Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rachel From No.17 Cherry Tree Lane

I'm Andrea Howe, and I endorse this message:
I'm lucky enough to know Rachel in real life, and not just in blog circles real life, but like, she really is a friend in real life (there I go getting all SoCal on you again with the "Like" word, sorry).  Rachel is sassy, she is funny, and her personality is larger than life, as is her love of all things vintage, and of course Mary Poppins. Duh. Hence the No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane reference. Rachel writes from the heart and I love her for that, and to prove that, here is one of her beautifully written posts that truly hits home for me.
It's not a mystery to anyone who knows me that I'm not Southern California's biggest fan. I fancy myself a woman that would fit in perfectly in the deep South. Large plantation shutters, slower lifestyle, no Blackberrys, all-day lemonade and long, drawn-out conversations, on my wrap around porch.
That's much more my style.

Last evening we joined friends for dinner and while we were waiting for them to box up our leftover fajitas and for the husbands to pay the bill, a revealing conversation began (isn't that when all great conversations start? Just when you have 3 restless children, needing to go to bed and a waiter waiting for you to leave your table). How it came up, I have no idea, but within 3 minutes, both my friend and I were sharing how we longed to leave Southern California. Not in the "I hate So Cal" kind of way, but more of the "general discontent with the lifestyle" variety.

We played verbal tennis, shooting reasons back and forth about why we would want to leave. There were plenty of reasons shared and enough realistic to solicit a move. We both agreed that moving would be the easiest part.

All through the conversation, the phrase, "Bloom Where You Are Planted" kept creeping through my mind. It was quite annoying, to tell you the truth. Besides being kinda kitschy, it's never something I say or share with others. It's not a cliche statement I email often, so why was it there? The more I thought about it, the more I realized it's purpose. I totally got it-in fact, for the first time last evening, I embraced it.

I have been placed in California. Southern California.
God has selected this to be our home for the time being and while I tend to think I know best, intuitively I know that the Lord doesn't make mistakes.
He has us embedded in this community, on this street and in this house.
He has us mingling with our neighbors, attending our church and spending time with the dear friends we have made here.
We live here for a purpose and this purpose won't and shouldn't be wasted because it's for a divine reason.

Believing that God has a reason for what He does, I can only assume that there is a reason we are here and here is where we will remain until HE gives us a reason to leave. Not until I find one.
Otherwise, imagine all of the wonderful opportunities I would be wasting. Imagine the friendships I would be saying goodbye to and the home we would be driving away from.

Yes, Southern California might not be my very favorite place in the world.
But my LIFE in Southern California is special to me. My friends, family, church, home, community.

They are mine.
And I will Bloom Where I Am Planted.
Enjoying the moments, rather than complaining about the weeds.
Since when I think of Rachel, I think of vintage, I am offering up for grabs to one lucky reader, a piece from my personal collection of vintage milk glass. The sweet little candy dish on the right is up for grabs, not the bell or the dish on the left. Those belonged to my grandmother and you ain't getting your grubby paws on those hehe! So you know what to do people! Leave a comment for sweet Rachel, get an entry. Blog about it, tweet it, facebook it, get an entry. Subscribe to Four Flights of Fancy or Cherry Tree Lane, get another entry. Just leave a comment for each entry :) That's it folks!


  1. I feel your discontent. I'm in Nebraska and long to be somewhere that offers more than flat plains and cornfields. But, like you said, God put my family here. And I'm trying to make the most of it.

    Also, I'm originally from Oklahoma and I say "Like" a lot. Now one of my sons does it and I realize how often I must say it!

  2. I love Rachel, and I love this reminder. One of my favorite books as a teen was called "Bloomability," and whenever I find myself complaining to friends about where I am, I whisper to myself: Bloomability. Bloom right here. And be the friend who encourages contentment. Not in an obnoxious, holier-than-thou kind of way. But in a way that inspires and reminds us that we are so, so blessed to be right where we are.

  3. Shes adorable...I just started following her from this post...thanks for the introduction:)

    Enter my F21 Giftcard Giveaway!!
    Statements in Fashion Blog

  4. Hi Rachel and Andrea- I love lots and lots about SoCal, not everything, but is there really a perfect place on earth? Anyhoo- A you know I covet your milk glass!!!

  5. I heart Rachel and was SO excited when she started blogging again! Woot, woot!

  6. I can't even tell you how close to home this one hits. Ouch. Thanks for the reminder. : )

  7. Wow..this totally hits home with me. I've lived in So Cal all my life and I'm tired of it. We're stuck here for now, and I get the whole "Bloom Where You're Planted" thing, but we need a change for sure.

  8. rachel always does such a great job sharing her true heart and i love that about her. that and her willingness to follow where God leads her. it's so much easier said then done. i heart your milk glass collection andrea!

  9. Hi girl,
    I have been reading your guest posts all week, although this is the first time I've had time to sit down and comment. I love Rachel too! And I love your new blog rollout. It looks great!

  10. I'm linking to you on the 2Cool4myMinivan FB page.

  11. Now onto my comment for Rachel: I am from the Deep South and couldn't wait to get the H out of my backwards small town (where so much ignorance still exists right next to all the good people) for most of my teen years. I wanted to live here! I do miss the small town values and the slower pace and the wrap around porches and hearing people say "fixin' to" and "y'all", but when I go home I'm always so relieved to get back here mainly because of the friends I've made, our church, the opportunities available to my kids that I never had, etc. Having lived all over the country as a former Army wife, I figured out that everywhere has some good and bad (yes, even Hawaii had it's negatives), and it's funny that I've never thought about it like you mentioned...learning to bloom wherever God sends us. I really liked reading this post!

  12. I {heart} vintage milk glass ! I am a new follower of yours ...excited !

  13. I also follow Rachel's blog and love it/her ! I also share her love of Mary Poppins and her love of the wonderful SOUTH ..(I'm a true southern girl to the core) !

  14. love this. We are currently in the seattle area (which is an awesome place) but we really really miss home (colorado)...def. needed to hear this. Thanks.

  15. Thank U Rachel SO what I have been feeling! Funny thing is I've actually been wanting to move back to OC area cause most of my family is there. But this makes me realize I need to be content where I'm planted and be used by God where he has me! Thank u!

  16. Just started following Four Flights of Fancy!

  17. I am blessed to have always loved where I live. I have lived in the same town for 23 years and have loved every fall leaf, snow flake, blooming flower and sticky summer day as long as it is in New England.

  18. I am a new follower to Four Flights of Fancy

  19. I am also following No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane.

  20. Aw Rachel, I got chills reading this. So true...it is not our plan, but God's. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  21. I love vintage milk glass! Some fine pieces my friend. :)

    Loved Reading what Rachel wrote, hits close to home.

  22. I love you and love Rachel too.
    I am really hoping I am the lucky winner. It will be in a good home!

    I enjoyed all the guest bloggers this week!

  23. you guys are both adorable! excited to find some new good blogs, thanks for a great post! and I really hope to win this because my sister has been hinting about milk glass a lot lately and it would be a great present :)

  24. I love visiting Rachels blog... she speaks from the heart... My kinda gal! Hi Rachel!! I am here visiting you from Rachels blog!! ;)


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