(This post went live last week before it was finished. I am working on my weakness in this.☺️ Now for the final product!)

Have you ever heard of a plant named borage? It is also known as starflower. The Midnight Gardener introduced borage into our garden the first year we began planting, and it may be one of the strongest, long lasting plants I have encountered.

I have scorched it with a flaming propane torch, pulled it up, and run over it with the mower, and it still comes back year after year, sometimes even in the same year.

Borage knows it’s place in the garden, spreads it’s seeds easily but isn’t invasive and it is a great companion plant. It attracts bees and unwanted moths to itself helping out other plants. It is a beautiful, very full and useful plant.

I have been contemplating the word “strong” during this past weekend. What does it mean to you? A definition offered in the dictionary is: “able to withstand great force or pressure.” I think borage represents strength in the garden. What does personal strength look like for you? What does it require for a person to show or have strength? Who in your life exhibits strength?

Strength for me is shown during everyday, ordinary moments. It is not grand or amazing, it is just doing what is right to the best of our abilities every day. Strength does not require perfection in any way, though it does require everyday GRIT. Strength can be found in these statements: showing up, shutting up, never giving up, trying again, doing things that we never wanted to do but have to do, being a purposeful listener, hard-working, standing up, forgiving others, repetitive practicing, positive and bright attitude, speaking up, willing to make mistakes even wanting to, and getting up over and over again. What else would you add?

Who in your life is an example of strength? As I contemplated this question today I thought of so many people in my life who show strength in small everyday ways.  For example, my mom is one of the most forgiving people I know, my sister-in-law is a person that can make any situation brighter, a good friend of mine stands up in his community for family values, one of my daughters is an amazing repetitive practicer, and another friend, no matter how many obstacles are thrown in her way, just gets up over and over again and finds a way to get around, over or through the obstacle. Amazing strength-showing people!!

However, not one these people that I love always demonstrates strength in all areas. Take me for example. One my great qualities is persistence. When I start something I will finish it. Good right? Well…at times this is a weakness because I will finish it but it can cause problems because I cannot see or do anything else until it is done.

I have another personal example. I am too hard on myself. I seek perfection in things I am do. This can be awesome, but at times it makes me weary and over stressed.

I am finding that like borage, we more often need to find our place in life’s garden, spread as much love as we can and be okay to sometimes just be a companion plant, not the most perfect rose or lilly in the garden just a sturdy, hardy borage no matter what comes our way.

Here is a story that demonstrates this way of living. The Midnight Gardener and I were celebrating our anniversary when two of our kids were under two years old. We had finally gotten through the bedtime routine and they were asleep. And we were just about to have a few moments to ourselves. But suddenly they were both woke up crying. We went to check on them and brought them into our room. Suddenly one child threw up everywhere and the other child made an explosive mess of the diaper and clothing. My love and I looked at each other helplessly. Instead of crying, we began to laugh and couldn’t stop. A crazy, messy moment in which we found joy to be in the moment, a pair of perfect companion plants able to show our strength together in the garden of life.


  1. Jen, the glasses 👓 on your head is your Mom. I appreciate your post today growing strong with the Savior as your guide and with sweet family (my daughter Jen) all my children, husband and friends. You can’t go wrong💗

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. When I think of someone strong in my life, it’s you, Jen. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you (and a few others) when I first joined the Church. You’ve loved me unconditionally and for that, I’m eternally grateful.


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