Remembering the flood

Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the flood of 1994. Time flies when you’re having fun they say and the older I get the faster it seems to fly. Not sure some days that I’m having all that much either!
We were in Hawkinsville during the flood of 1994. I was the editor-in-chief and chief cook and bottle washer at The Hawkinsville Dispatch. Hawkinsville was like most all small towns where everyone knows your business before you do and if they don’t they make it up along the way. I love small towns but that is pretty much the truth about them.
But the great thing about small towns is how everyone comes together when there’s an emergency or a tragedy such as the flood. It’s simply amazing and the flood of 1994 was like that with everyone in the community pulling together.
People lost houses to floods and had some even had to be rescued from their homes along the river. After the water subsided, people pitched in to help those folks with the aftermath as well as things in the town as well.
Chuck Southerland, who ran the paper, decided we needed to do a special edition for the flood, after we already put out our weekly paper. I had already been taking plenty of photos as had he but he wanted to do more.
Toward that effort, I climbed to the top of the highest building which at that time as Leshner Textile. Water was already over the roadway of the bridge by that time and creeping toward the streets of the downtown. With that accomplished, Georgia Power offered to fly us up in a helicopter so we could get better shots along the river. It was my first and so far my last helicopter ride. I was about to get in a boat to go down the river but Chuck did that and boy was I glad because the mosquitoes along the river had all but carried me away already.
I did find myself standing in ankle deep water at the cemetery taking photos of caskets floating down the river. It was kind of surreal and I wondered if they would ever find them all and return them to their respective resting places.
When I got back to the office after all of that a policeman came in the office looking for me. Since I had been standing in the water at the cemetery, a tetanus shot was required and they wanted to make sure I got mine. I rode with him to the health department to get the shot.
The rising waters came within a half mile of our house in Hawkinsville. We were without water for 16 days and some for much longer. Electricity was only off for a few days. We decided to take a few days off after that, and get some rest and relaxation off at the beach. My family was not too happy I had flown around town in the helicopter so they were anxious to get out of town before their mother decided to do something even crazier in the quest to cover the flood. Seems in those days, I had no fear. Twenty-five years later I don’t think I would do some of those things, even to get the news story. Then I never once thought about any danger or that perhaps I shouldn’t be doing this.
When leaving you had to figure out different ways to get out of town as many roads were flooded as well.
As time passed everyone put their lives back together and went back to their regular routines. It was a topic of conversation for many months to come though.
Somewhere in a box in the attic, I still have a copy of that “Flood edition” and some photos. Someone borrowed some of my photos to use in a magazine and I don’t think I ever got them back. The magazine is no longer in print so no hope of ever recovering them.
Photos were one thing people lost that many times can’t be replaced. But as one woman who lived along the river noted, you can never erase the photo from your memory bank and at least she had her life. It was the right attitude in a bad situation.
The right attitude makes all the difference in world in all situations.
I thought about trying to ride around Macon for photos but my family didn’t think it was such a good idea and most of the roads were flooded. They had it worse than most in Hawkinsville I think. But again, I’ve heard many stories of people stepping up and helping out.
Since I was not in Roberta at that time, I don’t know what transpired here or how bad it got during the flood. But I’m sure people were helping other people.
It’s sad in a way that it takes a flood or other catastrophe for everyone to pull together for the good of the whole. But that’s the way it is these days.
In reality, we should be doing what we can every day to help our communities and our fellow humans. It’s what God wants us to do. ©2019

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Let freedom ring

Independence day is today! So many people just call is July 4th or Fourth of July and to do so takes away what the day really meant and was all about — independence and freedom.
The phrase “freedom isn’t free” is heard a lot, however, I don’t think people take it to heart and really understand the price that has been paid for freedom. Those freedoms are attacked every day and are becoming less and less in our country. And some in authority are bound and determine to take away even more of our freedoms. We can’t and shouldn’t let them.
In fact, history shows us that the path to freedom almost always involves conflict. Case in point, the American Revolution. These conflicts demand a steep price from those who fight them. Sometimes even their lives. Governments, including ours, around the world have shown they are willing to trample individual liberties with no thought whatsoever to the bigger picture. Today we are assaulted on all sides. They want to tell us what we can and cannot put in our bodies and how to raise our children. They try to instill fear of everything — people – cops and the list never ends.
The government constantly invades our privacy. If you don’t think they can access all of your information, you may be living in la-la land. They do much under the guise of trying to keep us safe. But in reality, it’s not their job. Their job is to uphold the Constitution against all enemies whether foreign or domestic. Most all federal officials take such an oath. But they routinely break that oath, trading people’s freedom with the illusion of greater security.
We have to decide whether to choose freedom or fear. Thinking the government should be given whatever it needs to make us safe, is a knee-jerk reaction. The silent acceptance to intrusive government authority lays a brick on the road to tyranny. That intrusion happens daily as government intrudes into almost every aspect of our lives.
Think about it — from the type of toilet we can buy, mix of fuel we put into our cars down to the kind of light bulbs we can use in our homes. Bureaucrats are empowered to stipulate what health services we buy and from whom we purchase them.
Excessive government limits individual freedoms, it stifles job creation and entrepreneurial creativity. Plus it puts the poor into a lifetime of dependency and poverty and in effect throws away the key. The ability of hard working Americans to enjoy upward mobility is also stifled.
The federal government intrusion has dominated activity traditionally reserved for the states. It begs the question about what the future holds for our children.
Freedom is inextricably bound with living our lives as we see it; self-government in the true sense of the word. We can be trusted to govern ourselves and government must remain limited and stay within the powers given in the Constitution. When government takes more than we have given it, our choices are rendered meaningless. Unlimited government is tyrannical, sapping our independent spirit.
Our Founding Fathers understood this explicitly and thus they avoided creating a government that could be dominated by a single faction. Our Constitution’s checks and balances are intended to restrain the ambition of the power seekers to ensure government promotes our general welfare.
What big government supporters call general welfare is really the artful distribution of favors to particular factions. Our federal government was not supposed to be the most important institution in America but the powers to be have come to think that it is and they keep pushing their agenda of socialism upon us.
They have forgotten that through family and our religion we learn virtue and character. Without virtue, government cannot be both limited and free.
We cannot calculate the cost of freedom. Ask all of those who have lost family members in wars and skirmishes. Think about those 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Each of them individually, had more to lose than gain in a revolution. Many of them were upstanding in their communities, highly educated and owned substantial property. In fact, John Hancock, who was the richest man in America at that time, became a wanted man with a price of $500 on his head. These men did not choose to revolt. They wanted to be treated the same as other Englishmen in England. Each knew the penalty for treason was death by hanging, therefore each signer became a marked man and were pursued relentlessly by the British. Many lived to see their families killed or separated forever and their property destroyed.
Nine of them died from wounds or hardships from the war; many in poverty. These were the fathers of our country and they pledged their lives, fortunes and “sacred honor” for freedom.
The cost of freedom cannot be expressed in mere words. Neither can the cost of exploitation where men and women lose their freedom to think, worship or to invent. This is the slippery slope America is on now. But life is not really defined without freedom — freedom to live, to become everything God made you to me, to live free from coercion, compulsion and tyranny of power. The principal of evil sooner or later coerces, controls and aims to eventually destroy all opposition. God gave us the gift of freedom to choose. Christ also chose to die for us to give us freedom from being punished for our sins.
Freedom has been imprinted on our souls. When we give it up, hope and joy are crushed. Freedom comes with responsibility and you can’t really be free without it. Each of us must do our part to ensure freedom’s light continues to burn bright. You see God gave us the freedom to exercise our conscience, to stand up to coercion to confront those who try to destroy our freedom.
We can’t calculate the cost of freedom but it is worth any price because there is no substitute for it. Not one single thing. Let freedom ring. Happy Independence Day America.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Thank you Sarah

Am I the only one who feels as if I somehow ended up a twilight zone segment with all that’s going on in the world? I’m not anxious though because my hope is in the Lord and all will be revealed one day.
I am disappointed that Sarah Sanders is stepping down as press secretary. She is my newest heroine and is awesome. Sarah has handled the media with finesse and class and never seemed to let them addle her. She had the right answers all of the time, even though they didn’t want to listen. With a communications background, she has had every right to label news fake when warranted.
I don’t blame her though. I don’t think I could have taken all of that constant bombardment for as long as she has. No matter how strong a person you are, there are just some days when it gets to you and drags you down.
President Trump has suggested she run for governor of Arkansas and I truly hope that she will do just that; she would be a good one. She was born in Hope, Arkansas. What an irony!
Some news sources like the Washington Post have called her tenure controversial. Oh, yes they did. I don’t see it that way at all. She had a job to do and she did it with pizazz! The truly only controversy to me was a restaurant throwing her out just because she worked for Trump. She was reprimanded publicly by a former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub when he tweeted that Sanders had violated ethics laws by “discouraging patronage” and “using her office to get public to pressure it” for posting the video at the restaurant.
The only daughter of Mike and Janet Huckabee she attended Ouachita Baptist University where he was elected study body president. Sarah, 36, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree, majoring in political science and majoring in mass communications.
She met her husband, Bryan, during her father’s 2008 presidential campaign where she served as field director and then hired as media consultant. They were married in 2010 and have three children.
Sarah had been involved in her father’s first campaign for the Senate and worked on his other campaigns including governor of Arkansas. She worked on the campaigns for others as well. Mike Huckabee has described her childhood by saying that while most seven or eight year olds are out jumping rope, Sarah was sitting at the kitchen table listening to political commentators analyzing poll results. He also said she was tough and fearless due to having two brothers.
Sanders is only the third woman to hold the position of White House Press Secretary. She first filled in for Sean Spicer and when he resigned she filled the position.
There is lots of speculation as to who will replace her but at this point, it has not been announced. Sarah is not leaving until the end of the month.
I certainly wish her well and know that she will succeed in any endeavor she chooses to undertake.
I try to support my fellow journalists and not criticize unless truly warranted, however, the mainstream media’s nonsense has made us all look bad and the negativity does trickle down to others who have no desire to read or create fake news. No matter how you feel about this, there is fake news and the mainstream media is failing in covering some of the stories they need to cover.
Most everything is spun negatively toward the president and if you can agree with any of the craziness being touted by the Democrats in the House, I don’t know what to say about you. It is insanity and when asked why, I’ve come to the conclusion, they do not care. They have gotten zero done since Trump was elected president except try and dig up dirt on him. Yet, they want a raise.
I’m sorry but I believe all of them should be out of office and we should start over. It is amazing to me that some of these people keep getting re-elected. Many times no one else runs against them and anyone who does is sometimes threatened or public humiliated by the incumbent.
There is a lot more going on behind the scenes, good and bad, that should be reported but is withheld from the public for obvious reasons.
Until the public actually really does something, nothing will change. I don’t post a whole lot of political stuff on social media anymore but I found a meme this week that states: Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented (Elie Wiesel). That too me says a lot. Wiesel was not only a Holocaust survivor, but a Romanian born American Jewish writer and political activist. Living through the Holocaust, he certainly should know what he is talking about.
We sit idly by and watch our freedoms erode, watch our children be indoctrinated with propaganda and go on with our lives as if nothing matters. We become accustomed to doing nothing and just letting it all happen. That’s a sure path to becoming socialist slaves.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Father’s Day 2019

Each year, since January 2001, Father’s Day is bittersweet. I know my Dad is in heaven and able to breathe freely instead of fighting for each breath and able to walk and run without having to stop every minute or two to catch his breath. I’m sure he’s fishing somewhere on a bank with other brothers and sisters who have gone on to their eternal home. Or maybe he’s strumming his guitar and singing like he often did. I do have to wonder if he’s the only one catching fish which was usually the case every time I went with him.
Daddy was one of those fisherman who would sit there all day because eventually the fish were going to bite. Even if there were five other people and no one else was catching fish, Daddy always caught something. That has not been the case for me as I lose interest after a couple of hours if not getting any bites.
Perhaps for him it was just a time to unwind and relax. For me it’s relaxing up unto the point I haven’t gotten a bite in a while, then it becomes frustrating. Daddy had a unlimited supply of patience and while mine is long, nothing compared to his.
He was patient, even in the midst of negotiations and I never saw him lose his cool when everyone else around him was losing theirs. He was soft-spoken and when he spoke, people stopped to listen. I sat in on many a meeting he conducted. I was always in awe of how calm, cool and collected he remained through the whole process.
I can’t lay claim to always being that way because apparently, I have a limit to how far I can be pushed and once I’ve reached that limit, my mouth flies open and angry words may come out, depending on the situation. Being in leadership positions you have to keep all of that in check and thank goodness I have in those situations. There has been one time where I did ask someone to leave my office and come back when they could talk in a rational and reasonable manner. The outcome was still the same, but I did not allow him to yell at me or disrespect my position and no one should allow that type of behavior.
As humans and adults we can sit down and have rational discussions, or at least we should be able to do so. Some people will try and push you just to see how far they can go and it’s up to you how you react.
One thing my dad could not do was write legibly. His handwriting was like that of a doctor and most of the time, I was the only one who could decipher it and was asked to do so on numerous occasions. He penned a column for a base newspaper at one time and inevitably, they would ask me to type it because they couldn’t read it. To this day, I can usually read handwriting that others cannot decipher.
I miss my Daddy every day and it’s easy to become sad or melancholy but I try to remember all the wonderful memories and there are enough to last me a lifetime.
Sure, I wish he could have seen the grandbabies and met my husband, David, who happens to be a lot like him in many ways. There are some days when if I could only pick up the phone and talk to him, everything would be alright again.
Daddy, was my sounding board of reason and what was fair. In every situation he had to know all sides before giving you advice or an opinion. As a child, that frustrated me but as an adult I came to really appreciate it as it just made good sense.
I have found myself wondering what Daddy would think of this or that or what would he have done in certain situations. Sometimes I know immediately, other times it may take me a little while.
He was always proud of me and I never wanted to disappoint him and I don’t think I really ever did though I know there were a few times he was not happy with my choices. He would never voice that to me, however.
Daddy and I had many adventures over the years fishing, dancing, sightseeing and visiting. He never offered advice unless you asked him.
When I was nine, I almost drowned even though I could swim I panicked when I stepped in a hole over my head. Daddy went in shoes, pants, shirts, watch and all, to save me.
He could grow practically anything, just like my Granny.
Our political views were quite the opposite most of the time and we had lots of discussions, never letting them develop into arguments. In fact, I doubt if Daddy ever argued with anyone.
He could discuss the ins and outs of baseball and football and what was right or wrong with the team with anyone. I watched many a game with him.
After a couple years of taking piano lessons, he would get out his guitar and we would play together and sing, mainly the older gospel songs. On occasion if I’m having a sad day, I’ll sing “Wings of a Dove” or “There’s a Rainbow” which we always sang especially on long trips. It never fails to uplift me. No matter how old we get, we always need our Dads. Happy Father’s Day to all Dads and hugs to you if your Father is in Heaven. I know I’ll see mine again one day and that fact brings a smile to my face. ©2019

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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A Constitutional myth

After deciding more than a year ago that I would not respond on social media to those people who just wanted to complain or argue or didn’t want to know the truth. I’ve actually done pretty good about not responding.
This week though in light of wanting to explain the truth I let my fingers type a response to someone about separation of church and state not being in the Constitution. Of course, it was a mistake because this person just really wanted to argue. They posted it on a story about God being removed by Democrats or something and I couldn’t just let it go!
The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the United States Constitution. History was one of my favorite subjects and had I not chosen journalism, I would have majored or minored in history. I have done extensive research on the Constitution, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and other things involving our history such as the revolution and the Civil War.
If you do some research these days you will find in some dissertations it says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” penned in the Constitution is a paraphrase. In reality Jefferson used the words separation of church and state in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association and published in a Massachusetts newspaper. His exact words in that letter were” … thus building a separation between church and state…” Taking the intent and function of that clause by itself, means not interfering in anyone’s expression of religion. I also believe it was included in the Constitution to keep the government from establishing a state church or a national religion for everyone as was the case in other countries.
In today’s world, it is Christians who are being silenced and the government is not respecting that religion. We are expected to give our rights away for the rights of satanism and Muslims, but heaven forbid we practice our religion publicly because we will be persecuted. Take heart, as the Bible tells us this will transpire.
However, Christians have remained silent too long. We did not want to “make a scene” or be deemed troublemakers. There is a time to be silent but there is also a time to speak up and Christians have long passed the point where they should have spoken up. There is also a right and wrong way to speak up. We should do it in truth and with kindness but also in boldness.
The words “separation of church and state” are misused today, many times as a tool by those in power to silence opposing views. Just the opposite of what was originally intended.
Jefferson actually authored a Statute for Religious Freedom for Virginia. It inspired and shaped the guarantees of religious liberty which was eventually put in the First Amendment. The right to practice your religion is a foundational freedom for all Americans. By no means did Jefferson suggest religion should be exiled from public debate.
I don’t believe he meant that the government was prohibited from referencing or accommodating religion or that government should expel all religious references from the public square. In short, the church should not rule over the state, nor the state rule over the church. The separation of church and state is an idea that prohibits the government from interfering with the church.
Jefferson himself attended church services inside the United State Capitol as did others. As I once heard someone say, religion is too important to be a government program or a political pageant. The courts have agreed with this sentiment many times. Free exercise means you may have a faith and are allowed to live it as well.
Jefferson and a vast majority of the founding fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution aligned themselves with Christianity. Men and women of faith have served honorably in all levels of government in the United States and allowed their religious convictions to guide them in decision-making while in office. Jefferson went so far as to declare public days of fasting and prayer.
There are so many myths people believe about the Constitution and untruths about our founding fathers, because they have not actually read the Constitution themselves or used a trusted source. Personally, I think it should be required reading as a prerequisite to graduation, more so than A Tale of Two Cities.
The words separation of church and state are used today to have crosses ripped down in parks and were used to banish prayer from schools. Definitely not something our forefathers and the founders of our country ever thought would happen. Evicting God from society was certainly not the outcome they sought.
Schools, courts and the public square were often Christian since the beginning of our nation. Back then you would find very few Americans who would have tolerated a coerce government infringing on their rights to post religious symbols on local schools, courts or anywhere else. The Constitution did not prohibit public displays of faith. Our forefathers would not be proud of the restrictions placed on religion these days.
Christians should no longer be silent and should be speaking up. It’s time has come. Will you remain silent while your freedoms are taken away? ©2019

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Potpourri of thoughts

Whew! I think Georgia’s weather is on steroids as it seems more off the chain than usual. This past week’s scorching weather not only makes people ill, it makes you just want to stay inside and vegetate.
I just pray that this is not the shape of things to come because this high heat usually doesn’t occur until late July and August. No rain in sight immediately either and that means we have to actually water the garden more.
This year, I tried raised beds for the first time and I am totally sold on them from here on out. Best thing ever. Not only is it easier on the back, you don’t have as many weeds.
We also used chicken manure on one of the beds and all I can say is WOW! That bed has taken off and is so green and the veggies have grown so much larger. The zucchini plants are as tall as I am! Next year, we’ll use it on all the beds. Only have two and one plowed area with tomatoes and watermelons. Next year, I’m shooting for four raised beds and forgetting about the other plowed area.
Seems this is the year for plants. My mother gave me some and other friends have given me some and there are several at home I want to transplant to the cabin. My herb garden needs taming as the rosemary, spearmint, chocolate basil and oregano have taken over more space than necessary or needed.
Flowers at the main house have been spectacular this year as well. My roses have provided beautiful color for months now and the day lilies have kicked in, along with the hydrangea and other wildflowers. Don’t know why but my gardenia blooms much later than everyone else’s and it is my favorite. I love the fragrant blooms and it is just now blooming.
Our fig trees have finally taken off but there are only a few green figs here and there so far.
At the cabin, the prickly pear cactus have been blooming and they are a beautiful yellow. My bean plant is blooming and it is gorgeous, plus the blooms and the plant are totally edible. Haven’t tried it yet but have thought about it every time I pick lettuce or kale from the garden. No tomatoes yet and I am so looking forward to a fresh tomato from the garden. I’m the only one at the house who eats them so I get to keep them all to myself. If they all produced though, I will be sharing with friends, provided this heat doesn’t destroy them like it did my spinach.
We are having to water every day during this high heat and I am thankful that we are able to do so and the garden is not too big to water. I have a friend who has a really big garden, too big to water and he has said the heat has totally destroyed it. I truly hate it for him.
To everyone who has to be out in the heat, please be careful, drink plenty of fluids and take breaks regularly. Heat exhaustion is not fun at all.
We have actually set records for high heat this time of year. It’s certainly unusual to have 100 degree days in May. Looking at the weather for the next couple of weeks, there may be some rain next week and I pray that there is and enough to cool things down tremendously.
Hopefully, if you were off Monday, you remembered it was not just a three day weekend. Soldiers gave their lives so you could have a long weekend. Memorial Day remembers those who gave all to their country. We owe a debt of gratitude to their families left behind. Freedom is not free and we are losing that freedom every day. I saw a meme which read: The flag does not fly because of the wind but from the breath of those who gave their lives. How fitting.
Each man or woman who died while serving their country, had a family and had a life story. Some of them died trying to save others. All died trying to save our freedom. Thank God for those who still love our country enough to serve in the military. It’s not for everyone but to all those who choose to serve, I say a hearty thank you.
I saw on social media some people posting about honoring their servicemen and women and that’s fine but it’s more appropriate to honor them on veteran’s day unless they died in the service of their country. We need to keep the holidays separate and understand each one. We need to explain those differences to our children. Seems so much of history including the background on each holiday gets lost more with each generation.
My hat is off to teachers as I know first-hand some of the obstacles they face. However, I do wish our education system would get back to the basics and also teach home economics and how to balance a bank statement, how to garden and other necessary life skills. We were so focused on touting the need for a college degree that some of the trades are now suffering from not having people to fill those jobs.
A degree is wonderful, but going to college is also not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with learning a trade. Getting that piece of paper from college does not also mean you know anything in that field. It takes hands-on experience to learn a job and that comes from actually working on the job. ©2019

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Bloom where God plants you

Graduations are happening all around us. From Pre-K to Kindergarten, middle school, high school and college. If you are just hankering to attend a graduation, there are many to choose from in our area.
Saturday, I spoke at a women’s conference in Warner Robins on the topic of Bloom Where You Are Planted. Thinking about graduation, I think the topic can also apply to graduates as well as all of us.
The phrase, Bloom Where You are Planted, is one of those cutesy ones you might see on a pillow, a sign or in a meme. I had seen it many times but didn’t really think too hard about it until putting my talk together for the conference.
It might sound easy but it’s not. As a gardener, I know that the seed doesn’t automatically shoot through the dirt unless there has been preparation of the soil, then being fertilized and watered. For the seed to open it has to push against the dirt and make its way up to the light. Even once the seed is a plant, conditions like storms and winds must be endured for the plant to be strong.
When a plant begins to bloom, it fulfills the purpose for which it was created. A flower blooms and we enjoy the beauty and the smell. A vegetable plant blooms and produces food for us to eat. A fruit tree or vine blooms and offers us sweet fruit.
It’s the same with God’s children. When we bloom where we are planted we begin to yield fruit that comes from loyalty and faithfulness to God. In return God provides a way for the fruit to be displayed through the gifts and talents for which He enables all of us.
None of us are here by accident. God has placed each of us in the place He wants us to be for a reason and we should be using that which He has given us to fulfill His plants. Just like when you plant something in the ground it grows where you planted it. When a gardener plants that seed, they have a purpose for it, either for beauty or food. It’s the same for human.
Our life given by God has a purpose to bear fruit for others, to contribute something good for others. God’s plan is perfectly done and we are meant to grow where He plants us.
We tend to want more and more and lose sight of contentment. Even in those storms and those times we feel as it we have been buried instead of planted, we can be content and bloom.
When God plants you, He waters it along the way and He will equip you with the tools to bloom.
Bloom is a verb – an action word. That implies you have to be intentional about blooming. We can’t think that if God would just put me in better soil I would bloom. When you plant something, it is intentional. God has been intentional in planting you were you are right now. We have to keep our eyes on the prize. There may come a time when He decides to move us somewhere else and when that happens we must continue to bloom. We have to beware of developing a destination addiction or preoccupation with the idea that we could bloom in the next place, the next job or with the next partner. Until you give up that notion, you will never bloom where you are.
Have you ever noticed that a flower seed will bloom even through a crack in the concrete or even in the midst of thorns or weeds? The flower is not thinking about how awful the surroundings are or how tough it is or lonely it may be. It doesn’t think about competing with another flower or that it is different from the other flowers around it. It just blooms. And we can bloom even in the midst of chaos.
How do we bloom where we are planted?

  1. Be planted deep in the word of God. God is the Master Gardener and He tills the soil and plants us where He wants us. You can’t really know Him if you don’t read His word.
  2. Be watered by God’s grace and mercy and forgiveness. Flowers bloom more vibrantly when they have plenty of moisture. God sometimes sends rain, not to drown us but as a catalyst for growth.
  3. Get plenty of Sonshine! When the sun is shining, flowers seem to be facing toward the sun basking in every ray. We must be in the right posture to receive Him, no matter where we are planted.
  4. When struggling to bloom ask for help. Sometimes plants struggle and the gardener might have to till the soil some or add more fertilizer or water. During those times people are having a hard time blooming, we need to help each other. Anyone can pray. So be ready to pray for others and willing to help them bloom and be bold in your prayers. There’s unbelievable power when Christians stand united in prayer. Even if you don’t know what to say God knows your heart. Always be ready to stand in the gap with others to help them bloom.
    We are called to bloom where we are planted as part of God’s garden, not our own. So I’m intentionally blooming where I’m planted in His garden, even when I had rather be somewhere else because I trust Him completely. Won’t you join me?

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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