Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bloom Where You're Planted


I know this isn't a great picture but can you see that the trunk of the tree comes out of the ground on the left and instead of growing up it grew along the ground all the way over to the far right.  It's really fascinating to see the way it curves - it has branches growing up all along the trunk.  It has responded to storms and winds and circumstances by adapting itself so that it could survive.  When I saw it I couldn't help but think of that old adage, "bloom where you're planted."

And that made me think of quilters.  Okay that came out of left field didn't it?  :)  But don't we do that when we make quilts sometimes.  We start out with an idea and as we begin to put pieces together and see colors next to each other we like them or we don't and we go off in a different direction than we originally planned.  I can't tell you how many times I've chosen a pattern and all the fabrics I thought would work but then I start cutting and laying them out and all of a sudden I think of another piece of fabric that would look good in a certain spot so I substitute.  And then I think oh I'd love some flying geese in this spot instead of four patches, or I'll do a piano key border instead of an appliqued one.  When I was teaching we called it "monitor and adjust".  But whether it's blooming where we are planted or monitoring and adjusting to time and circumstances we end up, like the unusual tree above, with a beautiful, unique piece that satisfies something in our souls.

So why is it that when we do this blooming we second guess ourselves, wondering if others will like what we've made?  Why is it that we can look at what others have made and see the uniqueness and the beauty and we can't see it in our own work?  Or, sadly, all too often, in ourselves?

13 comments:

Tracy P. said...

This is so true, Marlene! I find the same to be true in this photography hobby of mine. I often wish I could see them (especially after going through the editing process) with a fresh set of eyes!

Thought of you today while I spend a couple of hours on Bethany's quilt. Her old one is in shreds, but she won't give it up until I finish! It's getting there now. :-)

Salem Stitcher said...

We are always our own worst critic which is unfortunate. But as I was reading this, I also read the line you have under your blog mast. Where we are planted, there He is...and we bloom.

Molly said...

Love that tree. Looks like what I call a "Florida oak." One of the things I like best about quilting is the way a quilt evolves, and how, after you've been doing it a while, you come to trust yourself and trust that the changes you want to make will work. When I teach quilting I try to pry people out of the mindset that tells them they have to "obey" the pattern! It's your quilt; you're the boss and if you want to change something DO! Without any apologies or hand wringing! I think as we get older we finally get comfortable with who we are, with the things about us that make us unique. Instead of wringing our hands and bemoaning our faults we can start to see that all those things are part of the pattern that makes us unique individuals.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Just a wonderful analogy with photo and thought - I so enjoyed.

Marie said...

Great thoughts marlene. I know for myself, I just cannot see the value in anything that I paint, unless I walk away from it for a few days. I call it humility, lol, but who knows what it really is! Love you! xxoo

Julie Fukuda said...

I have yet to leave something the way it was intended. Patterns? Those are only jumping off points. At least I know that if I am satisfied, the rest don't matter. That tree looks very Japanese only it is no bonsai!

Karen said...

You are deep into thought today!

Love Bears All Things said...

What type tree is that? It reminds me of a Live Oak.
Mama Bear

Denise :) said...

What a fascinating tree to persevere and prevail, in spite of its circumstances; a very good lesson to us all, I agree! :)

Connie said...

What a unique and beautiful tree! I think we are our own worst critic...always wondering if we could do something better, wonderful post!

nanny said...

So true!!

The tree is lovely....are you enjoying your time in LA?

Carol said...

Ah, I love your introspection, Marlene. Makes us all stop and think. What you say is very true. We are all unique creatures, no two are alike.

Thank you for this lovely post. Have a wonderful day my friend!

Carol (NJ)

Truffle queen said...

AMEN! I'm thinking that it's OK to criticize ourselves BUT then we need to step back, be quiet, listen, let it be and move on! If only....