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  • Writer's pictureNina Castle

Plants & People

My dearest flower-bud friend:

I pray that you can do more than survive;

I pray for surroundings where you can thrive!

I pray for you to grow tall, to the sky!

Where you’ll spread your branches and freely fly.

I pray for weeds and webs to be removed from your life—

All of the things that cause sadness and strife.

I pray for you to find true inner peace

As the blockages from your past are finally released.

I pray that you see who you are meant to be—

Someone who loves self and others so easily.

I pray that others see your magnificent story,

Through all the joy and sorrow—it is for His glory!

~~xoxo, Nina Castle, 7/6/2021

Have you ever stopped to think about how people are like plants?

I finally forced myself to plant the not-so-forgotten tomato plant outside. You know—the one you find on your doorstep from the local realtor, which, uh, was only about a month or two ago. I temporarily placed that tomato plant next to the kitchen sink window with a dish under it with water so it could self-water. Each time I’d see the plant I’d think, “Ok, Saturday will be my free day to take care of you!” However, Saturdays were busy with graduations, worship planning, shopping, outings, migraines, or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” That plant soaked up a lot of water while living in its little 2” plastic container, but managed to grow over 2 feet tall with blossoms. It was ready to fully thrive once in an optimal environment. Now, its roots can spread and form a stronger foundation, and it can produce great fruit which we will happily use to make salsa since we are not “tomato eaters”!

I love creating and designing, but maintaining, not so much; this can be seen in how I treat plants. I’ve been lucky that our plum, orange, and peach trees, along with our artichoke bushes, have thrived without any watering or fertilizing on my part after their beginnings in our backyard. Survival of the fittest! Our poor apple tree has a lot of apples right now, but I’m thinking they may remain tiny. I think it needs some more TLC for it to be a better survivor. The olallieberry bush which I thought would grow like crazy (like blackberries do) finally has a blossom. I figured that could thrive without my help; I was wrong. Some plants know how, and are able to attach their roots to a water source, and others need a lot of help.

I need more flowers in my yard. My goal is to have several types of blooms all throughout the year—that way, I can pick a bouquet year-round to have indoors. That is so much more fun and creative to me than ordering from a florist. I’m thankful how some of these flowers remind me of people. The “Gerry geraniums” remind me of my sweet mother-in-law; the “Anita azalea” reminds me of a grandmother-figure and mentor who is now long gone; the Rose of Sharon reminds me of Jesus and the Bible, and my friend Sharon; the miniature rose reminds me of my bestie since age 12, Sandra, who gave the plant to me after my daughter (Natalie ROSE) was born; the tulips remind me of dear TaLyna as I think I bought these from a fundraiser for one of her daughters years ago; the iris reminds me of John and Danielle (dear friends!) who gave these to us from their garden; the Canna Lily reminds me of my mom as she grew these at her house—I now have transplanted them to mine and it is nice seeing the reminder of her; the fragrant lavender bush reminds me of my sister Suzy who gave me this dying plant to see if I could revive it as she was moving and couldn’t take it—it is now SO huge! Roses will always remind me of my daughter and my mother-in-law. Orchids remind me of my son John who once bought me the most magnificent orchid bouquet for my birthday, and reminds me of my friend, Stephanie, who gave me the most beautiful purple orchid that I’m hoping I will not kill! My favorite is the purple Princess plant; the flowers are a magnificent shade of majestic purple, the leaves are pretty and velvety to the touch, and they are just gorgeous and unique. This plant reminds me of me, and my dad and husband, who have both called me “Princess” (in an endearing way, not the, “She’s such a ‘princess’” way!) --Just in case anyone was wondering!--

Dear friends:

I hope you are thriving in an optimal environment where you can spread your wings and fly to be the person you are meant to be—to be what your soul yearns to be. Sometimes there are seasons in our lives, such as our childhood or a rocky relationship or a work environment, where we need the help of others to not just thrive, but to survive. Look for ways to be a help to others; they may look fine on the outside, but like plants, may need the cobwebs wiped away, may need the support of a stake, may need a better foundation or watering, or may need to be in a different location for optimal health.

I think we all need more flowers in our yard. A garden of friends. No two are alike. Each has its own needs and its own beauty—its own fragrance and its own season or time to bloom.

My prayer is for us all to bloom—to become what we are created to be: a fragrant offering, a joyful sight to behold, a blessing to point the way to our master gardener and creator.

Blessings and Peace,


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I woke up the other morning with these words going through my head. I had been in even more conversation with God this week, and am always so thankful for the connection and for what He is telling me!


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