Thursday, August 1, 2013

Blooming Where You Are Planted

I was leaving the house the other day, and caught a brilliant flash of white out of the corner of my eye. Bending down, I saw these...

Underneath the hibiscus are some petunias!
I'd grown petunias a little over a year ago in a pot on my front stoop. Eventually, they got long and leggy, and I pulled them out to put the hibiscus in their place. Then I promptly forgot all about them. Now, a year later, I see how the petunias seeded somehow in a crevasse between the brick and the stone, and in spite of the poor location, decided to bloom anyway.

Isn't that how life is? I remember my pastor, Charlie, at SouthBrook Christian Church in Dayton, OH spoke about how we should not over think things too much, but simply bloom where ever we are planted, even if it's an "accidental" planting! So often, we Christians wonder and sometimes even agonize about whether we are living in the right place to serve Christ, or if we are working in job He would have us in. The simple fact is, that where ever we are, we can be in the center of God's will simply by serving Him in that place.

I have experienced this truth not only geographically, but occupationally as well. After living in Ohio for many years, I felt very happy and planted. Our family had a wonderful church, and a strong and supportive group of friends. When my husband left his current job and our family moved to Florida, I felt adrift. I spent time questioning how I was to make sense of this new situation. How would I find friends for my children? For me? How would I find a church like the one I'd loved and left in Ohio?

It took time, but I took the first steps to being in God's will by simply submitting to my husband and trusting him to make the right decision for our family. I say it was simple, but it certainly wasn't easy. It took time and prayer. Then, I worked hard at breaking out of my comfort zone by connecting with new groups, churches, and people. Things didn't necessarily connect for me the first time, nor even the second, but with persistent efforts, prayer, and bravery (as an introvert, it took more than a fair share of that!), I eventually succeeded in establishing connections, not only for myself, but also for the children.

Blooming where I've been planted has also happened with regard to my current profession:  that of homeschooling mom. The role of Mother is such a critical one, and when you add the moniker of "homeschooing" in front of it, it becomes even more complicated. This has not always been an easy path for me. At times I have looked over my shoulder at other, more glamorous professions. Other times, I've sighed with longing when I've heard about the luncheon appointments or gym meet-ups of my less "time-challenged" sisters. But even though at times the surface ripples of discontent have been swirling and swift, underneath the stream has remained steady.

You see, I realize that I am incredibly privileged to serve my family in this role. God has entrusted me with His most precious possession, the souls of His children. And I take that role seriously. I never expected to homeschool three children back when hubby and I were first thinking about children, but here I am. As wild and challenging, and at times even difficult a ride that it's been, I wouldn't change it for the world. Now that I can look back over the past with 20/20 vision, I can see how God has been at work in my life and the lives of my husband and children. There is now more time behind me than in front of me on this educational journey I'm taking, and I'm incredibly thankful to have yielded my stubborn will to His, and have enjoyed the blooms in this corner of life I'm living in!

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