Hey y’all! I know it’s been a while! Between school and prepping for graduation season, Own Your Peach, and other major life events…I haven’t had a chance to share my writing with you all as much as I would like. But, I’m here! God willing, as I prepare to celebrate my 30th birthday tomorrow (July 23rd) …or my #FlirtyThirty as I’ve deemed it…I’ve been doing lots of reflecting (as usual) and wanted to share 30 things I’ve learned in my 30 years on this Earth. It was so difficult winding down to 30. But, I pray that they’re useful!
I must warn you…this by no means suggests I have MASTERED any or all of these. This quick read is meant to get your wheels turning (get you thinking) about all the life lessons you have received, whatever stage of life you’re in.
Think about the last time something happened to you and you found yourself wrecking your brain trying to figure out why it happened (or why it happened the way it did)? We’ve all been there more than we would probably like to admit. Maybe your relationships are failing? Maybe God is trying to answer your prayers of bringing genuine relationships into your life. But you’re having trouble trusting and embracing the process because you’ve been burned in the past? Maybe you find yourself making plans but they KEEP on failing to go the way you THINK you KNOW they should go?
Well, guess what? You’re in great company!
A few weeks ago, I was in a ladies Bible class at church, and we were discussing different aspects of the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). See Galatians 5:22-23.
Part of the conversation included how challenging it can be when we’re going through difficult seasons in life, to still have a heart and attitude that reflects this fruit. Specifically, joy and peace. It got me to thinking about the term “pruning.”
Before we continue, I want you to get familiar with the word “pruning.” Pruning is a gardening term. Pruning is a careful, intentional removal of unnecessary parts. Pruning encourages and supports healthy growth. The concept of pruning can also be applied in a spiritual manner.
Pruning is not only beneficial…but it’s essential.
How often do we hold on to things that, if we really take the time to think about it…aren’t helpful to our spiritual walk. I’ll wait. Too often, right? Now, I am not referring to this new-age self-serving approach to life that says, “if something isn’t serving you anymore, let it go.” That’s actually far from what the Bible teaches us. But…that’s a post for another day! Anywhoo, instead, pruning is an intentional process in which God may ‘shake up’ our world to get us to draw near to Him. Because you know, life, tends to cause us to drift.
If we are to be representers and followers of Christ, we have to learn how to embrace the pruning process.
Perhaps God is pruning you. Pruning you of the expectations you have for your life. Pruning you of unproductive habits. Pruning you of the need to have an explanation for everything (I’m guilty). Pruning you of the need to receive approval for what GOD has called you to do. Pruning you of bad habits that hinder your growth and influence in the world. Pruning you so that He can make you new. So He can use you for His will and His glory.
Pray this prayer
God, I don’t know why…but I’m going to trust You. I can’t SEE it yet, but I know that You know what’s best. And I’m going to start by trusting You because you have the best track record. I’m going to walk by faith instead of reason because I know the enemy wants me to take matters into my own hands. I don’t like being pruned…but I know that it is necessary. Please help me to find joy in this season. The enemy wants me to think that I am in control of my life…but it is You. I will not live my life based on my feelings because they are fleeting. Your word says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11). Because of this, I know I have nothing to be worried about. Help me to walk in Your perfect peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What to Do When You’re Being Pruned
Now that we have taken it to God…we do know that faith without works is dead, we know that we can’t just twiddle our thumbs and expect to grow during this season. While we rest in His peace, there are some things that we can do while we are being pruned:
Prayer is one of the most important components of our walk with Christ. The purpose of prayer isn’t to tell God something He doesn’t already know. He knows everything. It is what connects us with God. It is how we speak to God. It is how we make sure we are in-tune with Him, His will, His Spirit.
We meditate on His word first by reading his truth, His inspired word each day. When we mediate on HIS word, we become armed with facts that help us to cast down/counter the lies that we tell ourselves. Lies from satan.
When we decide to be intentional about living life from a place of gratitude, instead of a place of lack or want; we can full embrace the pruning season because we know that God has already worked everything out for our good and for His glory.
What are some other things that you can do to make sure you GROW through the pruning season? Let me know!
You may or may not hear this phrase a lot. But, being in the social work field, I’ve been hearing it referenced more often than not. The term is often used to express how important it is for women of color, specifically, African American women to be represented in spaces that typically exclude them. This may include the beauty industry, media, STEM fields, leadership roles, and so much more. Most recently, I learned the significance of this term when several people pointed out the cover of Reflections from the Kitchen: A 31-Day Devotional Cookbook.
The Reflections from the Kitchen Gratitude Journal is here!
This gratitude journal is perfect for anyone who is ready to become more intentional about living life from a place of wholeness and gratitude. Instead of a place of lack or want.
One of the common challenges I see our teen girls and young women face, is rooted in a false sense of identity. And, technology and social media definitely have a hand in confusing us about who are are, Whose we are, and what we are called to do.