A Mother’s Modus Operandi: “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”

Potted flowers Bloom where you are planted“Bloom Where You Are Planted.” This one phrase encapsulates the philosophy by which my mother lived. She and my dad moved 28 times during their 61 years of marriage—and I’m talking different cities, different states, different countries. My oldest brother, bore the brunt of it. I remember him telling me that he went to four different high schools.

Somewhere, early on, she adopted this modus operandi. As soon—and I mean THE VERY DAY the truck unloaded—as soon as the doors to the new house opened, boxes were unpacked, beds were made, pictures quickly hung in their spots and a roast would be in the oven. I kid you not. Next up, her mission was to meet the neighbors, find a church, a bridge club and a garden club to join. Goal: Get planted. Then bloom.

Somewhere, early on, I adopted this modus operandi. And I didn’t even realize it.

A mother’s words and a mother’s modus operandi are very powerful. I attribute my love for adventure, my ease in making new friends, and my flexibility to my mother. She passed this invaluable approach to life on to me, her only daughter. I miss her.

I’m a mother, too. And I am the mother of a daughter. To be exact I am the mother to FIVE daughters. You heard that right. FIVE. No boys in the bunch. And I had no sisters. Only four brothers. (I learned how to throw a mean football, but couldn’t lace together a bow for the life of me. God has a sense of humor to be sure.) My girls are all adults now. What have I passed on to them?

A mother’s words and a mother’s modus operandi are very powerful. They are passed down whether we acknowledge it or not. We’re doing it all the time. My mom passed on other lessons to me as as well—both in word and in deed. Here are a few more:

Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. (Don’t worry)
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (Don’t give up)
Don’t cry over spilt milk (Keep things in perspective)
If the shoe fits, wear it. (If it applies, accept the truth)
You made your bed, now sleep in it. (Take responsibility)
Make hay while the sun shines. (Do it now)
A watched pot never boils (Be patient)

You’ve, no doubt heard these yourself and seen someone model them. They date my mom, don’t they? I’m sure you have a list of your own, from your own parentals.

Now the question becomes, “What are the quippy little proverbs and phrases that my girls will quote after I’m gone?” Just asking that question causes a flood of phrases to enter my mind. I want to capture them. I want to write them down, wrap them up and give to my girls to “take home,”  to put in their treasure chests of memories. I want to be intentional about this. I want to replace the negative and destructive ones, they’ve no doubt picked up over the years, with ones that ring of real wisdom and are worthy to be passed on to their kids. … In the next several posts, I’m going to do exactly that.

QUESTION: What are the quippy little proverbs and phrases that your kids, or grandkids, nieces or nephews, students, or other children in your life, will quote after you’re gone?

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52 Responses to “A Mother’s Modus Operandi: “Bloom Where You Are Planted.””

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