Vintage Gratitude from Year 3:
Daily Gratitude Year 3-Day 134:
Today...I am grateful that the measure of a life is not determined by what others think or expect...but by how a person lives in the places they are planted.
"Like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would."
If you had told me at 21, when I walked down the aisle to meet my guy and make our "in sickness and in health'"...."for better and for worse"..."until death do us part" promises to love and cherish, I would never have expected that we would make our new life together in a little town near Peoria, IL and put down roots. We had plans.
We saw ourselves living somewhere between his family and mine. We saw ourselves in a grand old house that we would love and cherish...we like old houses. We saw the temporary in where were were. Of course...God directed our paths differently and here we are. Randy has now lived in the same house for 18 years- a first in his lifetime. I lived in the same 1800's farm house my entire life before marriage. Life happens and we adjust.
One of the greatest choices in life is to the choice as to how we will live in the place we have been planted. There are times that the soil is good and life seems to explode in beauty. There are other times, we feel we have been thrown on the rocky soil and we have to struggle to find a place to take root and grow. Remember...life is full of "growing" seasons. Some are a delight and others a struggle. We can choose to savor the good in what we have...or live in a state of longing and discontentment.
This year...I am working on "courage". I like to keep it safe. I remember my heart pounding when we discovered at age 2, my little brother Matthew had climbed to the top of a big grain bin ladder. Think barn tall, if you don't know what a grain bin is. As we ran outside, I remember Mom having the foresight to coach me on the way out to "rescue him". She said "Valerie - don't yell at him. He will fall if we startle him." Go Mama Ina Mae! I was eight, and she had already kept 6 sibling alive through childhood before marriage and I trusted the expert.
Mom did it! We talked him down, starting with "Hey, Matthew. What are you doing?" He replied with - "I rake the bins." It is a task he knew Dad performed to keep the grain fresh. He was determined to be like Dad, but he was just a little guy. He, at two, knew who he was and what he was born to do.
Matt is still doing it. He has chosen to bloom where he was planted, although he has certainly had some rough patches, tough years and season of discouragement. Still, he has never forgotten to give thanks for the soil he gets to call his own and he chooses to grow in some unexpected places. When life throw curve balls...he saws we "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome." His joy in that makes my big sister's heart warm. I do love him.
My sister-in-law arrives today. I cannot wait. She is another who has faced some real life challenges, but her love of people and family keeps her blooming. Lola is a gem. Can't wait to hug her.She is a one of a kind!
We can LIVE in the soil where we are planted. Don't just exist. BLOOM!
Today...I am grateful that the measure of a life is not determined by what others think or expect...but by how a person lives in the places they are planted