• Christine Labrum

Worn and Battered...

Updated: Sep 17

Two years ago we renovated our garage to create a spiritual direction room. It was a project that I had dreamed of for years, and it was a delight to watch it unfold in the spring of 2019. As the work came to completion, I began to fill the space. I liked the idea of a plant. Here is the blog post where I tell you about my quest for a plant.

I found an Arboricola on the clearance rack at Lowes but... it had a shaky beginning. I repotted the waning plant. I tended it with plant food, sunlight, and the right amount of water. It grew and sat on the cabinet in front of my window for a long time.


But as we moved through the months it grew too big to sit in my window, so I put it on the floor in the corner. And then I ran out of plant food. It looked great... for a while.


And finally in the last year two years we added two kittens to the family. Frequently in the morning I would find my plant quite bent with leaves scattered on the carpet. I was rather certain that Stormi, the younger cat, was the primary culprit.


My plant began to look rather worn and battered: too much feline opposition, not enough nourishment, not enough sunlight. I tried to revive it. I repotted it, added new soil, and removed it from Stormi's reach. I put it outside in the sun for a day or so in the heat of summer, but I think it went into shock when I brought it back inside. It lost even more leaves, and I wasn't sure if it would recover. I cut it down so that it was just a couple stalks.


You know, after this last year and a half, many folks feel as worn and weary as my plant appeared. Depletion, opposition, shock, pruning, a lack of light. What is needed for renewal?

A group came together for a retreat a week ago. As we intentionally gathered to seek the tending of the Master Gardener I began with this story of my plant.


I started feeding my depleted plant again. It certainly needed nourishment and tending. I placed it in the light and left it there to soak. I watched it, and I wondered what would emerge.


It wasn't long before tiny green sprouts appeared.


What do you need to thrive in this current season? Although I do not always know what my plant needs, God knows what you and I need. Sometimes when God prunes it feels brutal and exposing. But we can trust the Master Gardener. Sometimes we have not soaked in His nourishment, and He is inviting us to draw near. Sometimes opposition feels like it tears leaves from our branches, but God will only allow so much. So we ask for deliverance. And sometimes we have been in the shadows too long... we need to sit in the light, in the Light of His Presence.

Beginning to thrive again...

Take a moment to pause.


Notice how your heart is today. What do I need to remain openhearted to the Master Gardener and his tending?

  • Do I feel vulnerable and exposed?

  • Do I lack nourishment? Do I need a word from the Lord?

  • Do I need to be watered by the Spirit of God?

  • Do I need to soak in the light of God's truth?

  • Do I need protection from opposition?

  • What will enable me to guard my heart?

Ephesians 3:13-21 reminds me that we are to surrender to the Father, our Master Gardener, but he is so much more, God is our loving Abba. We are to be strengthened by his Spirit and rooted and grounded in the love of God. It is His life and love that will renew us.


One of the tools a friend shared with me a while ago that I have found helpful for tending my soul is Lectio 365. This App has a morning and evening meditation based in Scripture that I have founding quite meaningful.



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