There is a nickname for people who only go to church on Christmas and Easter--a ChrEaster.

My mom has long been a fan of the Christmas cactus, a plant that, oddly enough, blooms around Christmas as well as Easter. I started calling them a ChrEaster Cactus.

When I got married 17 years ago, my mom gave me my own ChrEaster Cactus as a housewarming gift. It bloomed that winter and that spring… and then it stopped.

It is not unusual for me to kill houseplants. I lack activity in the portion of the brain that reminds you to water plants. I seriously thought about throwing it away. Instead, I gave it year; maybe it was just taking a nap. Then I gave it another year, and another. I would have thrown it out, but it was still green and my mom gave it to me at the beginning of my new life in my new home. I just couldn’t bear to give up on it. So I watered it when I could remember to, and I kept it with me through moves to our next five homes! It started to feel ridiculous, hauling around this plant that never bloomed.

Last summer we moved… again. I the ChrEaster Cactus, freshened the soil, put it in a sunny spot, and watched Christmas come and go. Nothing. Fine. It would just be green forever, and I would love it anyway.

Then this Easter, as if God had rolled away the stone, it bloomed bright pink flowers. I couldn’t believe it. It’s been 16 years since it last showed its colors. Why on earth now?

I love these moments when I see God in the everyday or hear Him speak to my heart and mind. This is what I heard: “Don’t give up loving someone even if they aren’t doing what you want or living the way you think they should live.” Such good advice when people that we love aren’t blooming the way “we“ think they should.  

Perhaps God has other plans, or at the very least a different timeline. << Click to Tweet

When plants are alive but not blooming we call them dormant.  I believe many of us, especially the ChrEaster Christians among us, live a good portion of our spiritual lives dormant, not allowing our God-given gifts to bloom. We hold the potential inside of us to spread the love, joy, and compassion of the Lord to others.

Here’s the Good News -  It’s never too late to bloom!


Kathleen Whittam is a mother of three, a doula, and childbirth educator in Lewes, Delaware. She is the owner of Compass Birth.

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