Help for houseplants

If there’s one place that gives me houseplant envy, it’s the conservatory at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. My family and I visited Biltmore last week and I always come home inspired and determined to take better care of my own plants.

I hate to admit this, but sometimes I can be a neglectful gardener.

I see the many plants around my home and become numb to them. I pass by and don’t take action until I begin to see signs of neglect. For example, this is one of the leaves on my anthurium. Brown tipped leaves on this type of plant means they’re not getting enough water. I can’t show you the flowers because there aren’t any.


I believe that just as God loves people and animals, He feels the same way about plants and the rest of His creation.

This is one of Biltmore’s anthuriums.

Biltmore Anthirium

I promise to do better!

As the weather turns cooler and activity in my outdoor gardens decrease, I hope to be able to turn things around with my indoor garden. I discovered a great site to help with houseplant care – I love the Popular House Plants page the most; it helps identify plants and gives care instructions.

Here’s a gallery of a few of Biltmore’s many houseplants. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Secret Prayers

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Jesus (Matthew 6:6)

Walking like Jesus requires an active prayer life – active, and yet hidden. If it weren’t so, Jesus wouldn’t have said it.

Jesus’ prayers were simple and secret. He tells us to go into our room, close the door and pray unseen. This is my prayer closet.

prayer closet!

Don’t judge; I already know it’s a mess. If I could show you the whole thing you’d see it’s even worse, but I’m not trying to show off. I’m trying to show you that you don’t need a fancy place in which to pray, you just need quiet and a door so you can pray undisturbed.

In my case – with my family – I need two doors and a sign. Even when I had two closed doors between us, they’d always hunt me down. So I had to tape a sign to the outside of my closet. Here it is:


Ok, really don’t judge. I know it’s super pathetic but somehow it works, so I’m sticking with it.

Philip Yancey, one of my favorite authors, has this to say about prayer, “At its best, my prayer does not seek to manipulate God into doing my will – quite the opposite. Prayer enters the pool of God’s own love and widens outward.”

Your turn: Do you have a prayer closet or a way to be unseen and undisturbed?

Love Your Breasts and Love Yourself

..The second is this; ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31  

As is obvious by pink ribboned everything, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Coincidentally, last week I got a pap test, mammogram, thyroid ultrasound and bone density screening.

pink tree

What does this have to do with the Bible verse above?

It’s all about love.

In Mark 12:28, a teacher of the law heard Jesus debating with some other men about God. He asked him which was the most important commandment. Jesus correctly answered, “…The most important one is this: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Now focus on the verse at the top of this post – the second most important commandment: love your neighbor

as yourself.

Do you love yourself? Are we even allowed to do such a thing?

Yes! We are God’s glorious handiwork and when we love ourselves, we’re loving Him. If Jesus didn’t mean for us to love ourselves, he would have put a period at the end of neighbor.

Part of loving ourselves means we care for the bodies God gave us.

We don’t just make important appointments for our elderly parents and children, we treat ourselves with the same level of care.

So let me ask you this question:

How long has it been since you’ve had a mammogram?

How about a pap test?

What about a bone density screening or (ugh) a colonoscopy?

How about in honor of Breast Cancer awareness month, we commit to making these dreaded appointments and then show some sisterly love by challenging a girlfriend to do the same.

Ready? Go!