John 15:1 - 4 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to combine two of my blogs into one. If you are following God's Garden, please click over to http://milestonesoffaith.blogspot.com/ I have been sharing about raising our two boys to beome Godly men. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful blogs I have found recently that have been a great encouragement to me. I hope to pass along what I have been learning.
As I am finishing reading through the Bible in a year, I have been reading about the Israelites and their journey to the Promised Land. It's interesting to me that the 7 day (or so) journey took them 40 years. Of course sitting here I can offer many suggestions and wisdom to them. Stop complaining, trust God, stay on course, don't look back, and "Do you really think He brought you here to leave you to die?" But then I look at my own life, the patterns that have been developed, and have the same advice for myself. Without going into specific examples, I have seen the same issues come up time and again, but at different places and with different people. The same problems I encounter come up over and over again, until I finally learn what it is I am being taught. Oh how I wish I could just learn the lesson the first time, master it, and not return to the same mountain. God is in the process of training us to be conformed to His image. So He uses people and situations in our lives to develop these character traits. Once learned, we don't have to go through the painful process of relearning. We simply apply His wisdom and show patience, love, kindness, or whatever it was we learned.
Right now my husband and I are in a faith test, again. We went through a multi-faith test back in 2007. Several issues came up at once, and we applied our faith in God and His plans for us. One by one the miracles happened. But for some reason, that is not always the case. We lose sight of the end and focus on the trials we are going through. We really believe that He has placed us on this course. We have prayed and sought His wisdom every step of the way. But for some reason, the timing is turning out to be different than we anticipated. In 2007 things happened, boom boom boom. No waiting at all. But we didn't know it would turn out that way going in. It just happened that there was no waiting. Now we have been here for over a year and are about where we started. What a faith test! So do we give up and return to Egypt? No. Should we worry that He will not provide for us? No, He said He will "meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus". I believe God for each days' supply of manna. It is so hard to not look at tomorrow and wonder if there will be manna for us. But He is already in our tomorrow, waiting with our daily supply. And we have a direct command from Jesus to not "worry about tomorrow".
I am applying my faith, believing God will see us through to the end. And I am going to finish with the lessoned learned, not to repeat this lesson again.
Today I was on the hunt for a blue onsie to fill an embroidery order. I took my two year old with me on this adventure. He was very well behaved for most of it. I went to 4 stores before deciding to check Toys R Us. I know...I'm crazy to take a child in a toy store without the intension of buying him anything. So, as I am becoming aware that I was not going to find the sought-after onsie, I decided to leave. That is when he decided it was time to place his toy order. He looked down one isle and up another. The Toy Story toys were a favorite. He stopped several times in front of the most expensive items and wondered why I was not picking them up for him. After many "no's" from me, he turned on the tears. Then he let everyone in the store know that we were there too. Loud went to louder. I got several sympathetic looks on the way out. I sometimes buy my children new toys, but today I was on a mission and didn't feel the need to spend any extra money on something they didn't need, and would probably forget about soon after getting home.
So, as the day went on, I thought about this off and on. I wondered how we as adults can compare with our children. How does our Father look at our requests / demands for things that we want. Things that we don't necessarily need, but think we can't live without. Or how does He feel when the request is made repeatedly, even after His answer has been given. Our little children don't always have the mental ability to understand why a "no" isn't always going to be the answer. And sometimes it is a "not yet". So they go to the only response they know...a total melt down.
I wonder how many times God looks at our responses and thinks "when are they going to learn?". Our lack of trust must disappoint Him terribly. I say this and know that the next time I don't get "my way" I will probably not respond in the most perfect of ways. But I am trying to change. I want to look at each situation the way Jesus looked at them.
In James we read in the first few verses of perseverance. This is defined as "a steady persistence in a course of action in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. The quality or state of being wise, knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; discernment or insight". We are to "consider it pure joy when we face trials because the testing of our faith produces perseverance". Once we accomplish this, we are made "mature and complete, not lacking anything". WOW! Not lacking. He has already promised to provide us with what we need, when we need it. By staying close to Him and trusting his answers, we can grow and mature.
As Christians, our lives can be compared to a garden. We are responsible for taking care of what grows there. We need to constantly prune our gardens to remove unwanted things, like anger, pride, selfishness, etc, much like a gardener prunes his garden of weeds and unwanted plants.
Last year we had an overgrown area of poison ivy removed. It was a huge undertaking and required the help of several workers, lasting all day. I have since noticed the ivy slowly growing back. It would take years to get to the level it was, but still we need to stay on top of this and remove all the unwanted plants because just one can cause an allergic reaction.
In the same way, if we let unwanted emotions or words take root in our lives, we will have a harder time removing them. Stop these bad behaviors as soon as they show up. Take God's word and apply it to your circumstances. Planting His word into our hearts will result in His word coming out of our mouths when we need it. God says that His word is alive. He spoke all things into existence. We can either speak negative or positive words over our lives and the results will follow.
I am a child of God, wife of a wonderful and supportive husband, mother to two active boys, daughter to kind and caring parents.
I have been blessed with a chance to stay at home to spend more time with our children. While at home, I also run an online store which keeps me very busy.