When Writers Consider the Lilies

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

and yet I say to you,

even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Luke 12: 27 NKJV

[Tweet “Retreat in a verdant garden setting is always welcome to this writer’s heart.”]

I long for lingering moments in contemplation of the glories of Creation and the goodness of God. Such desires informed the development of the Thinking Tree Garden in my Fable Springs Parables book series. (Illustration by Noah Berge.)

Thinking Tree Garden in Fable Springs Parables

Note the welcoming padded wicker chair under the willow at the end of a stone path bordered by colorful impatiens. I am impatient to steal away to such a place and consider the lilies.

I take some 19th century story-spinners with me–a handful of my favorites. They were no strangers to the glories of the garden and the face of God discovered there. This truth revolutionized the life of George MacDonald, releasing a flood of stories and sermons in an attempt to describe the sublime nature of the character of God.

George Macdonald face of flowers

Even the stoic Sherlock Holmes, ruminating the virtues of a rose, concludes the goodness of Providence through the pen of Arthur Conan Doyle. God’s character is discerned from the clues cloistered within the excellence and beauty of rose petals.

Sherlock Holmes rose quote

[Tweet “God is . . . and He is good. It’s elementary as a rose.”]

Dear Jane might escape to the gardens at Chawton House to soak in the green landscape surrounds. Her caretaking chores for Mother, household duties, and manuscript writing was fed by the growing things in her home park. Even in town, the 19th century artist was fed by God’s Creation in nature. Miss Austen’s novels evoke the simple pleasures of a time when everyone lived closer to the earth and most drew solace in trial from a rudimentary Christian faith. The garden was a comforting place to seek the heart of God and be refreshed.

Jane Austen looks upon verdure

Even Dickens, whose depictions of the social injustices rampant in his day, and in the cities, retires to a garden landscape. There light is greater than dark, and flowers know how to absorb the nutrients of this heaven sent blessing. No other 19th century writer contrasts the contrary qualities of dark and light so dramatically, leaving profound scars of persuasion on the mind and heart.

Charles Dickens flower quote

I’m taking joy this spring in the roses and wildflowers bursting forth in my own cottage garden. They remind me of the commonplaces I share with much admired writers of old. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

God shares Himself liberally in every generation: In its season, seeds breaking through the dark of the ground, reaching up for the light, blossoming into new life as florals, fruits, and food. Even this greatest of gospel truths is evident . . . to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.

And . . . a desire to grow into greater things.

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you,

unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.

But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it,

while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 12:23-25

Journal Prompt: How is your life like a seed fallen to the ground? What kind of flower have you blossomed into because you dared to be a seed fallen to the ground . . .

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Sharing When Writers Consider the Lilies this week with:

Literacy Musing Mondays

Wholehearted Wednesdays

A Little R & R Wednesdays

Sitting Among Friends

Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Katherine’s Corner

Thought Provoking Thursdays

Faith Filled Fridays

Pink Saturday

Spiritual Sundays

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About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.


  1. Love all the analogies today! God is good! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful quotes. I so agree, we need to spend time in God’s presence. Blessings to you!

    • Blessed you dropped by and left an encouraging word, Mari-Anna! May you enjoy God’s goodness in the works of His hands this day!

  3. I would also love to enjoy that wicker chair with some 19th century story-spinners. Lovely post. Enjoyed stumbling upon your garden path on today’s Missional Women link-up.

    • Blessings, Melinda!
      Be my guest in the world of Fable Springs Village to spend some time in the Thinking Tree Garden. It is a welcome respite for me–and I hope it to be for others–seeking the solace of good things and beauty, through the power of story.

  4. A perfect combination of inspiring words and beauty.

  5. We’re reading The Secret Garden out loud right now. I wonder if Frances Hodgson Burnett was inspired by nature as she wrote. Perhaps she penned it in a garden! Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.

    • I have written some of my best work after taking a retreat day in a garden landscape. FHBurnett lived when the agricultural based society was still a major influence on people’s lives so I’m sure she knew secrets of the garden that informed her prose.
      Joy to you!

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