New Life and a Punchy Red Flower


My friend, Bettie Gilbert, writes about The Blessing of Life after Death on her blog. I also want to share a post about new life, updated from my former blog. It includes a conversation leading to an art page and a poem.


new life


One night about four years ago, I was having an online conversation with my daughter, Jamie.  I was bemoaning that I had taken my art journal to a picnic but did nothing with it. Even then, while chatting with her, I had my journal open before me, but I still couldn’t think of a thing to do. She said I should draw a punchy red flower, pretend it was her, and write a blessing, poem, or prayer. I asked her what she meant by punchy. Her answer was vibrant, full bloom.


Here is part of our conversation:

Me:   Do you think of yourself as a punchy red flower?

Jamie: I think it’s my authentic self. I could be yellow like a buttercup, but I’m really drawn to red. I’m just making this up as I go. I was going to turn the tables and tell you to pretend it’s you after you go through all the trouble and read the blessing over yourself.

Me: red, like maybe a poppy?

Jamie:  precisely like a poppy

Me:  I will find a picture and copy it. I do better with copying things.

As we were chatting, I began looking for a picture.

 Me: So, do you think of me as a red poppy? And, if so, what is it that makes you think it?

Jamie:  I think we’re both heading into a season of blooming big and bright in a joyful way, and the poppy looks like that to me.

Me:  oh, I love that thought. And I think you are right. It’s kind of exciting!

While continuing our conversation, I found some interesting information on poppies and shared what I gleaned.

Me: I read that a red poppy symbolizes sleep, peace, and death, but in classical mythology, it signifies a resurrection after death.

Jamie: Whoa! That makes me a little giddy. I definitely see that in myself.

Me: me, too, I think.  I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve been dead all these years, but I do feel like I’ve had a sort of resurrection.

Jamie: It can be a death, not the death, though. Death can be a letting go of a need for control or the putting to rest an old idea of who we thought we were or were not, etc. There are many kinds of symbolic deaths. You can just think of it as a coming awake. like we are learning to live with our eyes open, to beauty, to suffering, to our significance, etc.

Me: I just drew two poppies on an art page. I love what you just wrote, Jamie, about the coming awake. Now if I can only think of a blessing or poem to go with them.

(The whole time we were chatting, I was drawing or researching)

Me: Did you know poppies thrive in disturbed soil?

Jamie: Wow! It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. I hope you are writing a blog post about this.




After our conversation, I worked on the picture a little more. Then Steve and I watched a movie with relatives. During the movie, I wrote a poem inspired by our conversation, my research, and the red poppies. After finishing the art page and poem, I took another look at Wikipedia to see if I could glean any more information. In Persian literature, the poppy represents love. This beautiful flower has been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, death, resurrection, and love.

There is a kind of death
Asleep for a time
Then disturbance
A breaking forth
An awakening
A new life
A bursting flame of color
Opening up to the sun
Ready to bloom


new life




When we come to faith in Jesus, we are given a new life and reconciled to God.


2 Corinthians 5:14-19 (NIV)

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Not only can we have peace in our hearts here, we are assured of a place with God forever, even after death.

1 John 5:11-13(CSB)


And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

I want to leave you with my latest art journal page, which includes a verse that reminds us that God does what we cannot do for ourselves. He is the one who gives us a new heart and enables us to live for Him. I realize the verse is directed to Israel, but I believe it can also apply to believers since we are His children, too.


new life


Don’t forget to check out Bettie’s post, The Blessing of Life after Death.


I’m linking up with: #InspireMeMonday, #LMMLinkup, #TrekkingThru, #TeaAndWord, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #porchstories #HeartEncouragement, #TuneInThursday, #BVNetworkParty


22 thoughts on “New Life and a Punchy Red Flower

  1. Dear Gayl,
    This is all just so beautiful. I love that poem on your older journal page. What precious thoughts, that the Lord does bring a disturbance to the soil, before the seed has to be laid down. I don’t like that disturbance when it comes into my life, but it is so precious to think of our Master Gardener needing to break up that hardened ground, as part of the process to bring us to that New Heart, tender heart of flesh. I am so thankful for the gift of your friendship, and how God has brought such beauty in these places of new life that He leads us into. You are a blessing! Love and Hugs to you Dear Friend!

    1. Dear Bettie,
      Thank you so much for the blessing you are to me. You always encourage with your comments. Yes, I don’t think any of us like the disturbance, but sometimes it’s necessary to move us forward in this new life He has given. I’m also thankful for your friendship. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoo

  2. Hi Gayl,
    When I selected the red poppy for the cover of my book I had no idea the number of connections or meanings of this beautiful flower. I love that Holy Spirit drew my eye to the poppy as I searched for pictures of wheat and harvest fields. To me the red poppy in the middle of wheat fields symbolized Ruth – a foreigner coming into the land of Bethlehem of Judah. And it reminds me of me coming into the Kingdom of God. Not in because of status or privilege, but selected by God through His grace and mercy. An adopted daughter bearing the King’s Name!
    Bless you, Gayl!

    1. Before I researched it, I did not realize how much meaning the poppy held. Yes, it was perfect for your book! I love your illustration of the poppy in the wheat field. Beautiful! Blessings to you, dear Lisa! xo

  3. I love your poem and drawing, Gayl. A poppy’s life and meaning is such a beautiful analogy to our lives! Thank you so much for researching it and sharing it. Blessings and hugs!

  4. Thank You! It is so amazing to me how God knows what we need to read and hear on certain days. Today your post was a gift friend. Too much…too much pain, too much grief, too much loss! Blessed to be your neighbor at Porch Stories today!

    1. Oh, dear Tara, I’m glad my post was a gift to you. Isn’t is just like God to give us what we need when we need it? And sometimes even when we don’t know we need it . I pray that God will wrap you in His arms and give you comfort that only can come from God. Saying a prayer for you, dear friend. Blessings! xo

  5. I love where your conversation with Jamie and investigation into the symbolism of poppies has taken you! It’s good to get a glimpse into the fascinating history and to see some of it reflected in your thoughtful art journal entry and lovely poem. Poppies are a blaze of boldness, aren’t they? We see them close to home as they sit like soldiers midst a sea of green weeds. They rise faithfully each year, bringing light and life to what seems to be little more than debris. What an apt post you have written to link with Anna and Bettie’s words. It’s truly lovely! Bless you, Gayl for your creative talent and faith filed heart. You inspire me so much, dear friend! xoxo 💜🏵

    1. Joy, it was fun learning more about the poppy. I really had no idea of its symbolism until I researched it. Yes, they are a blaze of boldness! I would love to see a field of poppies in person and not just on pictures! You are blessed to have seen them! 🙂 Thank you so much for your encouragement, Joy. I’m glad to inspire you, and you should know you inspire me, too! Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

  6. I just came from Betti’s site on a link. Reading your comments reminds me of hearing a pastor talk about women. He said we are God’s ultimate creation. The final touch. I understand the context that he was referring to. Sometimes we fight being in that position. A poppy can symbolize it so well. I suspect the Lord is very pleased with these musings. He must enjoy us sharing such thoughts about Him and the lives He is creating.

    1. Linda, thanks so much for your encouraging comments! I had never heard that description (God’s ultimate creation) of women before. I think God is pleased, too, when we share our musings about His work in our lives. Blessings to you! xo

  7. Oh, I agree, Gayl! He loves to have us bask in His fellowship. I love asking Him questions and then listening to the answers. Sometimes He will reveal the answer through Scripture I read in my Bible or some verses I have memorized. Or I can turn on the radio and hear a preacher explain the answer to my question, or I hear my own pastor through a sermon guide me to the Scripture. When Mom died I found she had Scripture verses written all over, in books, in cards, on tablets. At times it is one of those verses that speaks to my heart. And sometimes, He whispers it straight to my spiritual ears. He is creative…well, look at the poppy!

    1. Yes, I love how He encourages us in so many ways – through words of friends, through Scripture and sometimes in other unexpected ways. My mom also had Scriptures and quotes written in her Bible and verses underlined. It really is blessing to see and to know what a prayer warrior she was. Love and hugs to you today, dear Linda! May God continue to encourage and comfort you in your grief. Blessings!

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