The flowers I'm referring to are the many women around me that seem to be blossoming with joy and fulfillment in their roles. Women that amaze and challenge me. There are the giant sunflowers who are doing great things in their careers, starting non-profits and creating businesses out of their passions. The roses who are inspiring others to greatness in their various organizations. The dainty tulips and exotic orchids who always seem to have it all together with a pitcher of sweet tea and some homemade cookies to boot!
When I look in the mirror, these aren't the flowers that I see. Most days I feel like a wilted dandelion struggling to get a glimpse of the sun. I long for the chance to work with women and young mothers (a passion I've yet to pursue). I wish for the chance to bloom and say "I'm here. Don't forget about me!". My garden is filled with dirty diapers and mounds of laundry. I have a sink full of dishes at least 3 times a day and a never-ending supply of Cheerios on the carpet. Sometimes I think the carpet itself is breeding them! The monotony can be overwhelming in the early years of parenting. It is so easy, SO SO EASY, to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and useless when your days are spent cooking, cleaning, and taking care of young children. It's a vicious cycle that keeps us from finding the joy in the garden that God has given us.
"But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk."
~ 1 Corinthians 7:17
In other words: Bloom Where You're Planted!!
This is my garden. This is where God has planted me. At the present time, it doesn't include speaking engagements, non-profit organizations, or even a decent salary, but it's mine all the same. I need to step back and see the joy and the purpose in my day. I may not be saving the world, but I matter. I was not created to make a living, but to make a difference!
And, I am! Every day I'm making a difference for my family. Today, I did three loads of laundry so my children have clean clothes for school, the baby has clean diapers, and my husband has clothes for work. I showed my love for my husband by making his favorite dinner. I kept our house (relatively) clean vacuuming, dusting, and doing dishes. I put Big Brother's Bible verses on chart paper to help him study for his Olympians test this week and I spent the day helping little ones learn to share, to express themselves with words, to put their shoes on, and to wash their hands after they potty.
I did not save the world. Heck, I didn't even save a tree (well, maybe I did by recycling and using the cloth diapers). I did, however, cuddle a cranky baby and help him fall asleep. I wiped runny noses and sang silly songs while changing diapers. I read favorite stories and played a round of Candyland. My garden isn't flashy, but it's filled with beauty and laughter and a chaotic kind of joy!
I may not be an orchid, but I'm at least a carnation. I hear they can last a long time with little sleep :)
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