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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Let's Bloom! It's Spring! Bloom Where You are Planted!

Let's Bloom!  It's Spring!
By Author Barbara Tiller Cole

{I am very happy to be a part of the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop this year!  Please be sure and click on the link at the bottom to check out all of the other great posts!}

There once was a man who had two sons.  He gave both of them red wagons as a gift.  One of them played in the wagon,  and even used it for transporting groceries to a neighbor who was sick.  He carted trash back and forth to the curb for an elderly gentleman who lived down the street.  Found that he enjoyed giving younger kids rides in it to their delight and giggles.  The other son, well the other son put the wagon in the corner and pouted.  He had wanted a scooter.  Who do you think that the father wanted to give more to in the future?
Now whether or not the father began to play favorites with his sons at this time or not is irrelevant.  The morale is that gratitude and happiness with your lot in life is a much better way to live.  

'Bloom Where You Are Planted' was the first thing that came into my mind as I considered the theme of this hop--Authors in Bloom.  Be all you can be, do all you can do with what you have.

I did a bit of research to determine where this phrase came from.  Some say that it originated in the bible (countless Biblical references seem to point to various verses in the Bible that carry a similar notion).  However, many credit the Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) with the phrase.  Later Mary Engelbreit popularized the notion.

For me, I have learned to look for the best in each day.  A few years back I had the gift of being able to gaze upon a lush field of 4-leaf clovers at the top of the Torc Falls in Killarney Ireland, overlooking a majestic field complete with an ancient castle and abbey.  I also have faced the death of both of my two parents just ten days apart.  The miracle of life and of living a spiritual life is that there are truth gifts being planted in either of those days.  It is just sometimes more difficult to see when the days are tough.

When the road seems more rocky, looking for something beautiful in the path will give you a new vision and a new purpose for living.  And if you live your life anticipating God's gift in each day, you might just find it.

Even flowers sprout in the desert.  As you make your way
around this Authors in Bloom blog tour, think about where you are today and how you can make the best of it and bloom.  If there is a desire you will find a way.  Just remember the beauty of something as simple as a cactus flower.

Looking at this particular picture some will see a rocky short and the lack of vibrant color or maybe even the starkness of the foliage.  Others will see the sparkling silver sheen of the water, and the glorious gift of being able to stand on the edge of the ocean.  Which one are you?  Are you willing to Bloom Where you are Planted?  Leave a comment about how you have either bloomed where you are planted or how you would like to.  And good luck with the contest.  Please leave your email address in your comment so we will be able to reach you if you should win.  And I hope you will read some of the other wonderful sharings my authors on this blog while you are here.

And my recipe is a little something Elizabeth Bennet would love:

Lavender Shortbread

2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons finely snipped dried lavender flowers, divided
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons lavender; cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours.
In a bowl, cream butter, sugar and remaining lavender. Combine flour, cornstarch and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into 1-1/2-in. squares. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with a fork several times. Bake at 325° for 18-22 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Sift reserved lavender sugar; discard lavender. Dust cookies with the sugar. Store in airtight containers. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Editor's Note: Look for dried lavender flowers in spice shops. If using lavender from the garden, make sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals.

To enter the Blog Hop here on my site, please share this post, like me on Facebook, register for my blog or share a comment.  There are great prizes for the hop!  I will also be selecting one commenter to win a copy of with 'White Lies and Half Truths' or 'Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy'.  Winner's choice! So be sure and include a way for me to get in touch with you!

Now, be sure to follow the link below to all the other great authors that are a part of this Blog Hop!
Authors in Bloom Blog Hop Link