The planting season

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson

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(a newly planted petunia / Julie Cook / 2015)

Many years ago when I was a mere wide-eyed impetuous young fire cracker,
I spent a great deal of energy wishing I was 10 years further down the road.
I believed I had much to do and I was chomping at the bit to do it.
Anxious,
Anticipatory,
Impatient.

Could God not see my energy, my enthusiasm, my willingness.
I was ready.
Why was He not?

College was frustrating me.
I didn’t know how best to direct my path.
I was more than willing to chuck it all out the window, if God would just point the way.
I knew I had much to do, it’s just that I wasn’t exactly sure that I actually knew what it was,
I was to be doing.
I was in a bit of a desert, or actually stuck on some lone island–languishing and unnoticed.

I wrote countless letters to my poor godpoppa, lamenting my seemingly unproductive position.
I was the anxious kid on the bench with hand jutting up and down,
waving wildly high, “put me in coach”
I was ready, willing and more than sick and tired of waiting.
What in the heck was the hold up??!!

As I’m sure all those letters upon letters from an angst ridden college freshman, sporting rose colored lenses, whose time truly had not yet come as the body may have been willing but, in blessed hindsight, the mind was truly not yet fully developed. . .must have driven him crazy.

He was a wise man.
He was a learned man.
He was a busy man.
He was an important man.
And yet, he would always take time from his most consuming day, stopping all his important things long enough to appease an unripe fruit whose mantra was over and over. . .
When
Where
Why. . .

Found within one of the loving letters written in return was a single key sentence. . .
“There is one thing you need to do, bloom where you are planted, do that one thing you don’t want to do—but do it for me.”

I can remember anxiously finding his letter sitting in my little mail box. I was so excited hurrying back to my dorm room clutching the most wonderfully official looking letter. I just knew within the envelope the key to my future was ready and waiting. His words were always truth personified in my book, if he said it, it was so.
Reading feverishly I came to that single sentence.
“Bloom where I was planted”. . .hummmmmm. . .
But as he added, “do this one thing you don’t much want to do, but do it for me”
I shrugged and resigned myself to holding tight.

And now all these many many years later. . .
an entire lifetime later, I still consider that simple little phrase. . .
Bloom where you are planted

God knows where we are.
He puts us where He wants us.
Often frustratingly to Him, we usually take it upon ourselves to move and relocate–most often prematurely.
However, no matter where we wend up, we must remember God originally planted the seed.
He planted the seed long before we were even born.
The seed has to be watered, fertilized, nurtured, and allowed to grow.
Sometimes the seedling is moved and transplanted. . .no matter, as He continues
Watching
Tending,
Pruning,
Warding off insects and disease.
Without warning and miraculously one magical day,
seemingly out of the blue, a bloom bursts forth.
Hopeful,
Beautiful,
Joyful,
Stately. . .
We are planted and we will in turn bloom—
It’s all just a matter of God’s good timing. . .

Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.
1 Corinthians 7:17

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(forsythia / Julie Cook / 2015)

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(tulip magnolia blooms / Julie Cook / 2015)

19 comments on “The planting season

  1. lorriebowden says:

    I love this, Julie!! Wow…what a perfect post for me to read this morning…and I am sure I will come back to it over and over again…just for a little reminder 😉

    Hope all is still calm in your world. Try hard to enjoy the stillness. If you are like me the “not knowing” what they could be up to kind of ruins it. But stand in knowing that it is all going to work out!! Much love ❤

  2. Melissa says:

    Gorgeous and insightful as always, as you are

  3. Melissa says:

    P.S a word for me, interestingly enough the note on 1 Cor 7:20 says “Because God has placed you where you are, look carefully for opportunities to serve him there.” It goes on to mention that “Paul says that when someone becomes a Christian, he or she should usually continue with the work he or she has previously been doing- provided it isn’t immoral or unethical.” I may be moving into another realm of police work. Once again God used you to speak to me, how awesome I feel that your words were for me, an audience of one. That’s how special God thinks that we all are. Blessings-

  4. Melissa says:

    Reblogged this on Work for the Cause not the Applause and commented:
    If you haven’t been to Julie’s blog, you are truly missing out!!! If you are in the “wait”, feeling frustrated, need wisdom, read this post, it’s anointed. Love to you all

  5. mara says:

    Reblogged this on Chance Blossoms and commented:
    This post articulates so many of my own thoughts while setting up my own blog…. ❤

  6. Such wisdom here, Julie! And I had never come across this Robert Louis Stevenson quote before… writing that one down! Thanks for sharing this great reminder!

  7. Lynda says:

    The key is to rest in God but how difficult that can be at times! Blessings and prayers for a very meaningful Palm Sunday and Holy Week!!

  8. Luggage Lady says:

    Beautifully written, and I could so relate to your sentiments during college. What a special ‘godpoppa” you had in your life… Thank you for sharing this!!

    • Thank you so much—yes my “godpoppa” was such a guiding light. . .he is now 92 and is the dean emeritus of The Cathedral of St Philip, the Episcopal Cathedral in Atlanta –I doubt I’d be here today without him—Happy Travels my friend 🙂

  9. David says:

    Excellent as always Julie. I also relate to the college sentiments! I remember how close I came to quitting when stuck in the classroom through the summer of 1976 when the UK had a heatwave. It was my second block release to college as part of my Merchant Navy training and I just could not stand being indoors. I just wanted to be back at sea. Fortunately a combination of a wise lecturer and a wise father persuaded me to stay and finish my training.

    • Thank you David—some days I think I wish I had left, taking a different path, or switched majors for the 100th time—but who’s to say if we’d be having this conversation had I done so—funny how life works. . . .
      A joyous palm sunday to you and your family–Julie

  10. lljostes says:

    It’s hard to staying blooming still! 🙂 We just have to trust that even as we are still…the seeds drop…fruit follows! Thanks the thought provoking words and lovely photos this Saturday, Julie! Hugs ~ Laura

  11. […] Julie from Cookie Crumbles to live by so poignantly pointed out in 1 Corinthians 7:17, “Nevertheless, each person should live as a […]

  12. Another splendid and profound post, missy! And look at all the wonderful comments about it. You are for sure in the right place and doing the right thing with your life! Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

  13. aboutwhatnot says:

    What a wonderful wise grandfather!

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