Why I Used to Think “Bloom Where You’re Planted” Was Cheesy

why-i-used-to-think-bloom-where-youre-planted-was-cheesyI watched my husband fix his hair, brush his teeth, and spray on his cologne.

He grabbed his coffee and kissed us all goodbye. I felt a wave of bitterness well up in me. I don’t know where it came from but I knew it wasn’t good. Off he went. Again.

I chose the life I have!

I chose to stay home with out kids. I chose to homeschool our kids. I have never wanted to be anywhere other than home, from the very start. But lately, I have felt I was missing out. Maybe I needed a job or a hobby. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough.

Suddenly, it seemed like my husband was living the high life and I was spinning my wheels in the trenches. And the bitterness grew.

Was I the most unproductive, unimportant human alive?

I realized I had forgotten to get a degree and have a career that would change the world for the better. I never did learn that instrument or take up that knitting. Because I don’t have the time for self improvement. I am trying to educate these kids so they grow up as loving members of society who honor God and treat people well. That takes up more time that I have!

The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt.

The angrier I felt, the more hazy the truth became. And before long, I forgot the most important thing. I let the lie that I wasn’t enough, seep into my soul and rob me of the joy I had always felt as a homeschool mom. As a wife.

There is a cheesy little sign that I see in Hallmark stores. It reads, “Bloom where you are planted.” 

I would never have bought that years back, because I thought it was silly. Of course you bloom where you are planted. It never occurred to me I could be planted but look like a weed.

Here I was, complaining about where God had me. I didn’t want to feel this way. I knew I was being kind of bratty, but couldn’t snap out of it. The new school year was coming, and I was determined to get my head in the game. I began planning and reading articles about classical education. I got all of our books arranged and ready to go. I still felt very little inspiration and even dreamed of sending the kids down the road to hop on that yellow bus so I could find my purpose in life.

But alas, I am not very good at renewing my own heart.

I prayed and asked God to change it for me. I knew where I needed to be. And I needed to want to be there. Pulling myself up by my bootstraps wasn’t working. Not to mention, I wasn’t seeing my blessings clearly.

I began to thank God that my husband had a job he loved and that he provided for our family. He couldn’t help it that he had to travel, and when I spoke to him, he told me he would rather be at home than at work on any given day.  He told me meetings and lunches do not compare to the shaping of little humans. He gave me the best pep talks you have ever heard. But I still needed God to intervene and speak louder than the voice of society that was telling me to “do more.”

When I imagined me leaving my kids all day, I felt a sad pit in my stomach. What was I thinking? I knew I would never choose any other path than the one I was on. Not only is it where God has placed me, it is exactly where I want to be. How ungrateful was I? And then came the guilt…that familiar enemy, who screams aloud all my faults and threatens to bury me.

I was guilty of one thing, I had stopped believing in our mission.

I spent some time with a friend who also homeschools her children. She told me her goal was to make her days more beautiful by focusing on “much over many.” She planned to do a few things well, instead of a bunch of random things poorly. This made sense. It occurred to me I was possibly just burned out. Homeschooling is an amazing opportunity, and I didn’t want to waste it by being negative.

A little spark ignited in my heart.

Simple changes. I felt excited to give my kids lovely days, learning about deep and important things. Yes, there are ups and downs but even that is part of the process of learning. Do you remember that scene in, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” where his tiny little black heart grows three sizes? That is how I felt that day. My heart was literally full of joy over the most mundane of tasks.

The scales fell from my eyes, and I felt grateful. 

My husband just left for Australia. He travels to amazing places all of the time. I fully empathize with wives who’s husbands travel. It is difficult on so many levels, and I send you virtual hugs right now. But my attitude was hurting us all. C.S. Lewis tell us that if you love someone, you want their happiness to the furthest extent. This means, I should want him to enjoy the life God has given him, including traveling.

I didn’t give myself a dose of reality.

I asked God to change my heart and to help me see truth. And He did. It happened a bit faster than I had anticipated, and for that I am grateful, because sometimes change feels really slow.  And I believe my husband has grown as well. He is more understanding of how hard it is for me to be the one at home. He has more empathy and takes my concerns to heart, and because of this, we communicate better in this area.

In the past, I bloomed where I was planted, but mostly out of obligation, and growth was minimal. Now I feel I am blooming, and the joy it gives me is spilling over onto my family. They are blooming too.

Michelle Lindsey

Nice to “meet” you! I'm Michelle, a wife of twenty-three years, a mother to five, a homeschool mom, and a classical education tutor. I want to use this space to share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly that is my life. Maybe it will encourage you. Maybe it will inspire you. Maybe it will simply amuse you. Whichever it is, I am thankful you are taking time to be here.

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Comments

  1. Emily says

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been dealing with the same thing. While my husband doesn’t travel for work, he still leaves everyday while I am at home with our daughters teaching them. I am asking for God to renew my joy and purpose in the calling of homeschooling my girls.

    • Michelle says

      It is tough being the one home each day, even though I wouldn’t want it any other way! “Renewed joy” is a wonderful way to put it. It is what we all need! Blessings!

  2. Melanie says

    Oh my goodness!! We just had our 5th child and been married over 20 years. We have large age gaps between the 2nd and 4th child. Part of it was due to my menstruating issues and my hubby being deployed quite often when he was in the military. But oh my… how what you’ve said here, is exactly my struggle my entire marriage. I too wanted to stay at home and homeschool my children. And have been my entire marriage. I always had that pit, that conviction to do so! I’ve been homeschooling since my 22 year old was in the first grade and have been doing so since. But the struggle I personally have these past several years is that I think you are probably the only person I know, besides myself that’s done this for so long?? It’s difficult for me to find encouragement to stay the course, & that’s where I get down on myself. Most women work. Over the years I’ve felt like I also wasn’t doing enough, not because of my thoughts personally, but because I let what family members or friends who don’t understand why I do what I do, and and let some of their ignorant comments get to me. That’s where the enemy loves to mess with your head! It’s hard at times when my husband receives accolades or how he has a group of coworkers giving him praise for what he does. Not that I’m not proud of him, I was told many years ago that being a stay at home mom was one of the most unappreciated jobs. But no matter the negativity I’ve received, til this day, I have no regrets on staying home and homeschooling. I do feel like a minority, even at church. You tend to find younger families homeschooling, but not for as long as I’ve doing so. Just wanted to thank you for sharing, and you’ve got my support! You’re not alone! God Bless you sister!

    • Michelle says

      Thank you, Melanie. It is good to know I am not in this alone! I am grateful beyond belief but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard sometimes! And emotions tend to take over, so I need God to anchor me when I start to feel bitter or sad.

  3. Trish876 says

    I am so grateful for this post Michelle. I am currently pregnant in my 3rd trimester and I decided to quit my job in the first trimester due to how bad my morning sickness was but that wasn’t the only reason. My husband and I really want this baby more than anything and my job was very stressing. I wasn’t eating on time nor making it to my Antenatal care appointments. My job just wasn’t allowing me the freedom. After I quit my job my husband left for sea (He’s a Seaman). He normally leaves for 4 months at a time so I am pretty much home by myself. Having extra time on my hands made me start to feel like my life came to a standstill. The enemy made me started to feel regret because I loved my job and when my friends came over they would often talk about work. And I really didn’t have much to add to the conversation. Most of my friends don’t really understand why I left my job because it is the norm now to see working moms. So I would get comments like you planning to be a stay at home mom as if it’s the worst decision I could ever make. I do plan on going back to work when my baby is 6-12 months old. But I say all of that to say that people tend to be a bit harsh on us Moms sometimes. I mean our children should be our main priority. Sure there are a lot of Moms out there that are working and also making their kids a priority but the majority aren’t doing that. In fact I think it takes more sacrifice and selflessness to put your career on hold or to put it aside for your kids and that should be applauded because it isn’t easy to do. I have decided to not let society make me feel bad for putting my baby first. People will make their snobbish comments but deep down they really wish they could do what we do.
    Michelle I thank you for starting this amazing blog because I now know I was never alone and it’s just the enemy using old tricks to steal our joy. On your darkest days when you feel inadequate, unappreciated and unworthy. Please remember whose daughter you are and adjust your crown! We are following our God given purpose to bare children into this world. Some of us will go beyond the call of duty and become stay at home Moms whether temporary or permanently. Kudos to us!!

  4. Flower McCaleb says

    Thank you for posting this! Tho, I do have a FT job, I found this very encouraging. God has me where HE wants me..to bloom. Thanks!

  5. Melanie says

    You’re absolutely right! It’s easy for my mind to drift, to where it can make you feel bitter and sad. There are really hard days when my flesh kicks in fighting with the spiritual side. I did have a good prayer partner friend who came over to visit me a couple years back… I did mention to her this particular subject of being a stay at home mom, and how I felt discouraged at times. Sometimes I find myself looking for validation from others… but in truth you or I don’t need that. We get that from Christ. But my friend told me, staying home is a higher calling. Just hearing say that, I knew that was coming from God.

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