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Beatrix Potter’s Unique Fruitfulness

My husband and I were watching a movie about Beatrix Potter’s life the other night, the author and creator of children's storybooks like The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Beatrix was a lady who used her talents and passions to the fullest, found success and fulfillment, and let her life fall into place the way God intended. Truly inspiring!

Beatrix was guided by her gifts, artistry, passions, and zeal for life. She was not attached to the ideals of marriage and family-building, despite her family’s preference that she follow in the path of an arranged marriage. In fact, she resisted all that and started out not even wanting to be married. 

Instead, in her thirties, she focused on using her gifts to publish stories for children she deeply believed in and felt inspired to create. She fell in love and then experienced profound loss. Eventually, a loving marriage came, she realized her desire to own and cultivate farmland in the country, and became a fruitful woman in ways that didn’t involve bearing and raising children. This was atypical of women in her era who typically chose a traditional family life.

What I saw in Beatrix was immense fruitfulness that flowed from knowing who she was and staying true to who she was and her desires. She didn’t need to follow someone else’s path because she followed her own heart. She followed the road less traveled which was true to her gifts, desires, inspirations and how God made her. As a result, I think she is a woman to be inspired by on the road to becoming more fruitful. 

I think often in the Catholic and Christian world, we focus heavily on the the wife and maternity model of fruitfulness: I am supposed to be the faithful wife and a mother who stays at home and cares for children. Maybe or maybe not… God has a unique story for you to embrace if you remain true to who He created you to be. Beatrix shows us that.

If life isn’t falling into place for you according to that vision, consider these questions:

  • Who are you?

  • What are your greatest gifts?

  • How do you want to be fruitful?

  • What are the deepest desires of your heart?

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