Taking Care of Houseplants & People

I remember my mom having a love for houseplants. I am not really one to pay attention to all the details, so I am not sure where they all came from, but there were a ton. I am not exaggerating either. There were plants everywhere – in almost every room. At the house in Ohio {my favorite house ever}, I remember a large windowsill where she kept, what seemed like, dozens of plants all clumped together to fight for sunlight. It really was beautiful until I was the one who had to water them.

I do not have the mom green thumb gene. That is yet another great mom quality that went to the boys. I have two plants in my home – two – both who regularly fight for their life. I won’t recount all the others who didn’t make it {RIP}… I don’t know why it is so hard for me to keep a plant alive, but I just can’t seem to get it right. There are a lot of instructions to follow when it comes to keeping plants healthy – and every plant is different. I can’t keep it all straight.

Despite my lack of skills in caring for them, I sure do love plants and flowers. Aside from the many benefits of houseplants {google that – you’ll be amazed}, I just like their simple beauty. The elegance of their leaves. The intricacies of their design. The vibrancy of their color. It is no wonder mom loved them so much.

Over the weekend, I took the plunge and purchased an orchid. I have been eyeing orchids for years. They are so beautiful, but I have heard they are pretty easy to kill. That is a deal breaker for me. I like to go for the plants people say are hard to kill, mostly because I like a challenge… I guess I chose a different kind of challenge this time – in the form of a pretty purple orchid. As Gavin was making fun of my choice to bring home another doomed plant, I vowed I would do my best to take care of it.

Which got me thinking… {queue sappy music}  

Caring for people is like caring for plants. It takes a conscious effort and I have to work hard at both. I have to be intentional in remembering to provide for needs. I have to be willing focus my attention on others. I have to set aside my own interests. I have to put others first. Relationships are important. I’d argue they are just as important as the houseplants I adore. So today, as we get our week started, my little Monday Motivational pep talk is to encourage you to set aside your own self and look to see the good in others.

There is a lot of divisiveness in this world. A lot. And much of it can be avoided if we would seek to understand other perspectives and have conversations that involved intelligent thought rather than cramming an irrelevant Bible verse down someone’s throat to make a point. We need to do better at speaking life into people {and plants} instead of talking down to them. We need to do better at lifting up and encouraging instead of dragging them through the mud. We need to do better at seeing others as made in the image of God – because we are all made in the image of God.

No, not everyone loves Jesus the way I do – but that is okay. I can love them like Jesus loves me – because that is what he tells me to do and that is what I want to spew out of my pores.

Love.

It is God’s command to love him and love others and it is non-negotiable.

Love the people who look and act and think in ways that differ from the way you look and act and think.

Love the people who make decisions that are different than the decisions you make.

Love the people who have different morals and values and convictions.

Love the people who love Jesus and love the people who don’t even more so that maybe someday they will.

Don’t try to reason your way out of loving someone because you don’t agree with them, their choices, or their lifestyle. God didn’t tell you to try to change anyone. He just said to love people – because he loved you first. Don’t try to hide behind a Bible verse that tells you otherwise.

The next time you water your plants, please remind me to do the same – but also remember to take care in your relationships. People are just as complex and complicated as plants, but people are important. It really is that simple.

How will you love others this week? Be open to all the possibilities…

This entry was posted in care, encouragement, life & love, love, Memories, Mom, relationships, spirituality, things that matter, thinking, words for the week. Bookmark the permalink.

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