The following is a transcript from the Raised Catholic podcast. To listen to the podcast, click here.
Today is episode 11: Bloom Where You’re Planted
Well, hey friends. Two towns away from where I live, there is a half mile stretch of road that contains huge chunks of my life and vocation in various buildings and settings. And once I realized that this was the case, I have never driven that stretch of road again in quite the same way. First there’s a wonderful charitable organization called My Brother’s Keeper, with whom I’ve been associated for decades now. It’s not overstating it to say that they have modeled for me what it means to be a Christian. Next is Holy Cross Family Ministries, which houses catholicmom.com – a worldwide ministry that I have contributed to as a writer for years. Then, the Holy Cross Retreat House, where in 2003, I lived a retreat called cursillo and where, since then, I’ve served on a number of teams for retreats and become part of a community with some of the very best people I’ve ever known. Then, Stonehill College, where many of my family and friends have been associated as employees and students and where I love to attend daily mass. Finally, a cemetery where my dear friend and Holy Cross priest Fr. Joe Callahan is buried and where I go to visit with him and chat. If I continued just a bit further down that road, I would find the place that my Dad and I go for breakfast, and one of the sweet preschools where I have taught music, plus a sheep pasture where I used to bring my kids to play when they were small, not to mention the farm that grows the very best tomatoes ever, and my favorite coffee place. Really, that one mile makes me feel so happy and inspired each time I drive it. It’s the mile I go to to walk or sit, when I need silence or stillness or to hear the voice of God. That mile incorporates my past as a young Mom and my current vocations as writer, teacher, and leader. It embodies huge chunks of community and family, past and future. And the truth is that, to me, this mile feels like holy ground.
I’m wondering if, as I’m describing this holy mile, if thoughts are coming to mind about your own holy spaces. Today we are talking about blooming in the frame of your vocational life and how the very best place to find holy ground is often right beneath your feet.
You, wonderful you – with all of your inherent gifts, talents, and challenges, were once planted in a family in a particular time and place and this was your first bit of soil – and a very important one at that. That soil influenced how you’ve grown over time, and since then, the circumstances and people which have helped shape you for better or worse –– these, along with your own choices, have moved you forward in your life.
And here you are today. Maybe you’ve been transplanted in and out of a variety of soils over time, but experience and grace have brought you now to a particular place. Well, that’s the place where you’ve now been planted. And maybe we’re referring here not to a geographical place on a map, but instead a vocation, a community, or a stage in life. If you take time to look around your everyday life, you may find yourself blooming into this broken world in what you may consider small ways but as we know, nothing is small in the economy of God. Or maybe in this Lenten time of transition, you may be pivoting in a particular direction of blooming, either within yourself or on behalf of other people, and as a fellow member of the Body of Christ I have to say, thank you for that.
Where you’re planted, geographically but also vocationally, relationally, emotionally, and spiritually is filled with clues as to your sphere of blooming. Ask yourself, what work or activities are life-giving to you these days? And this may be within the scope of the job for which you’re paid or outside of that realm altogether. A clue toward a possible vocation or blossoming comes from a good question from author Barbara Brown Taylor who asks, “What is saving your life right now?” In other words, what brings you to life?
Well friend, my answer to that question is you. You’re saving my life right now. It’s this work of thinking of you, writing and recording this podcast for you about some truths that have been sitting in my heart now for a long while that are making me excited to stretch and grow in a whole new way. Making a podcast is not something I ever thought I’d try, but here I am.
Today I’d say my blossoming is happening in a few places: in this podcast with you, in the little bit of music teaching I’m able to do online these days, and in my return to the practice of running outdoors. As I do these things, I feel clarity, energy, and light – and it’s all work but also, it sometimes feels like hitting a ball in the sweet spot of a bat – where you get that little extra boost of something that sends the ball further than you could ever hit it on your own. Is there something in your life that feels like that?
As we consider this question, it’s good to remember that growth and blossoming is work that we enter into with God. He provides the light and the water we need in the form of inspiration, grace, and practical help, and in time and only with God’s help, we will certainly bloom in ways or places that we may not guess at today.
So, knowing it’s not all on you, and that all things are possible with our loving God, and that blooming begins underneath your very feet, my friend, I have to ask: What’s your dream? Fueled by love and your own hard-fought unique perspective, in this world that has been so broken and beaten down and which needs your particular light right now… how are you shining today and what do you want to do next? What small step might you consider taking that might lead to a whole new path? Where is God calling you today to rise up as the beautiful flower you are?
I’m so grateful for your particular bloom, friend. It’s just a fact that in this crazy garden in which we have all been planted together, we wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful without you.
Thanks so much for joining me today. If you liked this podcast, would you please consider sharing it with a friend, subscribing, rating and reviewing? That would really help to get this message out to more people and I’d really appreciate that so thanks in advance. If you’d like to engage with me on this topic you can find me on Instagram @kerrycampbellwrites and on my blog at mylittleepiphanies.com. For now, let’s pray together.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
Oh God, we’ve heard it said that the unexamined life is not worth living, but examining might feel scary or overwhelming to us today. Give us your kindly light to enable each of us to understand ourselves and our vocations just a little bit better and help each of us to move forward in what you have for us in practical ways. Help us find our holy ground right under our feet – in our kitchens, our churches, our workplaces, and our communities. Give us doors of opportunity and light at our feet. In your goodness, you’ve filled us and our dear ones with unique talents and goodness and so we ask you to give us clarity and wisdom to find the very best ways and places to use them in this season, right where you’ve planted us.
And we pray all this in the name of Jesus, amen.
Well, thanks so much for listening friend and for blooming, too, and I’ll see you next time.