Jo’s Journal: An Unexpected Gift


Asiatic Lily at Mustard Seed Sentinel

An Unexpected Gift

Thankful for God’s Special Blessings

by Joanne Troppello


“You never know where a blessing can come from.” – Teena Marie

My mom and stepdad came over for lunch recently. I made tilapia and roasted potatoes and vegetables, and salad. It had cooled off during the evening, so we were able to eat dinner outside on our deck. Thankfully, the races – and the noise that goes with it – (at the racetrack ¼ mile away) didn’t start until after we finished eating. We then went inside to relax for a bit and then had ice cream and fruit and tea.


I got an unexpected gift that day. We had a good time together, so that was nice. However, my mom gave me an Asiatic Lily plant when they arrived. It was unexpected and a special blessing.


My mom had given me (and my sister and sister-in-law) plants on Easter and on Mother’s Day. However, this plant was so much more special because it was so unexpected – and very beautiful.


Now, I am not a green thumb at all! Also, many flowers and plants cause allergy issues for me, so I can’t keep them inside. I kept the one (Petunias) I got for Easter in the planter and hung it on the hook underneath the deck. The other one (Pansies) I got for Mother’s Day, I planted in the corner of the vegetable garden bed. So, I wasn’t sure what to do with the lily.

Asiatic Lily at Mustard Seed Sentinel

I read up on this type of plant and found out that it is a perennial and will grow back every Spring – and requires a colder dormant time in the winter where the soil is covered with mulch.


So, we bought a nice 16-inch pot and got potting mix and planted it this weekend and placed it on the deck. I figure we can take the pot inside the house or in the garage during the winter.


I thought about planting it in the vegetable garden bed. However, this plant is one that I’d love to take with us when we move in the future to our new home (that we will have built), and it seemed much easier to transport the pot than having to uproot it from the garden bed and then put it in a pot.


Unexpected Blessings


“You will be blessed the moment you realize you already are.” – Bryant McGill

In my younger days, I used to have a more negative perspective. Through the years, I have been trying to focus on the good things in life. I’ve reminded myself and my husband many times that we don’t have everything that we want, but we have everything we need.


11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV)

Ever since I’ve tried to focus on the positive things in my life, life has been sweeter. Not because everything is perfect, (because life is not perfect here on earth), but because I’ve learned to focus on the blessings that are right in front of me.


I’m thankful for the special blessing of the Asiatic Lily my parents gave me. I told my husband, that it’s like a sign or promise to me of the new “home base” (a private joke with my sister and our nieces) that we’ll have in the future – and the lily will go in our new greenhouse.


If you have had any unexpected blessings recently, feel free to share that. I’d love to know about them.

About the Author


Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.



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