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March 20, 2022

What My Houseplants Taught Me

Photo by Huy Phan on Pexels.

Today I was sitting at my kitchen table, and one of my houseplants caught my eye. I started growing my own plants from the seeds of my fruit during 2020, my “Pandemic Project.” Now I have over 20 potted houseplants, mostly vibrant, small avocado and mango trees.

The mango tree in my living room caught my attention this time. I admired her long, layered leaves, and envisioned her growing even taller. This thought brought me to the same mental note that I’d been making for months: “it’s time to re-pot the plants.”

Lately I have been in a season of uncertainty. My work and personal lives are at a crossroads, and my patience for clear Divine direction on the next steps is wearing thin. I’ve begun feeling a bit stuck, and my faith that I am right where I am supposed to be has been tested for quite some time. “What’s next?” is the question caressing me awake each morning, long before the sun’s golden rays reach the sky.

Potted houseplants – especially fruit trees – tend to grow in proportion to the size of the pot in which they are planted. They cannot grow larger than their container, after all. While they can continue to thrive as healthy small trees for quite some time in small pots, their potential to grow far taller than the ceilings of my house and bear endless fruit remains.

Sometimes it can feel like we are ready to outgrow the containers we’ve been placed in, and while frustration during the wait for what’s next can be tempting, we would be wise to learn from our houseplants. Instead of becoming filled with doubt and trying to shrink themselves into smaller versions of themselves, the plants never give up on the hope that one day they will have the space they need to reach their God-given potential.

They trust that a larger pot is coming, and in the meantime, they continue to thrive, beautifying and purifying the environment they occupy. They have no hurry, no pressure. Yet when the time and conditions are right, they will be suddenly and magically moved to larger pots, where they can then continue growing into what they were always meant to become.

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