Thursday, April 4, 2013

Planting Seeds

"Do not judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

This quote.
I love and need this quote.
I "happened" upon it several years ago, and it changed me. 

These words are a breath of fresh air in an often smoggy world that seems obsessed with measuring and comparing and selling more of everything all the time. Things that are supposed to be measured (like an athlete's speed or a company's profit margin) are measured. And things that aren't supposed to be measured (like spiritual growth or a child's success) seem to also be measured in all sorts of stress-filled ways. Things that are supposed to be compared (like apples or automobiles) are compared....and oh, so many things (like physical appearance, how we parent, who goes to the better church and who has the most friends)...things that just aren't supposed to be compared are OVERLY compared. And, to me, there are things that are meant to be sold (like...well...things) and things that just aren't. Like love. Loyalty. Sex (which we all know is sold in thousands of ways that have nothing to do with actual prostitution). Friendship. And yes, I just have to say it. Religion. 

I have think about my days in terms of seeds planted. I can plant seeds of kindness. I can't control how someone reacts to those seeds, or control what they produce. But I sure can plant them. I can plant seeds of hard work or creativity. I can care for and nurture what and who are around me. But I just can't predict, determine, manage or manipulate exactly what is going to come as a result of what I give of myself. 

As an enabler, this is a hard lesson that I am continually learning. I have to fight to internalize this idea. To take responsibility for those seeds, and to let the results/rewards/reactions be what they may. More and more I feel like one of those birds....just sitting on a branch, chirping away. Another bird joins in. Then another. And, after a time, there's a chorus of goodness surrounding me. Chirpers free to come and go as they will....each of us glad to sing alone and able to enjoy our time together. No one scoring points for how long they stay, how many they bring to the party... 

or how perfectly they sing their tune. 

Linking up here


  1. I believe we share a lot in common. I kept on nodding all the way through. And you are so right- YOU control how you feel, not how others feel.

    This was a fantastic post! Thanks for sharing your seeds.

  2. A great post. Love the quote and your words. Seeds of kindness...I feel it. :)

  3. ooh I love that quote! It totally applies to my post today too. I love that! I make a point to never read anyone's until I write mine and I am always surprised how so many of us are working through the same things at the same time.

  4. Oh my. I too was nodding my head the whole way through. And I may or may not have said, "Oh. Yes, yes!" out loud while the kids are wondering what in the world momma is whispering to herself. ;) I got a nasty comment on my blog this week and it really had me reeling, but what you said here is so true - I can control what I say and how I give of myself, but the reaction of others is NOT my fault ever. How someone else chooses to read my words and interpret them is up to them, not me. My job is to share the words on my heart and pray that God would bless them and bless the ones who read them...and that is it. Thank you for this!

  5. What an important reminder! And such a lovely way of putting it too. It's so easy to get caught up in outcomes, and forget that what really matters is what you put in. Thanks for this!

  6. I really have no words...for this, this whole thing is how I feel everyday, and yet could never put it into words. You are a magnificent.

  7. wonderful words. The idea of not being in control of how others use what we share with them...and letting that go.

  8. ahhh....I need to sip this one in slowly with my tea this morning. There is much here I need to embrace in my own life.