Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start. The sun will be rising again soon symbolizing a washing away of the yesterday and the promise and hope of today.
A new day to shift perspective.
A new day to move with boldness.
A new day to rise up despite everything pushing against you.
A new day to meet the resistance with every promise of God backing you up.
A new day to press on and step ahead head on into the day knowing there is nothing you will face today that heaven doesn’t already know about and also have a solution for.
Fun fact: I had a nightmare last night. My principal called me asking me to sub in a virtual 4th grade class. In my dream, I overslept and the sun was already pouring in the windows. I had to admit to my principal that I was still in bed. He said, “Can you be here in 20 minutes? I can cover you until then.” I agreed and was just walking into the classroom and signing into the computer when I woke up. My heart was pounding. I was sweating. And my first thought was, “Is that even a thing? Will I be asked to cover a virtual class on the fly?” Not sure the answer, but since most days I will be teaching my own classes which are both virtual and also face to face, I’m thinking that nightmare won’t come true. In my dream, I just felt so unprepared.
And then in real life, although I am not being called to sub, I am being called to completely redesign how I teach. I am creating bitmoji classrooms, learning new digital tools and programs, creating a very creative schedule to meet all the needs AND I am not alone.
Teachers across the nation and even globe have stepped back into the classroom either in person or virtually or both like me, and it doesn’t look anything like we left it in March. Everything has shifted, changed, been uprooted, and moved.
And, we are innovating, stretching, growing, and branching out. And it made me think back to such a beautiful revelation that Beth Moore shared in her new book, Chasing Vines.
The bible is filled with analogies of the vine. God so beautifully describes lessons for us through the symbolism of vines. He calls Himself the Vinedresser. Jesus called Himself, “The Vine” and we are the branches. And as we abide in Him, we would bear fruit.
And here is the wild part about vines! Hold onto your seats my friends. A grapevine that is given everything it needs in abundance with no adversity will grow to be a lusciously green, showy vine. If it is given ample amounts of water and fertilized soil and plenty of room to grow, that grapevine does just that! It grows big, gorgeous leaves and is so pleasing to the eye. It grows and takes up all the space with its beautiful leaves, BUT it won’t bear fruit. All of the nutrients go into the luscious leaves because it has no intense pressure to reproduce seeds through grapes because there is no threat to its survival.
Take the SAME grapevine, and have it experience drought, rocky soil, cramped space, or other stresses and the vine will take all of the water, nutrients, sunshine, etc and shift its energy from creating showy, beautiful leaves to ensuring its survival by putting all of its resources into producing big, juicy delicious grapes.
The struggle, the adversity, the resistance produced something in the grapevine…. fruit!
Through the struggle, all of its resources shifted to the bearing of fruit. The grapevine leaves its vanity behind and instead of putting on a show, it bears much fruit.
Oh friends, how I desire that for myself and for you. I want to put my concerns for how I may sound and just put all my resources into sharing the love of Jesus.
I want to throw off every hindrance of self doubt, self consciousness, and people pleasing and just share Jesus freely, openly, and in the midst of the struggle of the day.
I have joked with my friends and said, “I’m ready to be the crazy lady at work!” I just want to take Jesus at His Word that because of Him sending Holy Spirit, we can expect to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. We can set people free in the name of Jesus. We can introduce people to their personal Savior and watch hopelessness, depression, and emptiness flee and be replaced by the most beautiful love story of their lives.
Friends, during this time in the world of chaos, confusion, stress, and fear, we gotta shift our resources from looking good and sane and composed and quiet about our faith to showering people with the Lord’s love and healing and hope.
It’s time to be willing to let the showy leaves wither and the real, lasting fruit remain. It’s the fruit that continues on after the vine has withered and dies. The leaves are temporary, but the fruit carries on. The plant lives on through its fruit.
As you rise today, know that every struggle you are facing is an opportunity for you to shift your resources over to bearing fruit.
Instead of sending time to the worry train, you can captivate every thought and make it obedient to what Christ says. You will bear the fruit of peace.
Instead of sending energy to cover up your story in shame, you can boldly share it with a friend who needs to hear the message of hope in your redemption story. You will bear the fruit of kindness.
Instead of filling up on news and social media streams during the first part of your day, soak in Him through scripture and prayer. Let His voice be the first one you hear before the world starts screaming at you. You will bear the fruit of love and joy and everything else He wants to pour into you.
Instead of staying silent when a coworker is in need of encouragement, share the joy of Jesus. You will bear the fruit of faithfulness.
We can’t afford to worry about what people will think of us when we share our faith. We can’t afford to have our precious resources go to our showy leaves and our image.
I am ready to bear much fruit and leave the showy leaves behind.
Dear Heavenly Father,
To bear much fruit amidst adversity, we need courage in abundance. Lord, let us be brave enough to shift our resources from the temporary things of this world over to the eternal things of your kingdom. Lord, strengthen us and put words on our tongue to share You passionately, boldly, and often! Let our lives be proof of You at work in us. Let our peace be abundant and full so that we can do what You have called us to do in this very hour. In Jesus’s name, Amen.