Lessons from my orchid

Last spring my daughter gifted me with a purple orchid in full bloom. You can see in this photo from a year ago that it was beautiful, but I immediately expressed concern that it would not thrive under my care. I am absolutely terrible at caring for plants!

But my dad shared a secret about orchids.

It’s the over-watering that kills them, he said. Just put three ice cubes in the pot every week and you will be fine.

Three ice cubes once a week? I can do that.

So every Sunday for a year, I have placed three ice cubes at the base of my orchid so they could melt their moisture into the soil.

I have not missed one week.

Both my mom and dad care for their orchids like master gardeners. They also explained that the blooms would eventually disappear, but if I just kept watering, the blooms would return. As predicted, my blooms fell off, leaving unattractive sticks extending from a base of leaves. My orchid was no longer attractive enough for the dining room table and was relocated to a corner near a window, but I kept depositing my three ice cubes right on schedule. Turns out, those sticks had nubs on them that invited blooms to grow once again.

Right on schedule for mother’s day today, my orchid is blooming again.

And that reminds me of God…

Sometimes we aren’t blooming, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t working. He is faithfully chasing us with his love even when we aren’t looking that great.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

In addition, God honors our faithfulness, even when no one sees or cares to notice. After all, most of what we do does not get the world’s attention, does it?

For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Psalm 37:28-29

And that reminds me of parenting…

Even when children are naughty, gripe about their chores, come home with poor grades, ruin vacation car rides and dinner conversations with their bad moods, damage items in the home from carelessness, or injure themselves while attempting an insane trick on their bike and need to be taken to the ER,

Parents keep putting three ice cubes in each week without fail.

Whatever you are doing in no-matter-what fashion, it is a beautiful thing. Perhaps it’s devotions with your child who is rolling their eyes; kind responses even when what you get back is hurtful or dismissive; showing up for work and doing your best even if your boss is not appreciative; cleaning the house yet again even though you will be doing it again tomorrow; serving your church behind the scenes, meaning you aren’t going to be thanked like the speaker on stage.

From your efforts, beauty will bloom if you do not grow weary.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  (Galatians 6:9)

Learn a lesson from the orchid.


Picture explanation: This is a picture of my beautiful mother, seated beside my father. She is a faithful woman, taking my brothers and me to church every time the doors opened. She is a nurse, so I have watched her care for people my whole life in many capacities, but she has always had a particular penchant for caring for the elderly. She has worked in nursing homes and cared for the home-bound. During the quarantine, she and a friend meet an elderly woman at the church who does not have a cell phone or internet! While social distancing, the three women sit in the church foyer together and listen to the taped sermon played over a loudspeaker. The world does not consider my mom famous, but to many, like this elderly woman, my mom’s faithfulness is heroic.

This is also a picture of a mother seated beside her husband. This mother went to heaven to be with Jesus this week. I have known “Uncle Kenny and Aunt Janice” since I was in kindergarten. Our families vacationed together in the mountains of Pennsylvania while I was growing up. We played in each other’s backyards on a daily basis and shared countless meals together in each other’s homes. My mom and Janice had a lot in common; both were nurses and both had grown up on a dairy farm. Like my mom, Janice was also a faithful woman. I imagine she has already heard the words: ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” Matthew 25:21

Happy Mother’s Day mom and Janice.

© 2020 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved. 

10 Responses

  1. Laurie,
    Thank you! What a beautiful tribute to our mothers on the first Mother’s Day without my mom. I miss mom tremendously, but I celebrate that she is now in Heaven with her heavenly Father, parents, sister, niece and loved ones. She no longer suffers from diseases that she faced and battled like a warrior!

  2. I am Janice Comstock’s sister. She was a faithful woman and a wonderful sister to me. We were very close growing up and she was a faithful child, sister, wife, mother and friend.
    Thank you for writing a wonderful tribute❤️

    1. I am so thankful you enjoyed the tribute to your beautiful sister, Elaine. I hope you and your family feel God’s presence in palatable ways as you walk through the traditions of saying good-bye, until heaven.

  3. What a great analogy of the orchid and parenting! There is fruit in being faithful even when we can’t see it.
    Thank you!
    (btw, your mother is beautiful)

  4. I am a week late, friend, with my post. This is a beautiful post. The orchid is so pretty, and the analogies are fantastic! We look like “nubs” most of the time! We only flower once in a while, but we are loved, cherished, cared for, and seen as beautiful all of the time. Such a wonderful, precious thought!

    1. From someone whose life looks a lot like sticks much of the time, I am comforted by this thought too. And for those in my life that look like stick as well. May we all bloom in our time. 1 Peter 5:6: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time…

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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