Of Hens & Chicks…or How to Neglect a Plant

I’ve had a pot of hens & chicks for three decades. I know it’s hard to believe that I could keep it alive that long with moving and all.

When we sold our house the pot was next to the porch, frozen to the ground. I worked at getting it loose but it was a long winter. My neighbor came to the rescue and pulled the sorry, busted pot loose.

Sunday we picked up the sad-looking pot of hens & chicks. Green life was showing, even in the chicks hanging over the edge.


I always kept them in a pot otherwise they would multiply all over the flowerbed, as do the forget-me-nots and lily of the valley. It also made them easier to move.

Why didn’t I leave them? I have some sort of attachment, as I do for the Christmas cactus’ of my mother and two grandmothers, which I’ve also had for decades.

I wonder how those plants survived at times. I would see them by the porch every time I went outdoors. Most of those times in a hurry going to work, sporting events with the Sweets, or shopping. Mostly I let nature water them, except when we’ve had an unusually dry summer.

Last year we had plenty of rain and they looked like this:

The rooster sticking up.

I had to ask my Facebook friends what was growing out of the top of my plant. Someone called it a rooster, (appropriate) and they appear occasionally. I never saw it so healthy and robust.

There are times when I am like that shriveled hen, browning at the edges and drying to a crisp. I find myself drooping when I neglect more serious talks with God.

I can read my Bible all the time, but if I’m not careful it will breeze right over my heart and become a meaningless thing: a duty.

I didn’t take time to READ it.

I could pray the same prayer, sort of a chant. It would mean nothing.

The Holy One delights in honest prayers. There are plenty of examples of that in Psalms.  David was so totally honest, I wonder if I dare say some of the things he said to a Holy God.

And yet, David was the apple of God’s eye.

As the earth renews growth in spring, renew your prayer life. Dig in the soil of your heart and plant new scriptures, and pray for your hearts renewal.

Today I bought new soil for the plants, and cleaned out the dead leaves. I picked up my favorite happy faces—the pansies before they were all gone.

Put some joy in your life. Grow a plant this spring!


Pulling the Plug on Facebook

One of my daughters pulled the plug on Facebook recently. While I applauded her, and envied her, I couldn’t sleep because I thought—I can do this thing too!

Winter months really drag me down and I find myself “more addicted” to the social media, and this year the cold has dragged on extra long. In fact, as I write this it is 38F and snowing. Nothing will stick, but there is no sun to be found, and no baseball…

I began thinking of reasons to get off Facebook, besides the normal addiction thing. For instance: hackers near and far, false news articles, and nonsense posts. This brings me to the past election, which seemed more filled with hate than what candidates would actually DO for our country. Instead of pulling the plug, I limited my Facebook time to a couple times a week, for only 5 or 10 minutes.


Sooner or later I am sucked in again and find I’m wasting my life. Possibly sucking away at any creativity I may have, and packing my brain with unnecessary stuff.

This WordPress blog is attached to my Facebook author page, and this is also where I post Instagram photos, verses, and quotes. I have to have a personal page to have a “business” page. Could I just pull the plug on all that? Lose my readership? Possibly lose MOST of my readership? After all, it’s my hard work. I’ve been doing this thing since 2011…

This is not an ego thing, I don’t go to my author page and count the “likes” and how many people “follow” my blog. (Well, not usually). In fact, I usually have very few comments on my blog, and sometimes wonder if anyone reads it.

For me there is the constant push from Facebook for my “business” page; to post every day—at least once a week. While you’re at it, pay anywhere from $3-10 to boost your post so hundreds or thousands will have a chance to see it. Is my blog so captivating that I would gain that much attention?

Do I need this subtle pressure all the time? I’m sure some folks could dismiss it and not think of it again. But not me. It is a small pebble in my shoe, you know?

But what about those of us who have a small readership? It makes me wonder—am I missing out?

I love to read, but how many millions of blogs are out there trying to be noticed?Even if I read only blogs from writers about writing, I would never be able to catch up!

This is the key to my vacillating: Authors who want to be seen and read need to put themselves out there; they need social media.

While I am presently editing a book for possible contract, if I pull the plug on Facebook I am shooting myself in the foot.

So, what is the solution? Quit cold turkey?  Or steel myself from looking but once a week?

Last night I thought the answer was simple, but today I’m not so sure. I have many adorable Grands that show up on Facebook, and I would hate to miss ANY of their cute photos. I bet you have similar problems.

There are things we don’t want to miss, but as we are looking down at our phones are we ignoring people right in front of us? Do we want to stay so distracted by something other than real life?

I want to be present in the moment in this life, not looking at yesterday, or even this morning.

I want to look into people’s eyes and see if there is pain and give them a genuine smile, a hug, a listening ear. How do we know what struggles are in the hearts of others, when we are head down, or we are rushing on to the next thing?

If you Google social media and depression you will find more depression in our country than ever. Has social media built a glass bubble between us?

I can walk down the street and see the same people everyday, and wonder why they are afraid to smile, nod or say hello.

I don’t want to be worried that I only have 399 friends on my timeline, and only 139 followers on my author page. When I post a blog page, am I going to keep checking that day to see how many people I reached? It still doesn’t mean they read my page!

We all want to be noticed. We want to be loved, have friends and relationships. Facebook gives us this, and it also gives us that far away relationship. Facebook has brought me daily “visits” with my family in Europe. But in bringing us together, it has built a wall when we are person-to-person—real life.

I’m going to be honest with my readers and say that I am ready to feel the freedom of deleting Facebook from my life, but it is a real struggle, and I’m thinking through it.

I’d love to hear from any of my readers.