Bolder Than Lions

Sorry that I played hookie last week. I spent the weekend kicking off the planning of the Engage Youth Conference 2016 for the Brethren church.  By the time I returned home I was just ready to be with my family. You would think I would prepare and plan for these things, but I’ll be honest, I’m a procrastinator! What can I say I’m all about keeping it real here!

 

Remember a few weeks ago when I had a post all hand written and ready but I didn’t type it up to post? This week I’m ready to share it with you! The post is centered around 1st Peter 5:8, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” As I was reading that passage I was intrigued about lions. I felt that, for the Lord to give us such a great example, we should know how our enemy hunts.

 

While I’ve never been to the savanna to see lions in the wild, I have always imagined they hunt aggressively, fast, brutal even. Since I don’t think I will be taking a trip to view it first hand I turned to the next best thing: Google!

 

From the readings I found I discovered lions hunt in none of the ways I imagined, quite the opposite really. The lion is often slower than their prey, in fact their prey usually doesn’t even have to run at full speed to get away.

 

Interesting, I bet that means I don’t have to run at full speed either. I only need to run in the right direction. 

Run in the right direction

Lions are sneaky, they prefer to hunt at night or early morning so they can have the cover of darkness. They aren’t ones for the chase, they would rather lie in wait. In fact they are smart enough to lie in wait near something their prey finds vital.

 

As I’m reading about the hunting habits and scribbling notes in my bible about them I found myself thinking over and over, “Yes, that it is how satan works.”

 

Yes, he lies in wait. Yes, he attacks near what we hold vital: finances, health, job security, family relationships, church relationships.  Yes, he too pounces on us when we are walking in the near dark, when we are unplugged from our light source.

 

Lions are really good at hiding as well as being extraordinarily patient. Oh, yes that sounds right for satan as well. Just when we think we are good here he comes on the prowl or pounce rather.

 

Thank goodness the Lord has Peter give us some guidance. He says, “Stand firm and be strong in our faith.”  What does it mean to stand firm? My bible concordance says “to endure successfully, to be securely fixed in place not weak or uncertain.”

 

Ephesians 6:13 tells us “we will still be standing firm when we put the right armor on.”

 

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Paul writes “Sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you. 

 

Friends we have been fully equipped to go lion hunting, are we ready? Have we gotten dressed and soaked in the directions? God only wants us to submit to Him and He will handle the rest. We are weak and uncertain, but He is not. That I find so comforting!

When the lion starts to roar in your life take heart in that the prey of lions are faster. We were given armor to wear and use in defense of any attacks, we only have to put it on and allow Him to direct our attack.

When the lion starts to roar in your life take heart in that the prey of lions are faster. We were given armor to wear and use in defense of any attacks, we only have to put it on.

Suit up Sisters, it is time to be the lion slayer of God you are called to be.

 

 

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5 Ways She Speaks Was Nothing I Wanted

Hello sweet friends! I sure have missed you, although it certainly has been a welcome break of refocusing. I returned from She Speaks a few weeks ago to immediately repack and head for camping! You might remember this city girl was a bit nervous, but other than loads of mosquito bites it was tons of fun! Life has officially returned to normal with the start of school and my writing time being reclaimed!

I wanted to share a few things that impacted my life while at She Speaks. I went to North Carolina with definite expectations and came home with none of them being met…isn’t that the way God works! So here is my list of 5 ways the Lord gave what I didn’t know I wanted.

20150722_222328She Speaks Swag It Begins! Ministry Stone

1. A Lesson of Insecurity = Pride 

Yep, you read that right, those words had me on my face in repentance. On the first day of pre-conference, the workshop I was most excited for was on spiritual warfare by Whitney Capps. I was initially on the wait list for this but  I’d say God knew I needed it!  I have always struggled with insecurity. My name, my body, my calling, my ability as a mom, wife, photographer, christian. I could go on and on, I’ve doubted just about everything in my life. I’ve labeled myself mediocre at best, failure at worst. I NEVER considered this a source of pride. When this light was cast over insecurity I saw myself written all over it. I used my labels to replace God’s truth, I thought and worried about what others thought of me over what God wanted me to do. Hence why 2012-2014 on this blog is virtually non-existent. I knew I should write and share but, was too afraid.

Meeting Whitney Capps

Me with Whitney Capps, if you haven’t heard this firecracker preach the word of God you are missing out!

2. Given a Rhema word. 

The first main session of the conference started, tables for 800 women to sit were set up. As we wind our way through the isles and choose a seat we see little scrolls of paper. We were told that these papers contained verses that had been prayed over, selected and laid at each place setting. That winding through the tables and sitting where we did wasn’t by accident.

I received 1st Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 

A rhema word from God is a portion of scripture that speaks into your current life situation. For me I came to She Speaks with baggage of, am I on the right path. Is blogging my plan or the Lord’s? What is the next step? So for me to read stand firm, let nothing move you. Just wow! Then to read that when you work for the Lord it can’t be in vain. Talk about baggage being dealt with as I continue to mediate and process that!

3. Anointed with Christ’s Confidence

During the last workshop of the weekend there was a call to be anointed and prayed over. A room of more than a hundred women were anointed and sent out. Talk about powerful stuff. This room swelled with worship music being played on a single guitar and a single vocalist. I was the seventh shaky woman to stand in front of Wendy Blight, she placed the oil on my forehead and prayed over me. The only words from this prayer I grasped on to and refuse to let go of was to “go and be filled with Christ’s confidence.” He alone will be my confidence, when I look at that spot on my forehead or graze my finger over it I am flooded with thoughts of His confidence.

 

Meeting Wendy BlightHaving God breathed truth spoken to you

Me and Wendy Blight! The lovely lady taking this picture, who I had never met, asked me my name and said I was beautiful from the inside out. She gave me another rhema word from Song of Songs, You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. 4:7 She said I was beautifully filled with the Lord, never have I felt instantly loved and given words like this.

4. I was called from birth

In an earlier workshop, the speaker encouraged the group to reflect back on the moment of your calling and in moments of discouragement remember that moment in order to have strength to go on. I pondered that thought for the entire workshop, spent some time in the prayer room pondering that thought afterwards, and after being anointed continued to ponder it. I thought well, maybe if I can’t remember a moment of being called, only having this overwhelming urge to make Jesus famous (that I’ve prayed to have removed) then perhaps I’m not truly called. As woman after woman went forward to be anointed and voices joined in with the vocalist to worship our Lord, I took a moment to ask my new friend sitting beside me this pondering question.

She responded with “have you considered the possibility that you were called from birth?” She went on to share that she has been told since she was little that she was called. Her mom during pregnancy felt she had a light growing within her that would shine bright. She knew her baby before birth, had favor with the Lord so, she named her Anne-Renee . This struck a memory that has been coming to mind for months. This moment of childhood, I was 5 or 6 jumping on my bed singing. I remember bouncing and singing, likely off key, that God was good, greater than satan and Jesus would always win. At this point in my young life I had been to church only a handful of times, yet I knew truth, I was called to truth. Truth, that I now believe was put inside of me before breathing my first breath.

New Godly Friends

Anne-Renee of The Masterpiece MomFunny story, her and Amanda (the other half of The Masterpiece Mom) happened to be some of the first girls we met upon arriving Wednesday night, all they said was they were from Alaska and I already knew their blog! It can be a small world here in the blogging sphere.

5. There is intention to being named Winter.

This might sound a little weird to you, why would the Lord address your name, you maybe thinking. For me though, growing up very shy and having the name Winter drawing attention to me, I hated it. HATED it! As an adult I’ve learned to tolerate it. Because what other choice is there. It was minimal tolerance though, since nearly every time I introduce myself to someone I receive an “oh, that’s different” (with a puzzled look on their face).

While at She Speaks people already seemed to know me and remember me (there was a private Facebook group for getting to know each other) which I found shocking, all because of my name. Well, ok also partly because of my current very red hair color! In having a conversation about this with my new friend from Costa Rica, she encouraged me to search the meaning of my name and allow God to reveal Himself through my name. As she is saying this, an amazing dawning poured down over me. The day I was born was the middle of October (the 23rd in case you are wondering when to send the gift! Just Kidding!!) This ordinary day in October that I was to be born on and to be named Kelly Nicole, it snowed. Snowed and made it feel like winter, prompting my grandpa to suggest the name Winter Nicole. Frankly, I had always scoffed at that reasoning. But this idea that the God of all the universe sent snow, in order to have His message received by a non-Jesus believing man all so I could have the name Winter stopped me in my tracks.

I looked up the meaning of my name by the way….Winter Nicole means bringing renewal / victorious people. God blows me away.

Friends Speak Jesus Truth2 from Costa Rica + 3 from Indiana = Forever Friends

This lady spoke pure Jesus truth to me the entire weekend! I was beyond blessed to meet her and can’t wait to visit Costa Rica one of these days! The 5 of us made the best of friends!

 

Why do I write all of these terribly personal, reflective thoughts? Because through these five occurrences, the Lord revealed my true calling and passion. I was called to boldly become like Jesus. To be boldly confident in who I am in Christ. I am passionate about allowing God to work in me, making me more like Christ as well as seeing others embrace and boldly become who God has called them to be. Just in case you had any remaining thoughts that I have it all together or some such nonsense, the above should take care of that. I am nothing without the presence and grace of the Lord.  But I am confident in moving forward in who I am, who you are, and encouraging both of us to be bold, all in the name of Christ.

You can usually find me on these amazingly awesome blogs! 

 

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Re-labeled By The King of Kings + Link Up

Hello sweet readers! I wanted to let you know I will be missing the next two weeks. I will serving as part of the leadership team for the Engage Youth Conference the first of next week , I’m so very excited for the opportunity to serve in furthering the reach of Jesus. Then Wednesday I head out to She Speaks, to go be filled to the brim with teachings to hone my dream and calling of writing and speaking in the name of Jesus. Wowzers, I’m so very excited to see all that the Lord has in store. The friendship that He has already started to produce with the other attendees are so amazing! Following that I will be totally off the grid, well as much as I can be, while camping with my lovely little family!

 

Yes, you read that right, camping for a week. This girly girl is getting in touch with her nature side!! At least this time camping involves a motor-home! 

 

This week I wanted to share with you, and myself, part of a message that the Lord laid on my heart to speak to a group of ladies a couple of months ago. I have a tendency to feel invisible and unneeded. I’m pretty honest about that when you know me, I know that it is a way for the enemy to attack me, I hate that I continue to have doubts about my value.

 

I have so much faith in the Lord’s plan for your life and my own, yet in the dark of life, doubt is my weakness.

 

For me, my feelings of being invisible stem from childhood. I grew up made to be very quiet, I was painfully shy-not many who know me now would guess that! I was told by my grandpa that I was ignorant and worthless on a daily basis. My mom and I lived with my grandma and grandpa because my real father broke off the engagement with my mom when she became pregnant. From the womb I wasn’t wanted by him. Once in elementary and middle school I wanted to blend in, so I just stayed really quiet in hopes of no one there pointing out or noticing my worthlessness.

 

I had friendships but they “broke up” with me. Boys didn’t look twice at me. Until one day a boy noticed me. I learned very  quick what he wanted and what I should do to keep him, but it didn’t last. I was introduced to Jesus around the time boys entered my radar. My first introduction sadly, was not one of friend, healer, and seeker of my heart. It was one who set strict rules and really wasn’t a relational God. It was as if I really I could never live up to the standard, it felt that even grace wasn’t enough. So I felt that was just one more area of life that I couldn’t measure up in.

 

But Jesus kept pursuing my heart, kept wooing me.

 

Showing me that yes, I couldn’t measure up on my own but through HIS grace I could. Through his love, I was no longer invisible. Through the Lords plans, I was introduced to a boy that would spend 17 years so far showing me my beauty and that I’m not invisible.  When I have days feeling like I am not enough, that I can never be worthy of love, those days I look into my daughters eyes. I see her beauty, her worth, I then realize my heavenly Father sees that in me and so much more.

 

What the world tries to label us, God wants to replace with His truth. | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

What life gave me in rejection, feelings of being unloved, not enough, not captivating, not worthy, that I had no value or anything to offer. God determined to bring good out of that. He determined to wipe out each of those labels and replace them.

The world says worthless. He says you are the daughter of the King.

The world says unloved.  He says you are so loved my son died just for you. 

 

The world says not captivating. He says I am so captivated by your beauty I know each hair on your head, each day you will live out on this earth. 

 

 

The world says not enough. He says I have plans that only you were created to accomplish, You are my masterpiece. 

 

The world says invisible. He says I see you I know you I love you beyond anything you can imagine.

 

 

 What the world says vs. What God says | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

So girls, this week I don’t know if this message is for you or me. I do know that we both probably need it. I need it because I’m walking into a time of holy ground, full of faith in the Lords plan. The enemy doesn’t like that so he will send plenty of doubts and attacks my way. You may need it because you are knee deep in dirty diapers and you haven’t showered in two and a half days and haven’t talked to someone over the age of 5 in a week. You feel beyond unnoticed, you feel lost to who you are and who you want to be. Well, dear sister you aren’t not invisible to me or our sweet and loving Lord.

 

Maybe you are sitting behind your computer feeling that you are in a season without friends or someone who “gets” you. Well lovely lady, the Lord of the universe “gets” you and longs for you. He knows the doubts and insecurities of your heart when no one else does. He longs to hear them and walk with you through them.

 

I pray this week and until I write to you again that you will only hear the voice of the Lord, speaking words of love and encouragement over you.

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

 

This week amazing ladies to be featured are Jenessa of Mothering in Real Life. Her post written about the her trip to the grocery store and being impacted by the mom who seemed to have it all together ahead of her in line. I so related to this post because I’m usually the mom feeling like a hot mess, this is wonderful reminder that you never know who is watching and who will be impacted.

 

I’m also featuring Cynthia of My Rose Colored Shades her post on giving the Lord of our first fruits was convicting to my spirit. Her reminders of time with God first, eliminates the chance of Him getting our leftovers or nothing at all.

 

My last feature really struck home because it is where I find myself. Unsure of being completely authentic because there is fear of what people may think, yet realizing that it’s ALL about HIM and His glory. You really must take a moment to read Caroline of In Due Time’s post.

 

You can find me on these lovely blogs each week! 

 

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Mighty Warriors + Link Up

This past week I found myself so exhausted. So tired of the everyday. So worn out in the normal routine. I spent 4 days sick – feel like death sick. Fever, chills, sore throat, earache and body aches-Sick. I’m a pitiful sick girl, just ask my husband! I whimper, I can’t help it, I certainly don’t mean to or even realize I’m doing it. My mom has told me I have done it since I was 6 months old. (I must insert my apologies here, if I linked up next to you or you commented last week here, I kept thinking I would catch up and read all the posts and leave responses but alas it didn’t happen.)

 

Do you feel like me?

 

Maybe not physically sick, but mentally worn out, spiritually exhausted?

 

When we find ourselves feeling like this we are distracted from our purpose and calling. Satan can use this against us, he is on the attack and when we become weary he is ready to pounce.

I am His | Me, Coffee & Jesus

I know this, I even think I am prepared, most of the time, but it still sneaks up on me. The Lord knew this would happen to us. He was so confident that it would, He gave us instructions to prevent it. Ephesians 6 gives instructions on clothing ourselves against the enemy.

 

But it takes work to put that on everyday…time too. When life is rolling it’s easy to get distracted from the need to clothe ourselves for battle. It’s easy to lose sight that there is a battle.  This is important ladies, so listen up! There is a battle, a battle so big, a battle that’s entire mission is to destroy and detain us from our purpose we have been planted for. We know this right?  It’s Christianity 101, but how easy is it to forget.

 

Now did I just hear a mumble from the back of “what purpose?”

 

Don’t you believe it, sister. You have been created for a great purpose. A purpose of patiently loving your children, your husband, your aging parents. The purpose of kindness, smiling at the cashier, tipping that young waitress. Praying for the co-worker that drives you bonkers. If you don’t see or think you have a purpose that is the lie of the enemy. To think like that allows a victory for him, that line of thinking doesn’t allow room for the Lord to work in your life. His plans are always bigger than we imagine. Maybe right now your purpose feels small, but don’t let that distract you from the big things the Lord is preparing for you behind the scenes.

 

Ok, sorry I had to get that clear, I was saying that all to myself six months ago so I know someone was thinking it today.

 

Even when we know the spiritual attacks are coming it is still hard to prepare. A huge spiritual attack for me is my health. I have the worst immune system and a chronic illness that rears its head when I’m run down/stressed. If you live in Indiana you know the source of my stress this past week, water! We had over a foot in our front yard last Monday. The other common spiritual attack is financial stress. So yep you guessed it, some financial stressers this past week, nothing catastrophic but stressful.

 

The enemy loves when we are stressed out because what are we thinking about when we are stressed? Me, me, me. We move from thinking about living ruined lives for Jesus, to me living. Our worries, our finances, our sick bodies. Just last week I wrote about living ruined for Jesus, this week I didn’t live that out. To experience that dichotomy within just a week was a true lesson in the importance of daily clothing myself in His armor. 

 

I am personally entering a time in my life of spiritual attacks. When I registered for SheSpeaks earlier this year I was told to be ready, the enemy was coming. Be prepared because you are doing work for the Lord and he wants to wear you out. I know this and still allowed myself to be caught without my armor. So ladies will you pray with me this week, and over the next few weeks. Will you shift your “me” living to living as she warriors, she warriors so ruined for Jesus that satan shivers in his tracks.

 

Let your worship be your battle cry | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

Father God, we ask for strength this week. Strength to fight the unseen battles that are happening. We ask that you gird us with the belt of truth, that our minds will filter all thoughts through your truth. We ask for our bodies to be covered in your armor of righteousness. That we will live just and fair, guarding judgmental thoughts, remembering others we interact with are created beings of Yours too. We pray for shoes of peace so that as we step into others lives we bring a holy calmness to them. We ask for your shield of faith. A shield to stand behind that will protect us from the certain arrows the enemy will throw at us. We thank you for the helmet of salvation that you provide to us. We ask for complete trust and confidence in its helm of our life. We praise you for the sword that you provided us with. We ask for discernment to fight with it, for strength to wield it. Father, we pray these things and claim them in the power of who you have created us to be. We ask for a holy alertness, to stay aware of the coming attacks to persistently seek you and your will in our lives.

Put on the armor of God, fight like a warrior | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

If you have a specific prayer request I would love to pray for you. Drop me an email at mecoffeeandjesus@gmail.com or use my contact page. We will fight the enemy together.

 

Find me linked at these amazing blogs!

 

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

This week I’m featuring two bloggers because I couldn’t decide which one I loved best! So first I give you Keri of Living In This Season her post that encourages us to “find hope in knowing that we are all doing a beautiful work[of raising our children], each in different and unique ways and it is so good. We can embrace our differences and have confidence in how God made us.” You need to check out the full post! 

I’m also featuring Deb of Counting My Blessings she posted on the qualities that make us great, our greatness is ultimately based on her words: “You are great because by God’s grace through Jesus and the power of His Spirit” but you must check out the rest of her truth filled post!

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Ruined + Link Up

I’m ruined are you? Ruined for Jesus, that is. My life is centered around living ruined. I was introduced to this idea at a workshop lead by author Rick Lawerence.  To be ruined for Jesus means we spend time chasing after Him and the desires He has for us. It means choosing to sacrifice money and living with more time for relationships than “stuff”. It means pursuing His goals, giving up careers when He calls. It means leaving family and friends when He says this way.

 

To live like this looks crazy, seems crazy, but I can’t do anything else. Jesus has sought me and won me, so nothing else tastes as sweet. I know I’m not alone, I know the disciples were ruined and I’m certain their friends found them a little nuts!

Everyone’s ruined looks different lived out. I think of a boy from Africa I heard about. When he decided to live for Jesus he packed a bag and left his life, village, family everything because he was no longer accepted. I know I’m so blessed to live in the bible belt and to live out loud for Jesus looks less crazy than in some places of the world.

Yet I still am thought to be “out there” I’m sure. I left a business in hopes of serving in vocal ministry. When the door to ministry slammed closed I was confused to say the least. Then in my Jesus focused line of vision I caught a glimpse of wait – I’m not finished – wait I have something better for you. I’m still waiting as glimpses are still being revealed but the Lord is so good I know He is higher, He is planning the perfect path for me.

 

Me, Coffee and Jesus

Part of living ruined for Jesus is listening to His voice. Not ours or of the enemy, but His, the one of Truth. I find this the hardest part even as I type this the voice of ugly is whispering, talking loudly, screaming, yeah that’s the word. Screaming all the ugly I’ve done, created, the messes I’ve been apart of. How could I be successful in any type of vocal ministry?

 

This voice tells me people already have certain opinions of me, based on speculation, although I know and my close circle know the truth, it doesn’t speak as loud as the speculation. This voice shows me other women who are far more qualified to teach and share the gospel. Lets me know that I have no degree to back up my calling. I don’t say any of this so you feels sorry for me or offer me words of praise. I say all of this to point it back to Jesus. I have always been a people pleaser, it’s part of who I am. I believe the Lord is using this as a thorn in my side.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 talks about being given a thorn to prevent him from becoming proud. He asked the Lord to remove it on multiple occasions.  But the Lord’s response comes in verse 8.

 

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Me, Coffee and Jesus

This is my thorn in this season of life. I trust Him, so I will continue placing one foot in front of the next because it’s not my strength, it is His. Because I promise even with all my strength, on the best hair day with my power outfit on do I have enough strength to live Jesus out loud. My strength finds frustration with my children, grumps with my spouse, no time to spend with the Lord. My strength only leads to hot messes! His strength looks like following Him when chaos reins, kindness in response to children driving me to the brink, smiles at the husband who likes to pick on me in fun. His strength looks like finding time to spend with Him in the everyday.

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

Be sure to check out Rebecca at Mary and Martha’s House as this weeks featured blogger. She shared the importance of making the most out of each of our days in honor of her cousins passing.

 

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Grafted to Jesus +Words With Winter Link Up

This week I was studying Colossians and a verse in chapter 2 lead me back to a passage of scripture in John. Chapter 15 starts out with Jesus telling us He is the true grapevine and his Father is the gardener. I attended a youth leader conference a few years ago that had a workshop based on these verses in John 15, while there the leader of this workshop showed a video of how gardeners graft plants together. It was such an amazing video to watch and think about in the context of our lives being grafted on to Jesus.

 

This is what Jesus is talking about. He doesn’t say WE are the grapevine, we are only the branches. We have been grafted on to Him by the Gardener.

berries

A gardener doesn’t just take a piece of a branch and tape it to a vine. Oh, no my friends, it is way more complex than that!  I would not refer to myself as a green thumb so I had no idea of this amazing process. The gardener must first prepare the vine or root stock that the “transplant” is being grafted to. The root stock is cut down to just the base and the bark is taken off and the grapevine is cut in a deep V pattern so the the new branch can be grafted on. The newly grafted branch is taped onto the vine.

 

Umm, does this sound familiar to anyone else? Jesus was stripped, cut and bleeding for me. Because of His willingness to suffer I was able to be grafted on to Him, so that I might produce fruit.

 

Jesus says in verse 5 that “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers.”

 

 

fruit

 

So this tells us we have a choice we can chose to remain in Him and produce fruit. The other option would be to not remain in Him and the result will be to suffer being thrown out. Yes that sounds harsh, until you think of the reward of option one.

 

Because He says in verse 9: “if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.”

 

 

Wow, I think option one sounds great but what does that look like lived out? What does it take to bear fruit? And what does it mean when Jesus says in verse 2 “he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more”?

 

So what does it look like to bear fruit as a branch on the grapevine of Jesus? I believe spiritual fruit is obtained when we become more and more like Jesus. That’s what happens when that grafted transplant grows deeper and deeper into the vine, it is still itself but it becomes more and more like the vine. When we long to live like Jesus more than how the world does, that is spiritual fruit. When we show kindness and patience to those who aren’t easy to love, that is spiritual fruit. When we show joy in times of trials, that is spiritual fruit.

 

So the next time your toddler is coloring on the wall with your favorite lipstick, respond with patience drawing deeply from the Vine. When your spouse comes home and has forgotten to pick up the 3 dozen cupcakes you need for the school bake sale respond with kindness that only comes from being tapped into the Vine. This is what bearing fruit lived out can look like.

 

When verse 2 talks about pruning the fruit bearing branches, I get a little squirmy. This is because, although I’m trying to be the best fruit bearing branch I can be, I still think pruning sounds painful.

 

Wikipedia says the purpose of pruning is: “shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, and both harvesting and increasing the yield or quality of fruits. The practice entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from plants.”

 

This definition when applied to my life does sound like it is good for my overall growth and fruit bearing…still painful, but very needed.

 

What is God pruning in your life? He has definitely been shaping me lately. I read back through an old journal recently and for over a year I was asking the same question of the Lord essentially. Of what should I do about this situation, I didn’t like the situation, but I was stuck. Stuck so deeply that it got painful when the Lord got the pruning shears out and got to work. That pain made me move from my stuck situation, and fruit has begun to grow again.

 

So sisters, I pray that you will root yourself deeper into the Lord if that is where you are at.

 

Cling to what Colossians 2:7 says: “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

 

rooted

Or, if you are like me and are in a season of pruning, I pray that you will let the Gardener do the work necessary for you to become more fruitful.

You can find me on these awesome blogs!

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