We haven't had any snow this year. But we've had our share of rain. January rain. We did have a frost and I'm very happy to say more than a few of my favorite roses survived.
Reminding me to hold on no matter what season I may be in.
When my mother-in-love trimmed back my rosebush last fall, I cringed. Once heavily laden with flowers, my bush looked like a stump. I knew she was the expert and I trusted her, but there was still a niggling fear that maybe my roses wouldn't return until next year. My fears were for naught. They returned, vigorous and more abundant than ever, casting their sweet aroma to the breeze, soft pink faces nodding joy. Whispering peace.
How often I've felt the same way with my Gentle Gardener, my Master, my Heavenly Father.
I want Him to shape me, I know He knows best. But the trimming is painful and raw. For even what was once lovely may be hindering new life. And I have to yield, I have to trust these hands that are forming me. Trust that I will bloom again. Through the warm days of spring and the chilling frost of winter.
Our church is embarking on 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. I feel an excitement down deep in my bones. Fasting is a powerful tool in the Kingdom of God. One that ushers in the miraculous, delivers answered prayers to our doorsteps, that resonates with the desires of heaven and sets eternity in our hearts. Fasting is humility. It's says "yes" to God and "no" to our flesh. Because so often, our flesh gets out of control and before we know it, we've crowded out the new growth of the Holy Spirit. We've fed ourselves with less satisfying fare and our blooms become sparse. Whenever we deny ourselves in order to gain more of Christ, we taste the victory we were created for. And victory is sweet.
I will be absent from my blog for those 21 days. Because, to be honest, often the time I spend blogging replaces the time I spend seeking my Father's face. And I desperately want that to change. I have struggled with this decision. I've come up with every excuse possible for why I should not do it. After all, I'm basically committing blog suicide (according to blogher, right? lol) But I guess my rosebush analogy applies here as well. If He is really Lord, then I have to lay myself down in the dust at His feet and let Him take the shears to my life.
I will miss you this month, my dear friends! But I'll be back to visit you and catch up with your lives soon! In the meantime, I have a few guest bloggers who will be posting every now and then and I know you'll enjoy hearing from them.
Be Blessed this month with more of Jesus!