Over the past year, I have had a little obsession with plants (if you have been to my home or have read previous posts, this is no surprise!). I am always amazed by the complexities of each plant, the number of species and the vast differences in care instructions. I can have one plant in the corner of my bathroom that requires minimal light and prefers dry soil and have a plant in my sitting room that needs direct sunlight with consistent watering! Each plant demands a healthy environment so that each individual life form can flourish! So… what happens when this environment is altered? What if I forget to provide nourishment? Or I provide too much water? If you own a plant and are anything like me (forgetful!), then you have experienced the consequences of these mistakes. Unfortunately, I have had a couple plants die in my lifetime because of careless errors.
The biggest problem in my plant care experience is that I chose to treat each plant in the same manner. I over watered the plants that can survive on little and I provided too much sunlight for those that thrive in the shade. I didn’t take the time to get the know each plant. You can say it - I became lazy! I thought that if I just watered it occasionally, I would be good to go.
I started to think about my social life and my relationships with friends and even strangers. Have I been failing to care for others that I come in contact with? I have found that communication with people is like water and sunlight to plants. Different people respond to different types of communication. I have friends that I can meet with every couple of months and that is sufficient, but then I have friends who yearn for a deeper bond, friends that need encouragement weekly, maybe daily!
I see myself as the month-to-month sort of girl. I am like the plant alone in the corner - you can forget to water me… its ok! I don’t yearn for big parties or daily dates with friends. I desire alone time! This is ok - this is how God formed me! However, I discovered that I often communicate with others in this way, as this is how I prefer to be communicated with. This is dangerous friends. Remember, just like plants, we are all so different and we require unique care for our friendships to grow. In order to truly care for our friendships, we must understand what it means to love one another. Romans 12:10 states “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Honor means to regard with great respect. How do I greatly respect others, if I do not surrender my time in getting to know them? Do I really show love for my friends? How do I know? Ask!! Go to your friends and family and ask them how best to communicate with them! Now when I say communicate, I mean love. We can communicate (or show love) through time, gifts, touch, words and so on. You will start to see that we are all so uniquely made, but in the end, we all need love. Every time I see a plant in my home, I am reminded. Reminded of the care that it takes to keep this plant alive - my plant may need more than just some water a couple times a week. I am challenging myself to have this mindset whenever I see a friend. I need to continually remind myself on how to keep that individual relationship healthy. If you are in the same boat that I am, I urge you to not take God’s commands lightly. Be intentional - let us out do each other in love!
Kirsten currently lives in Montana with her husband Richie, together making up On Lincoln Drive. To read more by Kirsten please visit: https://www.onlincolndrive.com/
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© Kirsten Straniere