Cultivating the Treasures of a New Year


Against better judgment, I paid the nice lady two dollars for the pitiful thing at an estate sale last fall.

Contained in a tiny red pot I carted this forlorn Christmas cactus home forgetting that I do not possess the greenest of thumbs.

Remember the Mother’s Day orchid? How about the hydrangea bush languishing in the front yard?

One met it’s untimely demise.

The other is barren of blooms.

Right now there’s a poinsettia making a valiant effort along with an aloe plant atop the refrigerator. The only remaining survivors.

But neither are promised tomorrow.

Plants seem only to thrive at my house if they’re fake.


Buoyed by optimism, or maybe the dirt cheap price, I watered my new charge faithfully sporadically through the fall and waited.

But no flowers came.

Turns out {according to google} these capricious cacti are like the “Goldilocks” of plants.

Quite picky and only flourishing under “just right” conditions.

Not too much light. Not too dry, not too wet.

And no water at all (!) during October as they prepare to bloom in December.

Also did I mention they desire total darkness at night in the month leading up to budding?

So needy. So moody.

So doomed.

Send help. Or a gardener.

But this current attempt to cultivate planted the seed of an idea.


Just as plants require the right combinations of water and sun, room to grow, fertilizer, periods of darkness and rest and pruning, we’re not that much different as people.

As I picked up leaves the dried leaves dropped by my poinsettia, I decided a little pruning and letting go would be good for myself as well.

And no better time like the new year.

Digging into the attic, coat closet and craft cabinet, the pile of things I had been holding on to grew exponentially.

Because if my Christmas devotions taught me anything, letting go {of expectations, habits and stuff} is the only way to hold on to what really matters.


The only way to flourish.

“Your familiarity of clutching at life may feel safe but it is no life at all because it leaves little mental, heart, spiritual or physical space to be luxuriant about the one unique life that you have.” ~ Robert V. Taylor

Also from Mr. Taylor, this definition of what it means to flourish:

“Being in a vigorous state and creating conditions for being in your prime,”

further vetted it as the perfect theme for 2017.




  • Growing, thriving luxuriantly under the right conditions of God’s grace and care and knowledge
  • Fresh and fruit bearing- budding or sprouting, breaking out and letting go.
  • Declaring “He Is Lord”- in subtle and grand ways
  • Living gloriously giving God honor and praise

The epiphany of creating the space and time to revel only in what brings joy and purpose in my home was so life giving, I can’t wait to employ it in my mind and soul as well.

When we give God our best and seek right living, His favor causes us to flourish.

When we are nourished by His word and offer our gifts back to him, we flourish.

Even if we think we’re dried out, dead or ready to drop, His love revives us and encourages us to flourish.

“A plant can survive in various environments, but it only thrives under certain conditions.” ~ Bill Hendricks.

It’s God who provides the seed, proclaims the blessing and bestows the favor causing the flourishing.

Our job: Be under the right conditions.

Obedience, submission, and willingness to grow are good seeds of where to start.

2 Peter 1: 5-9 {MSG} So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

2 Peter 1: 10-11 {MSG} So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’m ready to flourish under God’s design for glorious living in 2017.

I’ll keep you posted on the plant.

Maybe I’ll start with a new pot.

Have you one word found you for the year? I hope you’ll share!

If you’d like more inspiration to help you cultivate your own treasure in the new year, Click right here to find out more and to get your set of printable scripture cards! It’s my pleasure to create connection, community and sometimes cute stuff just for you and I can’t wait to see you soon in your inbox.

Linking up with these lovely blogs below!




Dance With Jesus

Seeking God

The Luke 2:52 Project

Make Pretty Monday - Week 203

Inspire Me Monday

13 thoughts on “Cultivating the Treasures of a New Year

  1. Hi Heather!
    Christmases cacti (is that plural of cactus?!) are finicky! I once won a huge one (I never win anything, by the way) at my newspaper job years ago and it would decide to bloom always AFTER Christmas. I had it for a few years and even brought it to Florida from NY always hoping for the miracle of blooms on December 25, but to no avail! And being not much of a gardener either, the poor thing met its demise too. 🙂

    But flourish? LOVE the word! I think it is just perfect for you, this season, this year. The seeds you’ve planted may come to fruition and bloom just when you least expect them! I’m praying for that for you for 2017! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there! According to it is, but I admit it looks weird and I almost wasn’t convinced! LOL! And that’s funny about your winning cactus– I guess it had a mind of its own. (Mine is pretty pitiful itself right now… send a prayer its way??! LOL) Thanks for your prayers and encouragement as always, and can I just say I feel a flourishing coming on for you as well my dear? xoxo


  2. I love this word, Heather, even though the whole One Word concept {or goals or resolutions or …} doesn’t work for me.

    Can’t wait to see how you bloom and grow in the days ahead! Blessings as you go there …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we share more than the same first name, it sounds like we share a defective green thumb… Thanks for stopping by my website today, and for sharing your word. I’ve never thought about the conditions that make us flourish as humans. Definitely worth more thought! My word this year is Jesus. Just Jesus. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just threw out an orchid – it was bloomless forever and despite the ice cube every few weeks, trimming, and just letting it do what it does, I couldn’t stand it taking up space anymore. I relate in that way, and more importantly to the conditions of readiness you describe so beautifully, Heather. I love your word and look forward to watching you flourish under His watchful care.

    Liked by 1 person

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