BLOOM BABY, BLOOM!
Have you ever found yourself in a terrible circumstance? Maybe it’s a major life tragedy or perhaps it’s just part of everyday life, but we can easily feel like we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. But what if that’s exactly where you will find your purpose or calling? You may just find the wrong place was the exact right place for you to find your purpose and BLOOM!
Come and find out how this one little flower inspired me to keep striving when I felt like giving up.
Up from the ashes, grow the roses of success…
Recently, I walked outside to put a sprinkler in my front yard (because my life’s glamorous like that) and caught sight of a vine-like thing coming from a fork in one of the big old elm trees that grow there. Upon closer inspection, I could see it was a tiny variety of a sunflower.
Elm trees don’t flower. The seed pod had either been blown through the air and landed in the crook of the tree trunk or it had been dropped or possibly even pooped out by a bird.
Once it was dropped there, it obviously took root in the dead bugs, decaying leaves, moss and dirt matter that collects in the fork of the tree.
Anyone else hearing that song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? “Up from the ashes grow the rose of success.”
Have You Been Chewed Up and Pooped Out?
Isn’t this a life analogy? Life can chew us up and poop us out and often times we’re left somewhere we never intended to be. We find ourselves alone and out of place either as a consequence of our own choices or by the decisions someone else made.
But, before we look for a way out of the muck, we might want to take some time to see the beauty that might grow out of our current, albeit stinky situation. God can use any medium or location to grow us. And if we allow Him to use us there, we are never in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When The Wrong Place Becomes Your Place to Shine
Do you remember a lady named Ashley Smith who in 2006 came home to find an escaped convict, who had already killed four people in his escape, hiding in her home? She was held hostage at gunpoint for nearly nine hours. Surely nothing beautiful would bloom there in what had to be the worst time of her life. But, instead of plotting her escape or shrinking back in face of fear, she allowed God to use her as she read to him from the book, A Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren.
When the abductor released her unharmed, he called her “God’s angel, placed there by God himself.” One secular magazine article called the event, “An encounter with God.”
None of Us Want It, but “It” Happens
- Do you feel intimidated in your career field?
- Have you changed your life for a job or a relationship that has fallen apart and now you’re alone in a new place?
- Are you trying to find yourself because your child has left for college?
- Perhaps you’re in a toxic relationship(s).
- Are you or someone you love facing a terminal illness?
- Have you lost your job and are currently underpaid or underemployed?
- Has God called you to to do something you’re afraid to do?
- Did you lose your spouse?
- Are you an empty-nester coming to terms with this new season of life?
- Is your marriage relationship no what you hoped it would be?
- Do you feel insignificant some area of your life?
Note: Please understand, if you are in a dangerous or abusive relationship, I DO NOT believe we are intended to stay there! Reach out for help and get to a safe place!
Encountering God in Your Mess
There are all sorts of scenarios that could leave us in dire situations feeling alone and rejected.
But like this little flower, we can bloom wherever we are “dropped”. Remember, she didn’t wake up in her own beautiful bed but in a dark place full of death and decay.
As morbid as it may sound, the most beautiful things can grow out of death and despair. The depth of our experiences can cultivate a soil rich enough for our personal growth.
You may also be interested in Shake Off the Spirit of Heaviness
When you’re out of your element, your potential to make a unique impact on someone is actually enlarged.Paula, dimples on my WHAT?
Do you see yourself in her Bloom?
This lone little sunflower might look lost and insignificant against the enormity of the tree. But look closer, her beauty stands out and is unlike anything around her.
Now, put yourself in her place. When you’re out of your element, your potential to make a unique impact on someone is actually enlarged.
Like her, have you started to droop a little under the pressure? You’re resilient! When you dig deep, you can find the strength to get back up and reach for the sky. You have a purpose there, whether it’s long term or for a short season.
A Sunflower’s Message to Me (and I don’t think it makes me crazy)
I saw this little flower on a day I felt particularly out of place in this crazy wonderful (and sometimes soul-crushing) world of blogging and social media. I felt small and alone; a little fish in the ginormous sea of cool, popular fish, or at least the ones who know how to work it. I felt lost.
I had been praying that God would show me the way and give me direction. And I saw His answer in a little flower growing in the wrong place.
I don’t know exactly what that purpose is just yet, but I’ll continue to try, right here in a world that seems foreign to me, and see which thing takes root and grows the best. Maybe I’m small potatoes and different from the rest, but I can bloom and impact someone just the same.
Bloom to Be a Blessing -YES, YOU!
Just look at this beauty. She may not have been anything special blooming with her kind, but out here on her own, it’s her very uniqueness bringing glory to her Creator! She was planted there to be a blessing!
And she fulfilled her purpose. All alone, she was in the exact right place at the exact right time to encourage me and you and inspire this devotion.
…the purpose of your placement could be BIG.
So this single flower, sitting out of place in one tree in a very small town in the Midwest could have far-reaching effects. Like this sunny faced flower, the purpose of your placement could be BIG. And you too can bloom wherever you find yourself today!
Be blessed Beautiful,
In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV
My Prayer for YOU today:
Lord, be with my friend in whatever circumstances she finds herself in. Whether she’s experiencing a spiritual or personal quandary, a foreign situation, or simply feels lost and alone, let her walk in perfect peace, having the knowledge that as long as she is rooted in the rich soul of your love, she is not in the wrong place. She is your beautiful and resilient daughter, who you love. Allow her to see the potential she has to be a blessing to others and glorify you in all she does. I thank you for providing her everything she needs to BLOOM.
Psalm 80:8-11 (NIV)
8 You transplanted a vine from Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it,
and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,[a]
its shoots as far as the River.[b]
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Thank you Paula, I needed this today. Since I lost my mom last October, I have felt a bit lost and left out. I am surrounded by men, (my dad, hubby, almost 17 year old son). Sometimes I feel, I have no one to talk to. My brother and his wife live in Colorado and my sisters in law (on hubby’s side), don’t live close either! Most of my current friends are thru marching band (which my son is a percussionists!). However, I have heard a lot of negativity lately and have decided to walk away from that! Starting to read some motivational books to help me feel positive and move forward. I am still looking for that little flower, and possibly a sign from my mom that it’s ok to move on! I love reading your stuff…keep it up! From your fellow Indiana friend!❤️
Oh Karen, dig deep and lift up your beautiful face to God! He sees you, knows you and wants you to bloom… you don’t need to see the flower, you are HER!
God’s grace filled your heart with that flower that He placed there by divine appointment (not random, not an accident). And then the Holy Spirit TAUGHT you what God meant by it – that in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we can bring God glory. And that, my friend, is our #1 job here on earth. Not to be popular, not to be the best blogger, and not to be a champion trampoline jumper (hah!), but to glorify the One who created us, just as we are. I love your “small potatoes.”
Oh Girl, you have blessed my heart today… Thank you!
I always love your posts but this particular one I felt was written just for me. In the last three years my sister and I have lost another sister, our brother and mother and Friday she lost her job – in the midst of all that, today is my birthday and I turned 60 years old – she had already planned all these costly things for me and I feel so guilty about all of it and want to encourage and uplift “her” instead of people talking to me about what a great day it is for me. This post gives me just the right words to pass along to her. You are such an encourager in every way and I am so blessed to have found your blog. Thank you thank you sweet Christian friend who I have not met this side of heaven but who I am confident I will meet someday!
This makes my heart happy Jackie! God can use you AND your sister in the midst of your despair. But today, may he use YOU for her!
What a beautiful reminder of how we need to find God’s purpose for us in everything. Thank you for your willingness to stand up and share God’s Word with everyone. I pray we all take the time to listen to Him and see what it is He has for us. Amen.
Sweet Lady, this is exactly the message I needed to hear, at exactly the right time to receive it. It is confirmation and affirmation to important decisions that are necessary to make in this season of my life. You truly are an amazing blessing! Thank you for sharing yourself and your wisdom with the world. You are blooming beautifully! May God Bless You abundantly!
How like God to pick an ordinary mundane day (or chore) and find a way to tell us “hey there, I see you” and remind us of His Infinite Love for us.
Beautiful! Thank you!
Beautiful story, Paula. Thank you for listening to God’s voice and passing along His lesson for us. I found your blog only a few months ago (through another blog) and I am so grateful that I did. I love your witty humor, your style, and your down to earth way of keeping it real. You have been a blessing to me and have made me feel like a friend. Thank YOU for blooming where you’re planted!
A wonderful and timely post, thank you for sharing!
Amen and Amen!
This is why I started following you because you speak to my heart! Thank you for your post today, timely and Blessed.
My husband takes a walk every day for his break at work. H works in an industrial park. He spotted a tomato plant growing tin the gutter, and kept an eye on it throughout the summer.
Sure enough , it produced 2 small , pear shaped tomatoes! One ripened, and he plucked it, along with a greener, one and brought them home. He asked me to wash it, and try it. If it was good he wanted to harvest the seeds and plant them next year in our garden.
Well, after a thorough wash, I tried the tomato, Even though it was a beautiful red, it was somewhat sour, and hard. I couldn’t help thinking that this poor little tomato plant had struggled to survive, without daily watering or weeding or fertilizing. Just the water it could get from rain, hot sun, and cars and trucks flying by. After thinking about it, I decided to harvest the seeds from the other tomato, and plant them next spring.
Then today, I saw your post, and it hit home with me.
Thank you for your honesty, and for sticking with your little blog in a “sea of cool, popular blogs”. I think I’ll stick with reading your blog. Bless you Paula!
Wow, what a great story Roxanne. I hope you’ll remember to come back and tell me if when you love and care for those seeds, the tomatoes they turn into delicious fruit!
I just want to encourage you today, I follow about a dozen bloggers and you are in my top two. I love your blog and always look forward to reading it. Others I may skim over but not yours. You are definitely blooming where you are planted and blessing so many women with your encouraging and funny, varied posts that challenge us out of our comfort zones. Love it, please keep going.
That is one of the sweetest compliments you could give me Kathlene! Thank you so much… encouragement like yours keeps me going!
Please don’t get discouraged about your blogging journey or purpose. I am a bit of a blog-aholic since retiring from teaching. I enjoy them, but I am not the skinny millennial mommy with the seemingly perfect life. YOUR blog is real! I recently turned 55.(Yikes! Why does it all of a sudden go from 5 year increments, 44-49, 49-54, to just 55 and OLDER!) Your blog makes me laugh, makes me remember that I can still look good even if I don’t fit in the skinny sizes anymore. I hope you take heart from your blogging community and keep on keeping on.
Thanks so much Robin! It’s women like you who make this ALL worth it!
You are the very first blogger that I followed. You bring joy and laughter to my day. I so look forward to seeing what you posted. Whether it’s an encouraging word, funny story or a new away to style an outfit I enjoy it all. You make my days brighter and lighter. And I appreciate you.
Oh my goodness, I’m SO glad you’re a blogger, and share what you do 💜 I often find myself encouraged or chuckling or inspired by what you’ve written or said! If I only had the time to follow one blogger, for me it would def be you…. keep going!
One of your cheering squad
This is such a lovely and brilliant post, so full of encouragement! Thank you so much! I’m in a similar situation blooming in unfamiliar digs, and it resonates! I too am a blogger and sometimes feel like that lonely misplaced flower 🙂
Blogging certainly isn’t for the faint of heart is it Amy? Even with a firm grasp of “who we are” the temptation for harsh self-comparison can bring us down in a hurry.
Keep going Beautiful Bloom,
Thank you SO much for this post, Paula. I’m a new reader and did not know you were a close Jesus follower. I knew you were a woman of faith, but you know how that can be these days. I am in the middle of a dramatic life change and feeling like I’m standing out in the cold while everybody else moves along in their familiar paths. My friends ask how I am and I say I’m good because deep down I am and I don’t want to whine. Alongside of that, It’s a long story but my husband has been in ministry for many years in a denomination that I have a love/hate relationship with. When he stepped down and went into a regular job, we started going to a large and wonderful multicultural church that I LOVE. (I’m a keyboard player and worship leader and in a large church, am not a key player – ha, funny! – but am one of very many.) Now there is an opportunity to be “called” back to our denomination in a new location with a difficult situation that has developed and there are no worship leaders, musicians. GAH! I want to stay where I’m happy, not be that one lone flower (again) blooming among death and decay. Thank you for saying what you have here. How is it that we can be so lonely when we are SO not alone??
Karen, I don’t think you can know exactly how much I can relate to your comment. I’ve been thinking and praying about my response because you are in a hard situation. My entire life I’ve served God in some capacity as my dad was a deacon and then pastor and then my husband and I have served in ministry as pastors, worship pastors, “board” positions, and lay leadership and ministry heads. And then on a state and district level within a particular denomination. So, I understand all too well the strain denominational politics puts on our faith. I have not shared this publically, but we currently find ourselves without a home church body and have likened this time in our journey as “wandering in the wilderness” – we just hope it won’t be for 40 years. 😉 Like the Israelites, we are not without God and his guidance, and unlike them, we have not turned to other idols. We do meet with a group of friends so we haven’t been forsaking the assembling of the saints. 😉 However, to this point, we do not feel called to anywhere we have visited.
As Christ-followers we serve HIM. We choose to be part of a body of believers within a denomination based on ours and their interpretation of scriptures aligning, but we don’t serve a denomination. If you and/or your husband beleive that God is calling you to this ministry, you must accept it and remember this is for God, not the organization. I beleive it’s when we take our eyes off God being the center of all things, even in the church, it’s when we begin to see all the other things that bother us.
If God has called you, He will equip you for the job and I believe He will give strength where you need it and the blinders to blur what could hinder you. Stay in prayer and in The Word and I will be praying for you. Feel free to email me with further details and I could even send you my phone number if you’d like to talk. I wonder if your love/hate denomination is mine too. LOL
Hugs and Prayers,
Thanks for this blog post. I really connected with this message. Please continue to write for this group as it does speak to many of us here.
Thanks Lynn. Your encouragement means the world to me.
Love, love, love this post. It’s so beautiful.
What a lovely new perspective this gives me.
Hugs and blessings!
Thanks Beth. Continued blessings.
I found your blog several months ago, and went back to read every single post. I am 55 and “fluffy” and look so forward to your clothing posts for the real life woman like me. God has no doubt chosen you to inspire us, and I appreciate you delivering.
Thank you Anita. I really appreciate your encouragement.
Beautiful !!!! Thank you so
Much for sharing this pretty though ….. it is what I need to read!!!!
Keep it up …love read your blog!
Thanks Georgina! 🌺
Paula, your words encouraged me today! Thank you for blooming on the www!
I happened upon your posts quite by accident (or was it?) and I truly enjoy reading them . I am in a period of stillness I think . My husband passed away almost three years ago (Married 38 years) and I turned 60 last year …Trying to find a new church home and purpose in this chapter as I also just retired .Thank you for your post today especially I need this!🌼
I’m so sorry to hear this Renee. I hate it when people say that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle because, in my experience, life hands us exceedingly hard stuff all the time. However, we were created to be dependent on God and these are the times He’s desperate for us to LEAN IN and lay it all on Him.
At this very moment, a song is running through my head and I want to share the words with you. It’s most definitely a love song and I believe God’s deepest desire for you is to fill those lonely areas of your life. Lean back and love on Him. I’ll be praying for you Beautiful! And please reach out anytime.
The More I Seek You (by Kari Jobe)
The more I seek You
The more I find You
The more I found You
The more I love You
I wanna sit at Your feet
Drink from the cup in Your hand.
Lay back against You and breath, feel Your heartbeat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in Your peace, it’s overwhelming
I’m so glad I found this post today. Took a risk last year and moved to another country and it’s been very hard (and then COVID!), but trusting God through it all. It was such an encouraging reminder.
Wow Jennie, I applaud your sense of adventure and bravery! And yes. “Then COVID has been messing with all of us these days. But God’s can make this mess a message for us all. How much will we learn about ourselves this year? Have we learned how to be still and just wait on God or simply know He IS God? I hope so. I prefer to not have to be reminded again. 😉 😂
Big virtual HUGS!