Sunday Encouragement

I know I have told y’all the story of Mom and Buttercups, but I haven’t ever told you the story of Mom and the Forsythia.

The summer of 2009, I was over at Mom and Dad’s house for a visit.  For some reason, Mom handed me some clippings of a Forsythia bush and told me to plant them at my house.



I didn’t know what she was talking about.  She said, “Take these home, Traci, stick them in the ground, and they will grow a Forsythia bush.”

“Just stick them in the ground?” I asked.  “Nothing else?”

“Yep,” she said.  “Just stick them in the ground, and they’ll grow.”

I have to admit to y’all that I do not have a green thumb.  I’m not much of a gardener, although I dream to be.

When I got home later that day, I walked around the house for a place to stick those clippings.  We were living in our previous home at the time, and the front, back, and right side of our house was already landscaped.IMG_2996

So I walked around to the left side of the house, and stuck the clippings in the ground.  When I say stuck, I mean stuck.  I just pushed the sticks straight into the ground with very little expectations.  I was a skeptic and couldn’t see how those sticks would turn into a bush.

If they died and didn’t bloom, it wasn’t a big deal.  We almost never went on that side of our house.  Our driveway was on the right side of the house, so we were always coming and going on that side.

And that was that.

The summer went on, and then in late August, Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer.  She passed away seven weeks later on September 22, 2009.

It was a very sad, dark time in my life.  The winter was long and my heart was broken.  If you followed my blog during that time, you  know how I struggled with losing Mom.  It just didn’t make sense that she had to die.

When we go through difficulties, it is easy to doubt God and question Him.  And that is okay.  God is big enough to handle our doubts, and He understands our fears.

The next Spring, I was walking outside of our house for some reason that I do not remember.  But I DO remember something I will never forget…

Without a thought about those forsythia clippings that I had stuck in the ground the previous summer, I walked around the corner of the left side of our house.

There before me stood the brightest, most beautiful yellow flowers blooming gloriously on those clippings that I had stuck in the ground!

{It looked something like this.}


I literally gasped out loud and placed my hand over my mouth.

And then the tears began to flow.

“Oh Mom!!!  You were right!!”

I cried and I cried as I looked at those little forsythia branches.

They symbolized HOPE to me.

And it was almost as if I could hear Mom saying, “Traci, I know these have been dark days, but God has brighter days in store for you.”

It was a reminder to me of how God can take what may seem dead to us and bring new life to it.

It also showed me that life has to go on.  And I must go on with it.

I found this picture online while I was working on this post, and I found something interesting.


Look what it says that Forsythia symbolizes…


I thought to myself that no matter what dark time or difficulties we may be going through, we can always be full of anticipation of the good that God is going to bring from it.

It reminded me of the verse…


Just like those forsythia clippings that I stuck in the ground, I had no idea how full of life they would be when I walked around the corner of my house.  I never imagined it.

Nor can we imagine what God has prepared for us.

Sometimes we cannot even imagine how God can bring something good out of our struggles.

But friends, He can.


Trust Him.

Anticipate His Goodness.




  1. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story Traci. I love it when God embraces us with His love and comfort in what seems like something small, but to the one it’s for – it’s HUGE. And I love your Sunday encouragements. They do just that.

  2. I have a very similar story. My oldest brother Dirk always wanted my mom to plant Forsythia but my mom wasn’t into gardening much, so she just never got around to it. Well Dirk was killed shortly after his 17th birthday in a motorcycle accident. On the day of his funeral the house was full of people and mom just need to get some air so she went out into the yard. There along the fence row stood a sprig of forsythia blooming as if it was sent from heaven!

  3. My Mama was just pointing out all the blooming forsythia bushes in our neighborhood and talking about her Mama planting them and loving them, too. Your post reminds me to squeeze her just a little tighter everyday. So beautiful, thank you, Traci.

  4. Hi Traci,
    what a sweet story of God’s goodness…….
    he always has a way of letting us know He sees and He hears and is with us.
    What a precious gift, and your Mom sounds like
    a great lady…..maybe I will get to meet her one day when we all get to heaven….
    Blessings, Nellie
    This made me cry too………very touching story.

  5. I’m crying over here too ;-) so sweet Traci. I can only imagine that moment you saw those yellow flowers blooming. God bless your heart today. Thx for sharing sweet girl :-)

  6. Maybe God planned that moment of seeing your Mom’s forsythia just at a time when you were ready for it. It would have been difficult to understand anticipation at the time of your Mom’s passing, but later, you were able to see God has a constant hand in our lives. Jeremiah 29:11.

  7. Oh, this post is beautiful and I am encouraged! I had been planning to plant some forsythia, and am looking more forward to it now.

  8. Last year I planted a snowball bush in memory of my Mawmaw Smith and this year was going to plant a Forsythia in memory of my Mawmaw Miller. How fitting that you would post this. Such a precious story. I can’t wait to see my “snowball” and my “yellowbell” growing side by side.

  9. Just finished chemo and had lost my Mom one year ago to ovarian cancer. I wanted to talk to her so bad. This post made me cry too and I know I must go on. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Traci, you are truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing such an amazing story. It’s a real testimony of God’s love and plans for us! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and feel you are such a sweetheart! I wish we could be real friends! Hugs from me in California!

  11. I love this post! And I adore forsythia– always such a hopeful sign that spring is on its way, so it makes perfect sense that God would give us those in anticipation of his wonderful works! Blessings, Traci – and I hope you brought clippings df them to your current home.
    Xo Heidi

  12. Tears & the urge to plant some Forsythia sticks. Have you seen the movie, “God’s NOT Dead?” A must see….. my 14 year old was even crying.

  13. Traci I sure needed this today. My sweet 92 year old mom has just suffered her second fall in two weeks at the assisted living home. Fortunately, just some broken ribs and it could have been worse, but she is struggling to get comfortable. It breaks my heart I can’t make things better for her. I would give anything to take the pain away from here. If you would, please pray for Ruby. I would appreciate it.

    Marilyn C.

  14. Beautiful! I love the first appearance of forsythia every year because it heralds spring! Now, I will always think of what it symbolizes too!

  15. Traci,
    GOD worked thru you to send my family this message. Today, we unplugged my 4 yr old nephew in Chattanooga , due to a water accident -drowning. Last Sunday., it was so hard telling little Will goodbye. He was so special and Godlike,. He was also a donor. Already an 11 yr old in Boston is getting a liver!. A rebirth for that child,. But loss for us. This child gets a new chance at living., I needed to hear your Sunday encouragement., your mom raised 2 good girls!. I keep up with you and your sister.,and love your blog.:)) thanks again!

    1. Wow, Leslie, what a heart-felt testimony. My heart breaks for your family at the loss of little Will. Thank you for sharing this difficult situation to make organ donor participation so real and needed. God brought something good out of pain. May He bless both families.

  16. I lost my mother this past July to cancer. I was at my Dad’s 2 weekends ago putting out Mother’s Easter decor. While in the basement I saw a little giftbag in the wrapping area with 3 sachet envelopes in them. I couldn’t smell much of a scent but I took the bag and tossed it in my trunk. This weekend I was putting some things in my trunk and saw the bag. I pulled out the sachet envelopes and some folded up tissue paper came out with them. I left the sachets and picked up the tissue paper to put back in the bag. Underneath it was a silver pin in a starburst design. I, too, gasped then started laughing and crying. Mother is still giving me gifts. I wonder what other treasures I am going to discover.

  17. Did you take clippings to your new home? You always have a way to drive a message into my heart. Thanks for sharing.

    God Bless

  18. I have a similar relationship with my mom. She, too, loves these flowers. We get so much from our moms even when they are not there. Love how you were reminded that she is always with you.

  19. I think I will always remember this as I see forsythia each spring. Thank you for the inspiration.

  20. Just what I needed to read today.

    We just found out my husband has a growth on his pituitary gland (an adenoma).
    So…we are going thru the process of many tests…and waiting to hear positive medical news…and while we wait to hear that…we also wait with anticipation – to see God’s hands at work again, to hear our prayers of healing for my husband! :)

  21. God bless you my precious friend….This is so beautiful and isn’t God amazing and awesome all the time….I love my little forsythia which has just started to bloom this year since being transplanted from my precious home…..I Love it because it is one of the first signs of Spring and it is like an “awakening” to me…Mine is special because my aunts who shared with me are both in Heaven now and I treasure the “light” that it brings to me and my heart..
    You are a “light” to my heart and I feel so very Blessed to call you my precious Friend…Love & prayers daily.

  22. This is my first time reading your blog and honestly I’m not sure how I even got here. I was surfing through pinterest and came across one of your pins. I liked it so much I decided to go to your blog and checkout your other post. This story really touched close to my heart cause I also have lost my mother to cancer. It is a terrible disease. I recently have been feeling alone without her here and having a hard time. But God knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it. We are never alone. So I just want to say “Thank you” for sharing your story. It has helped me today.

    1. Hi Shari!
      I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know how hard it is. There is nothing better than a mother’s love!
      I am glad that God is meeting your needs during this difficult time. Thank you for your comment and for encouraging me to keep sharing my story.

  23. Hi Traci,
    What a great post!! It made me cry because I have been reading your blog since that time.
    I prayed for your family when you lost your mom.
    I love your blog,

  24. Thank you Traci, I need it to heard that story.
    I’m glad you planted those clippings and now every spring you will see them and will make you smile.

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