Cultivating a Good Life

Welcome to Homegrown Habitat, where I share how I am cultivating the life and environment I want to live in everyday, and I encourage you to do the same.

WebstersDictionary1828.com gives one definition of cultivate as:

To improve by labor or study; to advance the growth of; to refine and improve by correction of faults, and enlargement of powers or good qualities

 This definition reflects my daily goal to improve myself, my family life, and my home environment. I am not perfect, and will never be in this life. But that is ok, as long as daily effort and constant improvement are occurring, that is ENOUGH. And we should be content with enough.

Now, that is not to say life is easy. Far from it. Life is hard. My life has been hard. My parents divorced when I was very young. I was raised in rough neighborhoods, including red light district areas, and subsidized housing where I learned to recognize a half-dozen illegal drugs by smell. But, I was also blessed to find ways to avoid the bad things going on around me and rise above the environment I was living in.

I have been blessed with seven wonderful children. I also lost an additional 4 babies to miscarriage. And the babies I did have came through very difficult pregnancies, including one pregnancy that nearly cost three of us our lives. But, I would not change any of these hard things I have been through in my life. They have taught me, stretched me, and caused me to rely on God and decide very early on who I wanted to be and how I wanted to choose to live for myself.

This past weekend, I heard a quote that perfectly summarizes the choices we have even in the hardest of life’s challenges:
Cultivating a Good Life -- Homegrown Habitat

This is an amazingly empowering thought. We are not entirely trapped, victims, or captives in any of our experiences, circumstances, or environments. We can choose many things about how we will cultivate our lives and our home habitat. Several years ago, I heard another quote which really struck me, especially since I could relate so directly to it as a gardener:

Cultivating a Good Life -- Homegrown Habitat

I love this quote! It is so true that in my character, my marriage, my mothering, my home management, and my gardening, there is always weeding and cultivating to be done. My goal is to live each day a little better than the last. I am so grateful for the atoning grace of my Savior, Jesus Christ that makes it possible to become better, to overcome weaknesses and mistakes.

I am passionate about gardening! I love to get my hands in the soil, plant seeds with great hope, prune, divide, harvest and even weed. Removing the bad weeds and replacing them with good plants is such a clear concept in the garden. Similarly, I think our home needs constant cultivating to make it a comfortable haven for the family. In my personal character, I also have constant cultivating to do. Sometimes I lose my temper, or want to give up, or feel like I have had such a bad day I have lost the battle. But, the reality is I can try again the next day; I can do better by removing those negative weeds in my character, and constantly strive to cultivate positive flowers in their place.

Join me as I work each day to cultivate my own Homegrown Habitat!

Happy Cultivating, Friends!

Melissa


To read or watch the quoted messages in their entirety, please follow the links below. These quotes are from talks given by general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and do reflect the religious beliefs of the LDS Church, of which I am a member.

Elder David A. Bednar, “A Welding Link,” Worldwide Devotional, September 2017. 

Elder Bruce C. Hafen, “The Atonement: All for All,” Ensign, May 2004.

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