no little children around, I told my fingers to move very s-l-o-w-l-y.

I let my eyes linger on each ornament and really see the glimmering colors.

And then the most remarkable thing happened.

The sweetest prayers rose in my heart.

A prayer of Thanksgiving. Prayers for our children. My husband. Our whole family.

I prayed for my blog readers–some by name–for the precious requests you’ve shared.

Surrendering to the beauty of the moment, it seemed God’s Glory descended into our den.

Contentment came.

I welcomed it.

Living Christmas (and life) in the now, there’s no need to look backward or forward.

Love,

Julie