“Thriller — Filler — Spiller”

Planting flowers and watching them grow to be just  the beautiful thing they were created to be brings me so much joy … very life-giving (had to throw that word in there for my kids !)  While doing some research on how to make amazing flowering plant arrangements in patio pots, I came across this website  that gave great ideas, instructions, and pictures.


I couldn’t help but remember their catchy slogan regarding what to keep in mind when making a great patio planter… you want to have the “thriller, the filler and the spiller”.  The “thrill” being that plant that’s usually taller and may not even flower but it  brings that “wow factor” to the potted “garden”.  The “fill” means a planting of nice, kind of bushy flowers around the “thrill” that would have pretty blooms and literally fill in your soil area around the “thrill”.  Now for the “spill” … that’s the flowering plant that grows more in trailing fashion and cascades up and over your pot to “spill” the blooms right up –and out –and over … making just a glorious little garden (you have to read that with an English accent for proper interpretation 😉 ).

from the garden of my good friend, Sue Bastura
Thanks Sue !!!

Since I can’t get that little slogan out of head, you guessed it — I had to write about it to clear that space for something else.  You see, only a certain amount of things will actually fit in my brain and when there’s an overload… well, I have way too many random thoughts bouncing back and forth and all around in my brain until I can’t sleep or begin talking way too much to everyone around me.  I’m sure they’re all glad that being able to write about this has become  another good option !!!

Since I really do  love Jesus and my life is all wrapped up with Him at the core, I tend to think of  normal things in life and view them through a spiritual lens — drives my kids crazy sometimes, especially when we’re watching movies together and I find such “redeeming” qualities that are totally like God’s heart in the plot.  Anyway, as a teenager , I gave my life to Jesus Christ  — realizing that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, heaven and peace and He was my only hope… I couldn’t do enough  on my own to earn my way in… I actually needed Him and wanted Him… that surrender kind of moment…the beginning of a  walk with Jesus instead of away from Him...the beginning of a real relationship with the God of the universe !  That , I thought, might be described as my big thrill moment–the “wow factor” of my life !!

Of course, as you walk along on this road of  salvation in your brand-new-life-car , you realize that you can’t go very long without a filling to propel you on this journey.  That filling would be the Holy Spirit, the word of God, time with Him and others who encourage and challenge you as you go.  The filling fills in around the thrill to fill in the dirt of this life and make beauty from the things that get all  mulched up and crumbled.  It’s soul-food for a thirsty heart. It’s where you soak up as much living water as you can get and the variety is absolutely breath-taking !

(I really wish I had a picture to insert here to visualize this !!!)

Ah, but the fill cannot contain himself and there is automatically a spilling  over that seems to happen when that fill is healthy and growing and producing the beauty it was made to produce.  You see, if the fill gets too thick with too much growth, there’s no space for the spill and the spill is really the thing that draws your eye and attention right up to the thrill… the beginning of the whole garden in the first place.

Filling can’t be the end all goal in our walk with Jesus or we’ll just end up very fat, bushy Christians who take over every garden bed we’re ever  planted in.

The ideal is when we let the thrill  reign over us and  fill up with all that good living water to spill out  the love of Jesus over to others  all around us… now that’s a beautiful sight indeed!

beautiful planters at our local high school 
Can you spot the “thrill, the fill and the spill” ?

Just curious… which of these three areas are the hardest for you right now?

Is the “thrill” of beginning a relationship with Jesus still just a seed thought that you haven’t quite cracked open yet?  or are afraid to?

What “fills” your soul? Do you feel hungry?  stuffed? or somewhere in between?

Does “spilling” over scare you… hanging out over the edge of the unknown like that?

Maybe we can help each other … let me know your thoughts.

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

Go for it! Leave a comment. :-)