Again, because it's Springtime I get a flood of object lessons. God likes to use nature to speak to me and I think that having visible reminders of things He's teaching me really helps me connect with Him even more.
One big thing he speaks to me about pretty much every year is "pruning." Maybe that's because I tend to need it a little more than some, I guess. Whether you're pruning a tree or you're pinching off the first flowers on a Petunia, it may not look pretty right away, but it's the best thing for the plant. Not only does the plant expand and re-route the nutrients to the areas of new growth, but the pruning gets rid of all the unnecessary, dead parts that hinder it from flourishing. Hmmm...
I wonder what will be pruned this time. I can say that whenever God calls me to follow him into a pruning season, it can be a little uncomfortable and usually comes before a change. I get used to my old branches and the way I have always done things, so knowing that he wants to change some things in me can make me a little uneasy because of my own unbelief. However, knowing that God is pruning in order to help me grow gives me a sense of peace. Growth always happens because God prunes at the right time.
Maybe there are some things that need to be pruned from your life. Maybe there are issues or toxic thoughts or fears that you need to get rid of. If God does the pruning, it's timely and swift and ALWAYS leads to growth in the end. I dare you to ask him to start pruning. Some people call those kinds of prayers "dangerous prayers". Those people, though, usually think that God is a hard taskmaster rather than a loving father. Asking God to prune you or even to teach you humility is not dangerous--it's a sign of trust. God has plans to prosper you and NOT to harm you. I, personally, would rather he get rid of all the dead things in my life than allow me to live with old growth and dried up fruit.
I'm grateful for...
The times when I finish what I start. I'm GREAT at starting things, but finishing is a whole other story. When I DO finish things, though, I get a sense of accomplishment and a little attitude boost. I need that sometimes.
Not wallowing. Self-pity has a really strong pull, but learning to control your wallowing is a huge deal. I haven't fully mastered the cutoff, and I likely never will, but I'm getting better at it because God is good at reminding me.
Getting over it. Stuff happens, you feel it and then you get over it and move on. I'm moving into the "getting over it" phase...or at least I hope I am. :)
The unmerited favor of God. Seriously, I have nothing in me that would qualify me to be good enough for God to call me his child...but he does anyway. That's because it's not about what I do, it's about who he is. I can't imagine my life without God in it and I'm so thankful that he will never leave me or forsake me. He will never forget me and reminding myself that he is right with me gives me peace.
My DKs and CM friends. You know who you are. You ladies have been such a blessing to me. You've taught me to get a thicker skin and to not take things personally, you've taught me that it's okay when people disagree with me (very strongly, at times), you've taught me to do my research, you've taught me what it means to care about a stranger, you've taught me that laughter is the best medicine...so many things. There have been times when I felt that you guys were there for me, emotionally, when I had no other person to turn to. I hope that I can meet you all in the same place someday. Boy, would that be a party!
Right now, as I'm thinking about my many blessings, I have tears in my eyes. I don't deserve any of them
and yet they've been given to me freely and without reservation. I'm learning so much about God and about myself and I hope that I continue to be a learner. I hope the same for you, too.