Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Seeds, Harvest, and a Writer's Thanks

photo courtesy of pixabay
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant." --Robert Louis Stevenson

Thanksgiving. A day to slow down (even though the to-do list to get the traditional spread on the table can become hectic!) and reflect. A day to consider, acknowledge, and count--count all those blessings that grace our families and our lives. I paused for a few minutes the other day to do just that. It necessitated a period of intentionally stopping, quieting, and taking some deep breaths. After all, that to-do list wasn't going to get done on its own.

But something happened when I got quiet. Yes, I recorded many things I'm thankful for, including my husband and our over-40 years of marriage, my children/their wonderful mates/the precious grandchildren, our home and freedoms and health and all the beauty that can be seen no matter the season of the year. I noted things like the wind through pine trees, grapefruit, ocean walks, sled rides and chapped cheeks, Mom's quilts and warm socks. I added 'time' to the list--time to write, time to learn, time to change and grow, time to meet challenges with more courage than less. So many things, so many directions. In fact, the whole process reminded me of Ann Voskamp's inspiring book, One Thousand Gifts--a book worth pulling off the shelf and rereading.

But the exercise brought me to an interesting point. I found myself remembering some of the people in my life who were influential in helping me get where I am--people who planted seeds, if you will, and who also would probably be surprised to learn they had been included on such list. In no particular order I thought of:

1. Mrs. Stahl who ignited the spark for journalism--and words in general--in high school.
2. Mrs. Moore who taught an elementary child the importance of discipline and kindness.
3. Mr. Walters who, unbeknownst to him, opened up a world of history to a receptive teen--and fired up the desire to bring characters to life through his portrayal of Matthew Brady of Civil War photography fame.
4. Mrs. Bennett who helped an introverted sophomore gain a bit of confidence in public speaking through soft-spoken compliments. 
5. Mrs. Gossett who gave an eight-year old child insight into faith and hope through her weekly neighborhood Bible story times for the children.

These were not the only influential people in my life, but they were the ones that came to mind first. They were happy to plant seeds though they wouldn't necessarily see the harvest. And am I ever grateful for the seeds they planted!

What people 'planted seeds' in your life that you are thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving to all who stop by!


  1. Ii really love your list and you got me to thinking about my own. My mom comes to mind most because she's the one who always tells me I can do it--whatever that it is. She just made it through colon cancer all on her own. She's my hero and I am thankful for her.

  2. My mother was my champion as well. I can't think of anyone else who believed in me like she did.

    Mostly, I've spent decades championing others--my husband, my children, my friends, my writer friends. I've put endless time and effort into building them up.

    I suspect you've played a role in building others up as well. So if none of them thanks you, I'm doing it now.

    I certainly am uplifted by your inspiring posts each week, Kenda.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. Terri, sending well-wishes to your mom! What an inspiration she must be. Thanks for sharing. Certainly another person we can add to our gratitude list :-)

    And same for your mom, Cathy. So nice to hear how she has supported you. I should add my mom to the list, too. She suffered a stroke in April, and she has taught us a lot about not giving up and working hard to get better. And thanks so much for your kind words. I thank you back--and all who take time to stop in here--you are all such an encouragement to me :-) You make me want to keep on writing! Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Mom comes to mind, of course, and let's not forget Dad - and the sisters who shared my love of reading. I have some "writer friends" who would certainly make my list. (Kenda, you were the first of those.)

    My husband not only supports my writing (and my reading and teaching, which are related), but he tries to understand what I'm doing, and that's not so easy. I'm also thankful for my own sons and their wives who are always encouraging. My grandchildren help keep me in touch with childhood, which has been critical since I write for kids.

    My oldest grandson shares my love of writing, so we have some wonderful conversations. How lucky am I to talk with a nine-year-old about plot, character, and favorite authors! I also have some great literature talks with my students. All in all, I'm pretty lucky.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Kenda!

  5. Peggy, another mother to add to the list, along with all those supportive people in our lives, including cheerleading husbands--what true gifts! Thanks for sharing. I loved hearing about your grandson's love of writing, too. For sure you'll be cheering him on and he will one day count you as one of his greatest blessings. Glad you have him to share your love of writing with :-)

  6. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! This is a good exercise. Will have to give it more thought, but off the top of my head I am thankful for my husband and children, daughter in law, and grandson. I too, have several teachers who inspired me to write and do my best.

  7. My mother, my grandpa, and others all planted seeds - this is a wonderful post. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    P.S. I sent you an email, but not sure you got it. :)

  8. Karen, we had a really nice Thanksgiving, thank you. And thanks for stopping by. Our family members do top the list, don't they?

    And Kimberly, love that you mention your grandpa--it's that generation that can hold a special place in our hearts. And no, I didn't get your email :-( I sent you another message on your blog, hope you got it. Otherwise, try kendaturner(at)gmail(dot)com again. Hope it goes through this time :-)