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!


I’m Here

Someone’s mind desensitized, turned toward evil and took many lives. This is not television anymore; it’s our daily life.

Someone else will inevitably say it’s God’s judgment on another “sin city”, but it’s not that at all.

Deep in the earth, hot molten bubbles and heaves, churning to an end. Under pressure places break loose, and earthquakes tremble and break open the earth. People die. Not only from earthquakes, forest fires, and hurricanes. People are dying everyday, and instead of searching for the answers, we put the blame on someone else. While we continue to ask why, the answer is smack right in front of us and we still refuse to believe it.

Let’s be honest: How much longer will the earth contain us? How much longer before it is over? Isn’t this what we are all thinking?

All images from Google

Mostly we blame God for not stopping the madness. “If he really loved people…”

But he does love…as he has always loved.

The point of all life is this: God gave humans their own choice. That’s how much he loved. He doesn’t want servants, robots or slaves…he wants relationship.

Don’t think for a moment this is retaliation from God because we aren’t obeying the rules. He cries at our rushing, our grabbing, our blaming and our hate.

He has patience we can’t begin to comprehend. He is incredibly compassionate. While he sees all, hurts from it all, he waits as if life will go on forever. He waits for us; he waits for love in return. He is beyond our imagination.

Is this so hard to believe?

When we see our own limitations, and those of others, is it so hard to believe there is the Almighty God who is unfathomable?

In my mind I imagine: There is a slithering death snake that haunts the whole earth hiding in plain sight to bite and devour any one of us who is unsuspecting. While our calendars are full of what we call life, and we can’t spare a moment of our time to rest, the snake strikes. He’s not going away anytime soon.

Each deadly day of more shootings, each moment of chronic physical pain, each day passes with a hole in the stomach from hunger, and someone’s shelter has been blown away…the hope fades…

But no…

God says I Am here. I’ve always been here. I will always be here.
Don’t think for a moment we can put blame on Him, since we have turned away.

There are no government programs, no gun control, and no laws that will stop this madness. Man will go on trying to control, but in controlling, he loses.

Turn back, listen for the voice of the One who loved first, created all, and let yourself be enveloped in His arms of grace.

Don’t fear in these times of sadness, don’t blame God or others, and don’t hide yourself behind text messaging. Find life in the One in which life resides.


 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message


Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 14:6 NASB