Confessions of a Plant Killer

Confession: I am a plant killer.

I don’t want to be. I love plants and flowers. But it is pretty much a guarantee that if I bring a plant home, within a few weeks it’s a goner. I can almost hear the poor little cries from the flowers at Home Depot as I walk by, “no! no! don’t pick me…please don’t pick me…I’m too young to die!”

My favorite flowers are hydrangeas. Every year I buy one (or am given one for Mother’s Day) and every year I vow that this is the year I will keep it alive.

The first year we moved into our new house, my sweet husband planted a beautiful hydrangea bush outside by our pond. It was a thing of beauty. But the next morning it was gone! Like all gone – every last leaf eaten by some deer out for a mid-night snack. The next year we planted them in pots by the front door. Those burned to death when we left for 3 weeks in the summer.

This past year I thought I had done it. I had two hydrangeas in pots by my front door which were given to me on Mother’s Day. They survived the summer. They survived the deer; thanks to panty hose balls stuffed with human hair! (yep, that’s a real thing which is absolutely as weird and disgusting as it sounds!!!!)

Was this to be my year? Was my killing spree over? Nope…they’re dead. This time it was death by drowning. We have averaged more rain this year than the rainforest! (perhaps a slight exaggeration), but we have had a ton of rain. Wanna know what happens when that much rain falls on hydrangeas in pots with no drainage holes? Dead hydrangeas!

I was so bummed to lose another Mother’s Day present, and to maintain my title of hydrangea killer. The hideous looking plants continue to sit on my front step in their water-filled pots taunting me. Honestly, they look like they should be adorning the Adam’s Family front door.

Day after day as I sit in my front room and I write, I have a direct line of view of my dead plants. Everyday I think “I should take those out and hide the evidence,” but life happens and they remain there.

However, a few days ago I noticed something that has kinda rocked my world. A constant stream of birds has begun flying to and from my waterlogged plants. A family of robins has claimed my drowned hydrangeas as their own personal bird bath. I sit and watch with fascination as the birds swoop in for a rest, a drink, and a little spritz bath. I smile at their antics in the water and with each other.

As I sit enthralled watching the birds, it has occurred to me that what I have considered a failure has become a gift to these little creatures. My purpose for the plants crashed and burned drowned, but yet the dead plants still have a purpose. Their branches provide rest for this family of robins, and the water provides sustenance and refreshment.


While the plants did not fulfill the purpose I thought they would serve, the purpose I wanted them to serve; they are still fulfilling a purpose – albeit a totally different one.

Their purpose may not be obvious to others. Their purpose may look unimportant and they might look pretty haggard, but they still have a purpose!

Do you ever feel unimportant or maybe even a little haggard? Do you ever look at your life and wonder, “what’s the point?” I know I have!

May I encourage you to ask God to help you see your life through His eyes? Ask Him to show you His purpose for you life. Your life may look different from others (just as my hydrangeas sure look different from others!), but that does not make your life any less important! God made you. God loves you. And God does not make mistakes! He can use anyone for His purpose and glory. Failures are not failures to Him. They are opportunities to start over, to turn to Him, to point others to Him.

Allow God to show you His plan for you. You never know the blessing He may have in store for you, or for others through you. Your waterlogged haggard life may be just what God is looking for to provide life saving truth to someone today. Are you willing to let Him?

Much love,

ps – Feel free to pass along advice for keeping hydrangeas alive? 😉


About My Work

This blog serves as an online journal of sorts. It is where I go to process my thoughts and feelings. It is where I write about what it means to shine the light of Jesus in an ever darkening world. And it is where I record the beautiful glimpses of God’s extraordinary grace in the midst of my very ordinary life.

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