chocolate + paper + scissors


How do we bloom?

"Bloom where you are planted."

These have always been some of my favorite words - a simple, daily challenge: be the best we can with what we have, where we are.  Mary Engelbreit always has a way of summing things up in a graceful, humbling manner.  These words stayed on our giant chalkboard wall near our kitchen for nearly two years! 

In this season of my life, I like to think about how I can bloom where I am planted - how I can be the best version of myself, offering a true, loving presence with my children, my husband, family, friends - all people, if possible.  Is this possible?

Just thinking about this topic all day today made me realize how I'd like to live for myself and for my family these days:  more than the minimum.  Just existing or being or making ends meet is not enough.  Living out loud with zest, beauty, Spirit, fearless abandon, faith - this is blooming.  And some days this means putting both legs in the freezing cold waters of the Pacific in our beach community with my children, even when I don't care to be cold!  Afterward, it's a little bit electrifying.  And I know I'm a little more alive than I was before.

We should all consider what makes us bloom in the grande garden we have been given.  Are we using our gifts?  Are we nurturing our bodies with love and respect?  Are we using our bodies to see the world, one walk at a time?  Are we engaging our minds and igniting the creative energy we have been given?  Are we celebrating what we were given on the loveliest day when we were born, regardless of the year?  If we can say "yes" to one of these, we're on the right path.

For our family, blooming also means becoming part of a community - belonging.  Connecting with others energizes me and our family - which I believe allows us to bloom even more.  To bloom is also to live with others, out loud, with color, beauty.

Perhaps we are all here to connect, to provide a little more beauty in each other's lives?  And that will make us bloom, too.

This post is part of Five-Minute Friday, a collection of writings by different bloggers wishing to participate and reflect...  These words are dedicated to a lovely friend, Jessica.  Thank you for helping me bloom over lots of conversation this week.  xoxo


On Writing for Five Minutes

Today is Friday.  And today, I thought I would link up with some lovely ladies for Five-Minute Friday:  and write about a word.


In the spirit of trying to write more in my surroundings and embrace my natural environment with children jumping over and behind me, I type.  And I thank Crystal Stine for the invitation that I found on her Twitter feed last night, very, very late.  I am thankful also for the mocha that kept me awake long enough to force myself to have quiet, solo personal time while little eyelids rested next door.

As I type this, we are visiting a very tiny, intimate community in coastal Oregon.  And our family feels that our souls belong here each July.  We belong to nature.  We belong to the familiar faces we saw last year, and the year before.  We belong to the dear friends we’ve made who we only see here, now.  While we’re in Oregon.

And I also think about the friends and family – and the blending of the two – we left behind in Texas.  As we left our friends at the curbside dropoff at the airport, I cried tears of thankfulness for our friends – and sadness for the sweet little faces of children I will miss while we are far and away in Oregon.  We belong with them.

I write this with so much thankfulness that we belong to different communities in this season of our lives.  And that somehow, for today, I belong to a group of writers who also write for a free five minutes.