Is It Time to Bloom? Three Lessons from Mom

Is It Time to Bloom? Three Lessons from Mom

This week’s inspiration comes from my mother, and three things she taught me as she lived the mantra I have perched on my kitchen bookshelf:

Mom embodied those words.

As a minister’s wife, she moved six times in twenty-five years. I never saw her struggle with the transitions; yet, she was there for me as I struggled with each one of mine. I went to elementary school in one city, middle school in another, attended high school in yet one more, and was a freshman in college during the last move.

Every time, Mom “bloomed” where she was planted. What did I learn from watching her?

Get involved. Mom found opportunities to plug in, learn, and contribute in all the orbits of our family life—home, church, school, neighborhood, and community. From Sunday School teacher, to Den Mother, to Grade Parent, and the “hostess with the mostest” for Garden Club, she knew the importance not just of participating, but engaging, no matter what her experience level. She wasn’t afraid to be a rookie or a leader, always willing to grow or give.

Nurture relationships. Friendships matter, as I learned from Barb Hagerty’s book talk last year, especially in times of struggle or transition. Mom knew that and lived it. “To have a friend, you need to be a friend,” she often said. She kept a calendar by her kitchen chair with hearts and stars marking her friends’ and family’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days. Although she shunned the computer, she was a gifted and vigilant note writer. Mom cared for people in a real way, remembering their special days and rejoicing and crying with them as they moved through the celebrations and sorrows of their lives. She was a great listener.

Stay patient and receptive. This one is sometimes hard for me, but I still strive for it. Mom eased into new situations slowly, observantly. She was gracious, never demanding. She never rushed. In fact, she didn’t like for us to even use the term “hurry up.” Instead, she encouraged, “Take your time.” She didn’t mind waiting, always finding something to do in the meantime, whether crocheting, reading, or chatting with a stranger to make a new friend.

Why does patience matter?

Philosopher Mark Nepo may say it best:

For the flower, it is fully open at each step of its blossoming. When we push ourselves to unfold faster or more deeply than is natural, we thwart ourselves.

What a comforting thought!

When life lands us in unknown territory, with effort, we can still flourish. Then, when the time is right, Anaï Nin reminds us:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Oh my, how I’ve experienced that process! Three years ago, the thought of participating in a panel discussion terrified me, scaring me “spitless,” as some of you may recall.

And now, I’m welcoming the chance to meet and speak to groups. Although each opportunity still gives me considerable angst and kicks me into hyper-preparation mode, it’s always worth the effort. It seems my book has not only provided a great source of connecting me to others (so hard for me to do from the wheelchair), but it has also helped me to flourish in a very empty nest. Perhaps it was just the right time to bloom!

Can you believe it? What a fabulous evening I had meeting and reconnecting with some very special people. Thank you, First Fridays of Chestnut Grove!

How about you? What helps you “bloom” where you are planted? Have you ever taken a “risk to blossom?” Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

And thanks, Mom, for all you taught me. With each passing year, I cherish your wisdom even more.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Last opportunity to honor Madison for our Pathfinders for Autism Golf Tournament! Check out her photo from last week. She is flourishing, too!

Honor Madison

P.P.S. On Wednesday evening, May 23rd, at 7 p.m., I’ll be speaking about my book, Rethinking Possible, (still $.55 for the eBook this week!) at Central Presbyterian Church. Stay tuned for details!

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