We all picked up something during Covid, right? Sarah crocheted one too many sweaters, Bri bought a truly insane home gym set up, and Kate went on a Facebook Marketplace spree looking for another piece of rickety old furniture to restore. Me? I became a plant lady. I know, not exactly original, but what can I say? Plants have truly been a magical addition to my life.
For this reason, if you have subscribed to the blog, each week when I send you an email letting you know there’s a new post up, your email will include a little peek into my plant fam. This is a fun way for me to share my plants, but there’s a bigger reason behind it.
The vast majority of my plants are succulents of various kinds. I like succulents for many reasons: they’re low maintenance, fairly pest resistant, mostly inexpensive, and pretty tough if you know how to love them. Honestly, they thrive on neglect, which is maybe why we work well! That, however, is NOT the correlation I want to draw between succulents and my sisters in Christ. I repeat, your sisters do not thrive on neglect.
I joke about neglect, but the key to loving your succulents is learning how to love them well. They don’t like being overwatered, but when they are thirsty, they like to drink deeply. They are total sun-suckers. They prefer a cozy little pot-home that fits them just right, and they need soil that drains really well. That’s how you love your succulent well, and when you’re doing those things, they will likely thrive.
When my succulents are loved well, they thrive, and the same is often true for my sisters. Now of course, life happens, but when we’re in a place of being loved well by our tribe, don’t we feel a lot closer to thriving? I believe that all the memes about women not liking people and just wanting to stay home alone all the time cancelling plans is a facade, a hiding place for women who are lonely, longing for deep, true, authentic connection, and probably have not been loved well by sisters in the past.
Now, I do get that space. I have been there many times before, and somedays I am still there. But I know I was made for more. I was made for friendships that feel like family. I was made for gut-wrenchingly honest talks that somehow still feel safe. I was made for community that carries me with joy when I can’t carry it all myself.
So here are three ways my weird little plants can remind us to love our sisters well. I hope you’ll think of these things each time you see my weekly plant fam peek.
There are thousands of varieties of succulents, families, subspecies, etc. And, even within a single variety, each plant naturally is a bit different. Check out these three. All the same variety, and actually all from the same mother plant. But they have grown differently based on their age, environment, sun exposure, etc. This is beautiful and good. My plant family would be pretty boring if they were all exactly the same. Likewise with the body of Christ. Value the diversity of your sisters. The girls that feel different than you, those are probably the girls you need to listen to a little more, draw a little closer, and hold a little tighter. We are better friends when we learn how to better love women who are different than us.
Another thing that’s super cool about succulents is that you can do something called propagation with them. Chop off the top of a succulent and little baby plants will grow on the chopped stem. Accidentally knock a leaf off? Just put it on soil and it will grow a whole new plant from a single leaf. Succulents are designed to reproduce. Sisters, so are you. No, I don’t mean like that. You are designed to reproduce sisters in Christ, disciples of Jesus. Your sisters need you to lead them to Jesus, and you need your sisters ahead of you in life to show you the way, as well. Sister, do you have someone ahead of you that you can go to with life’s tough questions for wisdom? Do you have someone behind you in life that you are bringing into the fold, encouraging, mentoring, and loving? If you are missing either, I challenge you to start seeking that person out now. Every little sister needs a big sister. Every one of us.
Finally, my succulents grow healthiest when I challenge them a bit, and that works well for me because sometimes I forget that it’s watering day – oops. Here’s how it works: If I water my succulent when it isn’t really thirsty, that’s fine. If its soil is still very wet, that is not okay, because the roots will rot with excess moisture. But, if the soil is pretty much dry and I water, the plant will do fine. Its roots will get what they need and it will continue growing.
But the best thing I can do to help my plant grow stronger is to give it some room to get a bit thirsty. When my plant gets thirsty, those roots start to move. They search for water, any moisture they can find in the soil. With just a bit of challenge and pressure, that’s how roots grow strong and deep for my succulents – and for us women. Give your sisters a safe space to struggle a bit. Authentic community is such fertile soil for growth because it allows us to ask the hard questions and to struggle with doubts in a safe space. We love our sisters well when we give them room to be honest and really search for the truth, the water in the dry soil. Loving your sisters well doesn’t always look like fluffy fun. Sometimes it looks like honest tears and body-shaking sobs that bring tears to your own eyes because you hate to see her hurt, but know the only way is through. Let your sisters’ roots stretch for what’s real. Find it together. You’ll both be stronger for it.
That’s all as far as life lessons go from my little succy friends for today. I hope each time you see a succulent you are reminded to pursue a life of loving your sisters well. It is my hope that you can grow your tribe with diversity, discipleship, and authenticity. I think doing so will result in a family that is full of one-of-a-kind, baby(disciple)-making, rooted women of God. And that’s the kind of family I know I want to be part of.
Love ya, friends.
Your Sister, Kimber
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