“Bloom Where You Are Planted”

I have always have had my hands in the dirt. That’s just what I do….I dig. Whether I am stressed, overwhelmed, seeking clarity or artistic beauty, I can usually be found withe dirt on my hands, somewhere in the gardens. There have been only a few years in my life that I did not grow anything. I honestly refused to bloom where I was planted.

There are a lot of reasons a person refuses to bloom….and by refuse, I mean absolutely, positively refusing to embrace anything that meant putting roots in the ground. I had every gardening excuse known to mankind.

“The ground is too rocky and this soil stinks!!”

“The sun is too hot and there’s not enough water.”

“The landscape is awful and there aren’t any trees.”

“I hate this place……”

For three years, my actual life was in a crazy kind of holding tank. I had been moved from my beautiful little, cozy cottage with my beloved gardens, to small town Texas. These cherished gardens weren’t your normal, every day gardens. These gardens had been the feature of a three page story in the Dallas Morning News. Thesd gardens were my heart and soul. But alas, I was moved from my beautiful Garden of Heirloom Bulb Eden, to a rocky, desolate land….we had unknowingly purchased the town’s “flooded house” and were stuck.

Stuck with a capital S. I really should say STUCK with all capitals, but I don’t like the capital font.

Stuck in a place with no career, no friends, no culture and no gardens. All I could do was cry, and I became quite good at mastering all the different types of cries. I cried…Every. Single. Day. Kimmy, my one new friend, spent a lot of time listening to my cries and endless rants of how unfair life was, what would happen if the river flooded….Blah Blah Blah. One day, while we were painting, Kimmy had had enough of my moaning and groaning. She whipped around, paintbrush flicking paint everywhere, and said “Girl, where is your faith?!!!!!!!”

Ouch. That stung deep. I guess I had forgotten that God was still in control of my messy life. I never thought I was a “health, wealth and prosperity” kind of person, but I was sure behaving like one.

Do we bloom and trust in the Lord’s guidance *only* in the good times, and *only* when the soil is perfect? Are we happy *only* when life is Pintrist-worthy? Is life a still-life photo of perfection, as we all smile pretty for the camera, or does life still have some rocks and challenges?

I know for me, my refusal to bloom had nothing to do with the soil….it was a heart issue.

I felt robbed of my joy. Life was unfair. I am ashamed to admit that I felt I *deserved* to be happy and I *deserved* to have my little perfect cottage house kind of life. Basically, I become rooted and focused in my “have not’s”, instead of the blooms of gratitude.

Through my dear friend and the Lord’s gentle (and sometimes, not so gentle) guidance, my hardened heart became softened to His plan. Our family began to embrace the new little town and our new way of life. Our faith grew, and so began my journey of planting flowers in the rocky, unsavory soil of contempt and bitterness.

“Blooming where you are planted” is not easy, but neither is gardening in rock. Sometimes, the hardest soil to work with becomes the greatest joy. There is great pleasure is overcoming our obstacles. I’m pretty sure we all have the moments we don’t want to bloom where we are. Let’s face it, Covid has a lot of us stuck in holding tanks for sure. This past week of ice wreaking havoc on our gardens didn’t help. I still remember placing my first Crinum into the new garden patch at the “flooded house”. It was time to plant roots and bloom, because I wasn’t going to move that Crinum again!!!! (Which, ofcouse, I did.)

Happy Gardening, my friends!