Bloom where you are planted

30 July 2010
I received the following comment during the week from Monique who wrote:
... we want to sell our place and search for a new home we can make our home. We both know this is not our place to be. So Rhonda, would you recommend us to make our place a home right now or save our love for the next place?
We are afraid that if we are going to love this house, we never, ever could sell it. Do you know what I mean?The only thing what's in our heart is the great desire to sell this place. That's our dream, that's our greatest wish. Won't we stop this feeling if we are going to love this place?
By the way: our place right now is an building of ten floors in the middle of a city and many factories. Our dream is an old tiny, little farm or cottage in the middle of nowhere.

We have a tomato bush growing in the grass, next to the hard surface of our back verandah.  It came up out of no where, was not planned nor planted by either of us, it just arrived.  The bush is held up with sticks and a couple of pieces of metal from an old card rack.  It's huge and healthy and much bigger than our planned and carefully planted tomatoes; it's taller than I am.  Last night, along with whiting cooked with lemon and olive oil, home grown lettuce, raw, shredded beetroot and carrot and potato salad, we had some of those tomatoes.  They were delicious.

Bloom where you are planted.

I have written about this in a different way here but I wanted to address a certain issue with you, Monique. When you're older and look back on your life, although it will feel like one long, unbroken thread, you'll see it's fragmented with times when you were perfectly happy doing what you were doing and other times when you did something that might not have seemed right at the time but lead you on to something better.  ALL of it is your life.  ALL of it should be made the most of.

Do you know there are only 9,000 hours in a year and that if you live to 80, you'll only have 720,000 hours to live.  Life is short.

Everyone of those hours is precious so don't waste too many of them wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else.  Make the most of every hour.  You don't have to live in the country to live simply.  Right here, right now you can be preparing for your country life while you make your city life and your city home productive, comfortable and beautiful. So when you ask "would you recommend us to make our place a home right now or save our love for the next place?"  I recommend both to you.  It is possible to love where you live right now, to make it a safe and comfortable haven for you both, and still love where you will move to in the future.  I believe that if you decide to make the house you are living in now a warm and nourishing home, if you use that space to teach yourself all the life skills you need, both now and later, if you dive into your simple life right now, you will be living to your true potential and it will prepare you for the move to the country when you are ready for it.

No one knows how their life will unfold.  We can only deal with the times we live in and hope that our plans for the future work out the way we hope.  But I will tell you this, if you don't take your life by the throat this very day and live like it really matters, you will have wasted a lot of your hours.  What you're living now is not a wedge of life that doesn't matter.  It all matters. Try to love your whole life, not just the parts of it you yearn for.  You heart is capable of non-stop love, if you love you home now, you will still have the capacity to love your future home.  So talk to your husband, work out what you both want, now and in the future, and make your current circumstances part of your simple life.  And do it today.  You might not have a huge back garden where you are now, but you can still find a space to produce food and learn the ins and outs of it.  You can cut down on chemicals in your life, stop using plastics, learn to sew and knit, learn how to cook from scratch, produce your own bread, jams, sauces, learn how to make sauerkraut and herrings in brine.  It is up to you to make the life you want to live. There is so much to be done.  Your time starts NOW.


  1. Encouraging, inspiring post! I love the place we live now (a little one bedroom cottage in the country), but we may have to move into a new place next year for adopting a baby. My heart is torn between wanting our child to have their own space, and not getting too tied to this place that I already LOVE. It may be heartbreaking to leave, but I may as well enjoy it while I can :)

  2. Long time fan, first time commenter.
    I love this post, such great wisdom. I only wish I had known about your blog during my 1st year of marriage when I spent all my time being discontented. I had to learn the hard way but now I know; do what you can, when you can. Do the best with what God has given you When He gives it to you. It means a lifetime full of happiness. = ) Love your blog!

  3. I love this post too. It is what I'm finally learning too. I thought that I wanted the little cottage in the country with a 5 acre farm, and I've spent too much time the last few years being disappointed that we couldn't do it. But now, I'm finally realizing that there are also some real advantages to living in the city. In my city, I can walk or bike almost anywhere. I can have a small garden at my home and a plot at a community garden. I can still can, crochet, sew, use less energy, etc. all right here. So I'm blooming right here, and have no plans of leaving the city now.

  4. Well said and very true we have to make the best of here and now (as this is where you are otherwise we will never step in to the future. Simple pleasures bring most reward, but learning how to love and celebrate what you have rather than what you haven't got is a precious lesson which once learned is never forgotten. Thank you for being you and bringing rhyme and reason to our muddled busy lives.



  5. Hi Rhonda

    Another great post that almost seems directed at me!

    Becoming content with now is something my partner and I have been practising for the past few months, and we are much happier for it. Even though we live in a unit near the city like your commentor, it can still be done. And as you said is a perfect time and place to learn all of those skills that you will need out in the country.

    Thanks for your inspiring words Rhonda!


  6. Rhonda, Bless you... While this message is relevant to each one of us, this post is a real comfort to me this morning.
    It's funny how we find snippets of wisdom and comfort, just at the perfect time. Thank you

  7. Oh my, what a fabulous post. We also have a dream to move out to the country and have some land but for various reasons it's not possible for us to do it now. We love our home for what it is now rather than feeling that it is a 'stop-gap'. We are growing our first vegetables and learning about preserving, all on a small scale, but it will all help us when we make our dream move.

  8. Wow, what a super-timely post for me! this is exactly the realization I am coming to in my life. We live somewhere we do not want to, in an area we do not want to, yet, one street over is my best friend. I could not imagine leaving her (and her daughter is my daughters best friend). I must bloom where I am planted and let go of wanting, and let what happens, happens. You never know what doors will open once you stop wanting, and start accepting, and that is what I am learning right now. Thank you so much :)

  9. I hated where we currently live and have been for the past 11 years now,when we first moved in.I cried everyday for weeks.
    And I struggled with wanting to make this house home.But one day I realized this is where I am at I had better make it home. I am house proud and put it to better use by working towards where we are now.Happy,a part of our neighborhood and not wanting to live anywhere else.

  10. So wonderfully put Rhonda. Although the hub is getting out of the military, we wanted to create a home here--something comfortable, something refreshing, some place where we could come home after a long day of work and enjoy the little moments of existence we create here. Skills, a setting of comfort, and the habits you create in one environment CAN be transferred to a new location. Everything that we've started here will be transferred back to Oregon with us in six months, and that environment will allow us to embrace even more simple and "green" skills as well. But I couldn't imagine living someplace anymore and not turning into a home, a place of comfort, a place to enjoy, and a place to learn and grow....

  11. Thank you for the best description of how to attain true happiness I have ever read.
    Such words of wisdom can only come from deep within your heart and soul Rhonda....thank you for being the inspiration that you are, and for this beautifully written plan for life!!
    Love your blog, thanks for sharing the hours of your life it takes!!
    No longer lurking : )

  12. Sometimes I feel like you're looking into my eyes and reading what is on my mind and then talking just to me. Even those closest to me can't see that I pine for somewhere different, somewhere more familiar. So from this moment on it's time to live right here and now.

  13. This posting was beautiful. I appreciate how you write from the heart and see how the small pieces weave together in the big fabric of life.

    I'm still living at home with my parents and am struggling with our house not being MY space. It's frustrating sometimes because there are so many changes I'd like to make. But every small step counts and I'm advocating for healthier choices when I can. I'm anxious to have my own place someday but for now I can work on building productive habits.

    Thank you for encouraging me in this journey of living a healthier and more well-rounded life. Every moment does matter!

    Best wishes to you.

  14. I love that line "Bloom where you are planted" perfectly put. I think I need to put that on my mirror for a bit...

  15. A very timely reminder, perfectly expressed! Thank you for your gift of these words today Rhonda.

    Willow xx

  16. Oh Rhonda, what can I say? Thank you seems to be not enough, I really appriciate your reaction to my question.
    And what a nice thing to see that I am not the only one who struggles with this thoughts. Thank all the others for the comments from your heart.

    As we are living with the three of us (one son, age 4), the fourth loved one is just growing into our lives and into my belly ;o)
    We already are trying to aliminate the rubbish and chemicals out of our lives and growing our own veggies. The first steps are made, but we still can do a lot more, wich we are sure to be trying.

    Again Rhonda, many, many thanks for these wise words. I will capture them for life.

    Love from Holland

  17. I wish I had the benefit of the lovely and wise answer you gave to Monique 20 years ago when I was stuck in the city and longing for the country.

    I had read A Small Farm in Maine by Terry Silber and from that minute on my heart moved out of Austin, TX into the countryside to the wilds of Maine.

    It took about 8 years for the LORD to work out the details so we could move. In the meantime we purchased and lived for 5 years in a house in the suburbs of Texas. It felt so counter intuitive to my dream, but looking back it was selling that house that gave us the funds to move up north.

    If only I could have seen at the time that it was all working toward our dream I think the waiting would have been easier.

    I enjoy your blog very much.

  18. Beautiful! "Bloom where you are" are the words I live by.

    Mary Ellen

  19. Thank you for this post. It is exactly what I needed to hear. I passed it on to my husband as well.
    You are wonderful!

  20. I have never thought of life as x number of hours - that was a real eye opener! Thank you for the encouragement to live where you are, and life to the fullest!

  21. These are the posts that keep me coming back daily to read your blog. I am a mother of two small boys (almost 3 and almost 1) and I have another baby on the way this March. We live in a 2 BR duplex in a beautiful part of California, but we have no backyard or garden. I have still been able to cook, and inspired by your blog, I crocheted my 2nd son's first newborn baby cap to welcome him into this world. But I am afraid that even things like making things from scratch and sewing will soon take a backseat to keeping up with three children ages 3 1/2 and under come this spring. Thank you for reminding me to "love your life - all of it" instead of trying to get through parts of it.

  22. I love this post, and the wisdom it contains. It is so true that time goes fast. Having passed the half-century mark, I can attest to that. Your blog always inspires me. Enjoy each day, and do what you can, where you are.

  23. This is a truly inspiring post for someone like me who made an interstate move a couple of years ago that was completely unexpected and unplanned. I am learning not to yearn for what once was, but to be thankful for all that I have now and can build for the future.


  24. Very wise post, Rhonda. You are an inspiration.

  25. Rhonda...those are true words. I can remember wishing things would speed up, because I wanted to be doing something else, rather than what I had right in front of me. A very wise friend told me to stop wishing my time away...because it's precious and once it's gone, you dont' get it back. I love this...I'm in that season where I'd rather be living somewhere else...until then, this is where I'm at and I'm going to make the choice to be happy and have joy...besides, this will be a good opportunity to perfect all those homemaking skills/dreams of when the day arrives, I'll be ready :) :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  26. Rhonda, I'm convinced that you wrote that directly at me, giving me confidence to 'bloom where I'm currently planted' ...and not waiting for my dream cottage (as Monique also dreams of).

    I have dreams of acreage and room for gardens and my kids to run outside (on small very steep block atm). Our house is for sale currently in efforts to make the move we've been dreaming of and planning for, but I couldn't wait, I've filled the only suitable sunny spot with pots of herbs, tomatoes, strawberries etc to learn about growing them until we are blessed with the opportunity to move.

    Thanks for your blog - I read it daily, but haven't left a comment before. :) You're such an encouragement and inspiration to this young mum.

  27. what an inspiring and encouraging post! Thankyou so much for sharing, I am trying so hard to stay present and focused/grateful for my current blessings rather than focusing on what I may/may not have "one day"...thankyou for the reminder!! :) xx

  28. Only 720,000 hours! Suddenly I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland....I'm late, I'm late, I'm late! So much to see and do and so little time.

    Stop by my blog when you can and collect the award I've given's for blogs I've just recently discovered. I'm just getting started here, but have enjoyed yours tremendously!

  29. ditto ditto ditto we all follow rhonda for very similar reasons. and its always timely and always relevant.

  30. This is one of the best things I have read in a long time. I am currently writing on my blog about my life. I didn't mean to or plan it. It is just the way it happened. Your words are very wise and very true. I especially like the "Life is a continuous thread". That is exactly what I am finding as I write and unravel all of the things I have done inn my life. Thankyou, Wendy

  31. It was as if this post was written just to me for the space I am in at the moment - thank you

  32. So wise! It is difficult to add anything to what has already been said in response to this particular post.

  33. Another post that really speaks to me, Rhonda-Jean, thank you. Funny - but I have been going through exactly the same kind of thinking as Monique - and have come to the same conclusion as you suggest - loving the home I am in right now. I wrote about it here last week:

  34. Oh boy!! How your blog speaks volumes to me and so many others around our globe, who feel, or did feel (like me until recently)the same.
    After moving back to our hometown nearly 3 years ago, whilst having a lovely house and plenty of space outside, I found I was felt very unsettled, had a wish to move on again and lots of negative thoughts about the move and house. However what I have found is that through changing my thinking - being more positive and not giving any power to the negative thoughts and also re-discovering my love of gardening, I have found that I am now making the "house" we moved to a "home". I have to live in the here and now, not what "maybe" in the future.
    Brilliant post Rhonda, thank you. xxx

  35. Hello,... I knew your blog from the Notebook: magazine.
    Thank you very much for your inspiring story. Yup,,, I do agree with you! Life is too short. Just enjoy what we have and be grateful :d Thanks for reminding me about this.

  36. Thank you for this post, it is a nice reminder. It trully brought tears to my eyes. For all the time wasted, wishing for things that aren't important. And tears because I finally get it. I've enjoyed you for a while and this is my first comment. Keep blogging, you talk to me and I love listening.

  37. I had a dream of living in a little cottage near the city and i made it happen. It was hard at first down sizing and expensive living so close to the city but I made it work for me. I chose a house on an urban farm, this gives me my country life, but still surrounded by the city nearby. I can't believe here in Austin you can have goats,pigs and chickens right in your back yard. I didn't have to move out to the country for this dream of homesteading to happen. Life is all about making your dreams a reality.Not wasting your life energy on things that are not warming your heart and soul. I hope the person who wrote you was able to make her home warm .cozy and happy now until she moved to her dream cottage. I am living my dream of a simple life one day at a time and not letting my life energy wither away:)

  38. I am a South African living in England for over ten years now. For the first nine I've been discontent with every facet of my life and being here, and spent four of those years with severe depression. A year ago, something in me snapped and I woke up to the fact that I have a wonderful husband (whom I met less than a year after arriving here and who has supported me through everything, and even gotten me through suicide attempts), we have three beautiful, intelligent and mostly healthy children. I look out my window now and it's raining, but it's summer and everything around me is so green and lush. It's not where I want to be in ten years time, but it is exactly where I want to be right now. It takes me three minutes to walk my kids to school, get to the shops, the library, the bank and the post office, the bakers...Everything is right here, including my wonderful in-laws, just ten minutes away.

    This post really resonates with me because we have been wanting for a long time to buy our own house, as we have rented all our time together. in the last few weeks I've come to realise that my son's allergies and eczema are not going to be cleared up by doctors and that my own health issues have gotten a lot worse with prescribed medicines. I realised that it was time to really tackle the problem head on, make the most of my tiny garden and grow the herbs that will strengthen our bodies, as well as any of the foods that we can, and eliminate all chemicals by making our own toiletries and detergents. We struggle with money quite badly (who doesn't these days?) and I know we will be better off financially by doing this.

    And so, by accepting our position now, making the most of it and making our lives healthier, we will also be able to finally start saving a little towards our own dream home.

    All anyone ever needs is the right frame of mind. My mom always said as we were driving between her place and mine, that you can look at the misty rolling green hills and see it as gloomy and miserable, or you can see it as romantic and mysterious. Just depends on your frame of mind.



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