Did you plant a garden this year?
Gardening is a beloved spring and summer hobbies. Planting a handful of seeds, feeling the dirt in-between my fingers, watching the earthworms wiggle through the soft earth as I made small holes.
Then, the waiting.
A small green something pushes through and then a stalk unfurls, so tiny and fragile. I do my best to protect it from snails and curious pets. More days waiting, more watering and so much anxiety! Would the carrots make it this year? Would the watermelon vines produce a watermelon (and would the darn melon actually taste good this year?)
Oh. All the questions. As the sun stayed out longer, it beckoned me to come and play in the garden. Don’t ask me how I found time to spend several hours a week in the garden when the other seasons seemed so busy, but I did. Watching, watering, pulling up weeds, talking to the little plants, searching for our archenemies, those interfering snails, who would try to eat my budding vegetable and fruit vines.
Harvest time usually came in late July or August and lasted through September IF I stayed attentive. What fun it would be to watch the zucchini squash grow and grow and GROW, then pluck one off to make into Grandma Haas’s baked summer squash recipe.
I never knew what would grow and what would not. Sometimes the most promising, eager plant that grew voraciously in May would not produce any vegetables much to my dismay. One year the watermelons all shriveled up and died several weeks before they would have been ripe. So disappointing.
The garden taught me several lessons. My most important job was to do the work: plant the seeds, make sure they got enough water, pull the weeds and watch.
The start of a stationery line, not unlike the gardens I grow, is small. Also like my small gardens, it started with more enthusiasm and excitement than knowledge and aptitude.
My mind wanders back to a letter I wrote my grandmother.
What in the world am I going to do with all this art? It’s growing up all around me, but what is there to do with it? I keep creating and I love it, but it doesn’t really sell and…
It wasn’t a month later when Michele, a friend and the founder of the wonderful podcast Well Women Network said to me, “What’s stopping you from starting a stationery line?” after I’d put her off with yet another excuse. She’d asked me before, but it was the “what’s stopping you,” that well, stopped me.
I dug around, rather unwillingly at first, and realized the only thing stopping me was fear and excuses.
- I didn’t know a graphic designer (worst excuse ever). Michele knew someone she’d worked with before.
- I didn’t know all the ins and outs of getting things printed and the right sizes. Hello Google and email and phone calls.
- COVID hit hard and I couldn’t go in to touch paper to make decisions about what would work best. Google again plus an educated guess after a bunch of research.
- Where to buy envelopes? How about stickers?
As the answers started to come, I found myself getting more excited. With each small challenge figured out, there was a sense of the little engine that could. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.
Not only was this project a lot of fun, I’d finally figured a way to possibly create a business with the art, it was a way to serve others by putting art in a product they were interested in. Slowly, a the vision from years past that had been buried on the side of the road began to emerge.
We live in a world that has definite parameters on what is big and what is not. The stories, images and ideas gracing magazines, headline news, YouTube and social media generally is all about the big, the flashy and the eye-catching…at least for the moment.
It is not a surprise, in a world obsessed with the impressive, for many of us to discredit our own vision
The thing is, I believe we all have vision, if we are willing to excavate it and work on it. In its simplicity, a vision is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. It starts with a creative plan, than takes work to start making the plan come to life.
I’ve been a vision person, even as I’ve discarded my own throughout the years. (this post earlier this year is a testament to me coming back around to the vision). There are 10 really good reasons I think you should write out your vision. It does not have to be big or impressive. It could be a vision for the summer. What are your future plans? How can you think about these plans with wisdom and imagination? Are the things stopping you based in real limits right now or are they more about fear (like me and the stationery)?
Here are my list of reasons for why having a vision is super important. I wish you and I could sit down and talk about vision because it is a robust topic that gets deeper and more beautiful when we talk about it together.
- We’re meant for adventure. It is wired deep in our hearts.
- Vision keeps us from settling down (I’m not talking about REST, but complacency).
- Vision makes us scrappy. Pursuing a vision will be harder, take more time and be more expensive than one thought. We will become better and more resourceful by navigating obstacles, hang-ups and problems.
- It moves us from present day problems to looking ahead.
- Pursuing a vision keeps me close to God and deepens my relationship with Him. I want to ensure I’m not simply pursuing something out of selfishness or self-absorption AND I also know He’s gifted me with an aptitude and skills to develop. I open my desires and concerns to Him and listen for guidance. That may sound odd, but pursuing a vision keeps me from pursuing a life that revolves around safety and security. His purposes for us usually take us out of our comfort zones and I’ve found deepens my trust in Him for the unknown.
- Having a vision demands thoughtfulness and an examination of our own life.
- Committing to a vison requires prioritization, giving up the good for the best.
- A vision gets rid of waste and things holding us down and back. You cannot run with a vision while stuck in the mud and mire of past hurts, pain and chains. Implementing a vision requires that I get into or maintain a certain physical, spiritual, mental, emotional acumen.
- A vision connects us with other people. If you have a vision in your heart, it will attract different people into your life. You’ll develop friendships that go deep. Some play a big part in our vision and others play a small part, but there’s lots of people involved.
- A vision moves us outside of ourselves. The best visions serve others, inspire others, lift others up. We never know how pursuing the vision will influence those around us to pursue something in their hearts.
My goal is for this list to inspire you to consider pursue your own vision. Or, perhaps dust off that vision board or list of goals you had for 2020.
What might the rest of the year have for you?
Tomato plants do best when the days get super hot. I’ve always that characteristic is intriguing. So far 2020 is a difficult, sweaty, hot year. Who knows how many of us might launch beautiful “gardens” in our own lives in the middle of the heat? Wouldn’t that make the year memorable?
If you’d like to purchase any of the Vibrant Collection stationery sets you can see them here in The Creative Season shop. The Wildflower Bouquets are here. The Blue Lupines are here. The ‘Sunflowers in Bloom’ are here.