rooted (verb) – established deeply and firmly.

So what do you think about when you hear the words “rooted”? Trees? Plants? Gardening? Yikes!

Take that beautiful, nature-ish word and now turn it inward. There are so many things we can be – hasty, busy, tired, overwhelmed, blown over by the winds of challenge in our lives – but what about ROOTED? Is this an adjective that could be used to describe a state of being for us as people? I think, yes!

I remember my dear friend and business partner, Jessica, discussing with me her frustrations about the difficult school she was teaching in at the time. I tried convincing her to transfer out, and she solemnly and matter-of-factly said to me, “I know, but I think I need to grow where I am planted.” Wow, that sure did cause me to take a step back and self-reflect. Grow where you’re planted? What do you MEAN?

Every one of us – mom, dad, teacher, principal, student – we all face challenging situations in life. Now, we can choose to walk around those situations rather than through them… but what would happen if we allowed ourselves to grow where we were planted and not uproot ourselves prematurely from an uncomfortable situation.

I’m thinking of you public school teachers who are just a few months into a new school year. Already tired and burnt out and already frustrated with difficult kids, uninvolved parents, and pressures of misplaced scrutiny from district and state.

I’m thinking of you stay at home mamas and daddys. Spit up’ed, touched out, under appreciated, and desperate for meaningful adult interactions.

I’m thinking of you working mamas and daddys. Rushing out the door before loved ones have woken up, tired from a day of complainers and empty encounters, arriving home to be needed and bombarded with complaints and crying kiddos before even being able to take a breath.

We very well could wish these difficult times away. Close our eyes and look forward to days when our kids are older and more independent, when your dream job becomes a reality and living paycheck to paycheck is a thing of the past. Hoping for the next promotion or the bigger house or that fancy vacation.

Or you could look around at this place you are planted in. This time. This season. This dirty, messy, inconvenient soil we are sitting in. And you could grow where you are. Right here where you are. And rather than letting the winds of difficulty blow you over, or uprooting yourself before those roots set in, you could allow your roots to deepen and strengthen and you can find a strength that might right now be hidden. This magical gift of growth that only comes when you invite it to.

Grow where you are planted. Grow roots and may they run deep.

Tiffany Thenor