18 April 2012

Lessons from Aunt Grace

Nope, not my aunt.

This is actually one of the stories I read from Chicken Soup For the Soul (Woman to Woman Edition). I just loved it so much, I took notes and thought - why not blog it too!

"Bloom where you are planted."

The story is really inspiring. It moves you to do something, not only for others but also for thyself. To nurture the body, the mind and most specially the spirit.

So what are "Aunt Grace's" rules-to-live-by? Here goes: (including an excerpt of how she did them)

1. Do something for someone else.
2. Do something for myself.
3. Do something I don't want to do that needs doing.
4. Do a physical exercise.
5. Do a mental exercise.
6. Do an original prayer that always includes counting my blessings.

Aunt Grace wrote that she limited herself to six rules because she felt that number to be "manageable". Here are some of the things she did and recorded in her diary:
Something for someone else. She bought three calves' feet, simmered them for four hours in water, with spices, to make calf's-foot jelly for a sick friend.
Something for myself. She trimmed an old blue hat with artificial flowers and a veil, receiving so many compliments that she thought the thirty-five cents well spent.
Something I don't want to do. She "turned out" the linen closet -- washed three dozen sheets by hand, sun bleached them, and folded them away with lavender sachet.
Physical exercise. She played croquet and walked to the village instead of going by horse or buggy.
Mental exercise. She read a chapter a day of Dickens' Bleak House, "which everyone is talking about".
...She had trouble with number six. Prayer did not come easily. "I can't concentrate in church," she wrote. "I find myself appraising the hats." Eventually she found a solution: "When I sit in solitude on the rock overlooking our pasture brook, I can pray. I ask the Lord to help me bloom where I am planted, and then count my blessings, always beginning with my family, without whom I would be alone and lost."

Though they seem like pretty simple rules/lessons to live by - they're hard. Especially when you're resolved to doing these everyday! I myself can relate to having trouble doing rule number six. We were to start a prayer journal (as advised in our community) and I did. Trust me, it's hard.

So there, I included the excerpts to show that every "little" actions count.

I guess the reason I took notes, wrote them on both my planner and journal - and now my blog, to remind me of things I would want to live by and hopefully do - in my own little way, one baby step at a time.

Lessons from Aunt Grace by Nardi Reeder Campion
(Originally included in the Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul)


  1. i really don't believe in repeated prayers... i mean, monotony and familiarity ruins sincerity.

    1. Hi Perrine! I agree. Although here, I think the suggestion is that we count and thank the Lord through our prayers for the blessings we receive each day. :)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate it!


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