Spring is in the air, at least that’s what the retailers have told us with their chocolate bunnies and pastel-colored egg displays. The sun is shining, and while it is still a bit chilly, that crisp air is so refreshing. On these beautiful days, I love to open windows and welcome the breeze in to get rid of the stale winter air and breathe new life into my home. I get out my lemon candles and diffuse an uplifting blend of essential oils.
My favorite thing to do in the spring is to fill my bird feeders, take a cup of coffee, and stroll through my flower beds and garden. Oh, how it feeds my heart to walk around and take in God’s creation and see what plants are emerging from the frozen ground. Through my gardening, I feel like I am working with Him to help this plant grow to it’s fullest potential, fulfilling its purpose to bring glory to God through its beautiful blooms. The beautiful tulips spent the winter hunkered down, taking in the nutrients they needed to feed themselves so that when spring came, they were ready to do what they were made to do.
Prepare your heart to bloom…
We too need to make sure that we are working with God to ensure that our roots are well-tended so we can grow to our fullest potential, fulfilling our purpose, which is to bring glory to God through the fruits of our lives. Just as we open the doors and windows to our homes to let fresh air in, we should be opening the doors of our hearts to God’s Word, allowing it to breathe fresh air into our lives, into our souls.
I hear you over there saying, “Um, those words are nice, and that picture you paint with them is sure pretty…”
But how do you grow roots in real life?
Well, my friend, I feel your struggle. I am not a person who has been able to have a disciplined time for Bible reading and prayer. Don’t get me wrong; I have tried so many times to do it, I have friends that set aside the first 30 minutes of their day to read their Bible, meditate, and journal. They don’t start their day until they have that time with God. I have tried again and again to be that person. I thought I just needed to dip into my grit and be a little more disciplined to do it. So many times I tried and failed. I failed because I would do it for a couple of days, but then couldn’t keep it up. When I was able to get up and read my Bible, I wasn’t getting anything out of it because I couldn’t focus enough to let the word settle into my bones. So, tapping into that grit once again, I decided that I needed to change it up and do it before bed, only to fail at that. What the heck?
Did this mean I wasn’t a good Christian, did this mean I don’t have the grit I thought I did? I struggled with these questions; I brought them to God; I prayed that I would win this battle. Then I realized that I was fighting a battle that wasn’t mine. Not in the sense that it was God’s battle, but I was trying to play football on a racetrack. Now imagine me on the start-finish line, in a three-point stance ready to run my play when the announcer says “start your engines” to the race car drivers. Even if you know nothing about either sport, you know that is a ridiculous picture.
Did this mean I wasn’t a good Christian, that I don’t have the grit I thought I did?
Your growth is unique to you, and yours alone.
While I am a structured person, I am not regimented, so I needed to dip into my grace because there is not a cookie-cutter way to grow our roots. So I changed my prayer to help me connect with God in my way. While Scripture reading, prayer, meditation on His word, and journaling are all disciplines I practice, I do them each individually, and throughout my day.
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t turn on the radio or TV, and I try hard to not even look at social media. I use my first few minutes to say good morning to God and ask Him to show me what He has in store for our day. I read a short devotional, and write the Scripture verses that accompany it in my planner. My drive to work in the morning is my prayer time; mostly, I try to be aware of His creation around me as I drive. I praise Him for the beauty of the stars, the breathtaking way only He can paint the sky; I pray for fellow drivers on the road or the families that live in the houses I drive by. I look up and envision the Scripture from my earlier devotion and try to meditate on it throughout my day, taking time before bed to reflect on the Word and journal.
My routine is different than others, it may very well be a mix of what other women do, but that doesn’t mean it is any less sacred. I don’t think God wants me to be anything other than the beautiful, messy mix of grit and grace that I am. I know He doesn’t want anything else from you, so embrace your way of spending time with God in His word, in prayer, and in His glorious presence—whatever that may look like for you. That is the brilliant purpose of our individual relationship with God: it’s personal, it’s intimate, and it is beautiful.
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That is the brilliant purpose of our individual relationship with God, it’s personal, it’s intimate, and it is beautiful.