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Unlikely Wisdom from Your Houseplants

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.”

--Albert Camus

Houseplants are like the awkward middle school friend you truly liked but didn’t always hang out with. But come the winter seasons, you are thankful for them.

Even though I don't always treat them well, my houseplants give me unexpected goodness. All summer and fall, I sort of forget about them. I humor them with some basic water. But come winter, like solid friends, I’m grateful for their presence.

Mostly, my plants remind me to hope, especially in the winter.

I know it sounds strange, but I think we could learn a thing or two from the fern in the corner. Here are a few lessons I’ve been considering from my humble houseplants.

Plants rest in the winter.

During the winter season, plants rest and live off of stored nutrients. With less light, they slow or stop their growth. This season of resting is essential for their survival to make it through the tough winter.

Plants shed old leaves.

The harsh conditions require plants to cast off old leaves. In fact, most plants need difficult weather circumstances to strengthen and rejuvenate themselves. By letting go of what isn’t essential, the plant makes preparations for fresh new growth in the days to come.

Plants prepare for growth.

As plants rest on the outside, inside they are taking stock and strengthening their frames for a new season ahead. The winter season allows the plants to strengthen so that when conditions are right, they are ready.

What about You?

What are you readying for? What needs to be cast off? Where does your heart need rest for the coming season? What dreams is God whispering in your heart for the season of new things ahead?

Wisdom from My Fern in the Corner

My mom used to play classical music for her plants and care for them like they were her actual children. She talked to them daily, which may be a little odd. But if you took one look at her plants, you might become a believer too. She was an attentive nurturer to what her plants needed most in every season. My mom was proof that when you lovingly care for something, it will flourish under your gaze.

My hope is that this idea is true for you and for me – that under the nurturing gaze of our Creator, we too can flourish in all the Springs we are given.


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When visiting my sister in the PNW I noticed how deep the colors of the flowers are there knowing they'd seen a very cold winter. Your insight gives context to that. I've not considered the details you've shared. It's helpful in understanding the Biblical examples Jesus often used.

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