Grow where you’re planted

As I started yet another game of Sudoku when I should have been making a Target list and finally getting out of the house, I started contemplating a phrase it seems I’ve heard a lot lately.

grow-where-you-re-planted[via urban outfitters]


It’s one of those nouveau platitudes that gets pinned (I even had to double check whether I’ve in fact pinned it before)and shared and dubbed as wisdom.

When I started thinking about the phrase, my tone was self-accusatory: see, get with it. You’re planted in St. Louis, so just grow already. You didn’t follow through with coming up with any fun plans, the least you can do is go run errands at Target.

But then I started thinking about actual plants (presumably the origination of the thought above). They don’t just grow anywhere. Every plant is different and requires certain things in order to flourish. Cacti don’t do well in a rainforest; citrus trees don’t enjoy cold weather. I have an aloe plant that’s pretty hardy, but it didn’t like sitting out on the porch here. Granted, I don’t know too much about plants, and I’m pretty sure this one is in the wrong kind of pot (no drainage and just potting soil), but since it’s a succulent, I supposed being out in the humidity wasn’t ideal so I brought it inside.

So maybe I’m “planted” somewhere not suitable for my growth – ha! Allison – 1, platitude – 0

Except my aloe plant isn’t in it’s ideal environment either. It would probably prefer to not be in a pot as a houseplant. It would probably thrive best in it’s native habitat, but so far it’s doing okay. With a little tending, I think it will continue to grow and even flourish.

Maybe all I need is a little “tending”, if you will. As I’m adjusting to the relative shock of a new environment, I need to pay attention to how much water I’m getting (literally – the humidity sucks it right out of you) and maybe move around to find out where I get the best exposure to light.

Plant metaphors aside, the business of growing where you’re planted requires more than just saying “Ok, I’m here” – wherever here is to you – “let’s start flourishing.” It requires patience and attention to what is life-giving. Although where you’re planted may not be where you flourish naturally, that doesn’t mean you can’t flourish.

Here’s to getting ready to grow. I’m still recovering from the transplant, and I don’t need to expect significant growth right away. But with a little care and a lot of Jesus, there’s a growing season around the corner.



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