Birthdays often bring me to a point where I begin to reflect on life and how I’ve lived my life over the years. My son is about to turn 14-years-old, and it is a big deal to this mama who really has no idea where the time has gone and how her sweet little boy has grown into a very tall (and still sweet, kind, and caring) young man. It honestly just breaks my heart, watching my children grow up so fast.
It really makes me stop in my tracks and ask myself what I am allowing into my life, mind, and heart.
What am I allowing into my life that is literally robbing me of my JOY and my time?
How can I make the most of every moment of every day?
What can I do to bottle up this precious time in my life?
The more I think about all of these questions, it seems like life continues to flow faster and faster, and it makes me think about my word for the year.
My word of the year is: Fruitfulness
When God spoke this word over my heart, I was actually really excited. I thought to myself, “Finally.” I guess you can say life has been a difficult battle, and I have not felt much fruitfulness from the life that I had been living or the trials I have been experiencing. FINALLY, SO I thought all the seeds I had planted will sprout up and produce a harvest.
It’s amazing how fast I forgot all the work that goes into bearing fruit and producing a harvest. I forgot about the pruning, the weeding, and the tears it requires to water the new seeds. I forgot the sacrifices it would take and the faith I would need to have in God to receive the promise He has for me this year. I forgot about the change and how a fruitful life will never look like the old life.
But 1 month into the new year and my life is nothing like it was last year, and that’s a good thing.
Sometimes it is not easy to spot the weeds that we have allowed to sprout up in the garden of our hearts. God has definitely been pruning out those weeds and where He draws out the weeds there seems to be a void that truly only He can fill. Even though the weed left a void where it was, it was just a weed. Weeds never take deep root and they never bear fruit. It’s easy to spot a weed. It’s not easy to spot a fruitless tree from a distance.
I am truly learning that when God gives you a word like “fruitfulness” for your word of the year it’s not even about the fruit – the fruit is just what will be produced from all the hard work that goes into creating a tree that will even produce the fruit. As the seasons change the weather changes with it and I am finding myself learning how to live through those storms continually abiding in Him; and it seems like the good gardener that God is, He is truly preparing my life to be more fruitful no matter how painful it is.
We have a tree in our front yard called a tulip tree and for many years I waited for that tree to finally produce flowers. A few years back a flower finally appeared, and I was so excited! Now every year more and more flowers appear. But now it’s getting to the point where that tree is needing to be pruned and I am so tempted to just go out there with a chainsaw and start cutting down branches. But my husband keeps saying if you don’t trim the tree the right way then you can actually kill the tree! Well, that has actually made me scared to even go to the tree and cut anything down, so I have just let it grow the way it is and I think it’s only getting worse.
Is it weird that I love this little tree in my front yard? We built this house almost 15 years ago and we’ve had that tree since it was a “baby tree.” It was our first house, and our first tree! I am very much attached to this tree; I have even thought about bringing the tree with us when we move. So considering how attached I am to this tree you can imagine I don’t want to do anything that could potentially harm that tree. However, I have learned that taking the “hands off” approach isn’t necessarily the best way to deal with a problem, especially when it’s comes to the fact that this tree needs some pruning in it’s near future.
What’s really exciting and scary about having your word of the year being fruitfulness is that it means God is going to be “hands on” with your life. I will need to abide in Him all the time, and the pruning will take place because it needs to; however, even though it might feel like the pruning is going to kill me, I know that God knows what He is doing.
I hope you will join me this year as I write about what it means to live a fruitful life. You can subscribe to my blog below so you can stay updated on this journey. Do you have a word of the year? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!