Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rejuvenation ~

"Some plants, vegetative and flowering, will grow weary over the course of several years, or even just a summer. Any bush, tree or plant is at risk for growing limp and lifeless."
That's what I read on the website. I thought to myself, "Yeah, like me. I'm so weary... what can I do to get rejuvenated?" I don't mean just on a physical level but also on a spiritual level. Let's face it, life is hard for almost  everyone and even more difficult for some. It's no wonder that we would feel limp and lifeless at times! So I started thinking about rejuvenation and what it is. I was thinking spa treatments or a day lounging on the beach, maybe getting a pedicure or treating myself to some steak. What do you think of when you hear the word "rejuvenation?" So that's how I came to the website where I was reading about plants being weary. Even after I read that first sentence something just made me keep reading...
"To rejuvenate your plants and give them the lush green and large blooms they deserve, simple pruning is in order."
What?! Pruning? To rejuvenate?!? I'm not much of a plant person. That may explain why I have some brown scraggly things in my flower bed right now. I have an automatic sprinkler that comes on 2 - 3 times a week so they get plenty of water. They also get plenty of sun and the tag on them said "direct sunlight" is what they need. So why can't I just plant them and forget about them? It seemed like somewhere in the Bible Jesus talked about pruning but that just does not seem as lovely as a spa treatment to me. However, as weary and lifeless as I feel, I thought it wise to go look up that scripture before I turn brown and scraggly myself.
"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." John 15:1. 2
Hmmm. So there is a verse about pruning. I don't like the thought of being cut. I once had a wart and although it was ugly and all, I hated thinking about having it cut. I had surgery on my foot and passed out when they took the ONE stitch out. Anything that causes pain is not fun to me. And certainly not rejuvenating.
"Cut along the prominent branches at the Y of the smaller limbs. Make a straight and clean cut."
Um, God? I said I don't like to be cut on!
"For smaller plants with limbs less than 1/2 inch, the pruning shears work fine."
Yeah, ok, I can take it. I know that must be me with the 1/2 inch branches. So bring on the shears.
"For branches larger than 1 inch, use the tree saw."
Whoa! Wait a minute! A tree saw?! Ok God, quit kidding around. This is really not funny anymore. I'm already weary and here you are talking about using a tree saw on my branches. I don't know how much more I can take. Seriously.
"Cut from the outer edges first and then deeper. Take away the branches that are most clustered first, along with the wilted or weakened ones from pest infestation. These limbs are browned, spotted or broken and hanging loose."
Do you have limbs in your life that are wilted or weakened from pest infestation? I know I do. That pest, the devil, wants to get to you and ruin what God has planted. He wants to leave you spotted and stained with pieces hanging loose, broken and destroyed. He would have you think that the state you are in is hopeless.
"Cut into the other small branches that are less prominent."
There are areas of our lives that may not even be noticeable to others, things that, left unattended, will grow out of control. It's time to clip those too.
"This thinning will drive all the nutrients to less foliage and blossoms than the tree had to manage before. The tree can then concentrate its efforts on a smaller scale and develop beautiful limbs and  flowers."
Friend, God wants you and me to flourish and grow beautiful and strong. What are the extra "branches" that need to be "pruned" out of your life? Is it gossip or backbiting? Is it negative attitudes and behaviors? Jealousy or lust? Is it something that is done when nobody is looking? It doesn't matter, no branch is too big.
So... rejuvenation! I think I'll go spend some time with the Master Gardener.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The 5 Dreams of Every Woman...

...and How God Wants to Fulfill Them.

This is a book I just ordered. Here's what it's about:
The desires have been there for as long as we can remember: to be beautiful, to be a bride, to be a mother, to be a cherished daughter, and to have a best friend. But for many of us, life took a different turn. Sharon Jaynes challenges us to dust off our hopes and dare to dream again - through God's eyes. With engaging stories of biblical and contemporary women, Sharon sheds light on the deepest longings of a woman' heart. The book includes a 13-lesson Bible study. Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn't forgotten you? Place your hand firmly in His-take a deep breath and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you'd never find: the dream God planned for you all along.

Go here to read an excerpt for yourself. I can't wait til it comes in the mail!