Bearing Much Fruit in Quarantine

My five-year-old is learning about seeds right now. Er, I should rephrase that. We are both learning a lot about seeds right now because I am now her homeschool teacher so what she learns, I learn too. 🙂 We have planted seeds, noticed seeds, read about seeds, and studied seeds. Seed talk is a regular around our house right now. 

When we planted the seeds in her fairy garden last week, we dumped in good soil, sprinkled in the seeds, and placed the garden by the window in the sun. We’ve been checking the seeds every day and have watered the soil when it gets too dry. 

We are not master gardeners by any means over here but we have enjoying tending to our seeds and helping them grow.

The whole process has got me thinking about how Jesus uses the concept of plants, seeds, and vines to teach us about His role in our lives. And He actually claims that His Father is our Gardener:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:1,2

I’ve heard this passage many times growing up but for some reason (insert the Holy Spirit) when I studied it with a group of moms recently, it stood out to me more clearly. 

When I read the part about how He cuts off branches that don’t produce fruit, I remember thinking, Gosh, I don’t want parts of my life to not be bearing fruit. 

Around the time the quarantine began, this verse came back to my mind. I prayed,  God, I want to bear fruit for you. Would you use this time to cut off any branches in my life that are not bearing fruit so I will be more fruitful?

Let me just say that I’m pretty sure God heard  that prayer! I have very much felt like my life has entered the “pruning phase” during this quarantine. (And maybe we all feel that way as we’re stuck at home having opportunities to see areas in our lives that need attention.)

I’ve described this quarantine season to my husband as a pressure cooker. It has felt like issues in our parenting or marriage or our own lives that were hiding behind busyness or life in general have all gotten exposed. 

For instance, one area God has been speaking to me a lot about in this season is connection with my girls’ hearts. We moved last summer and between renovating, unpacking and organizing, it has not been a laid-back time. I have felt like every minute I’ve had something to do. And what has suffered has been slowing down with my girls. 

During this quarantine season, my eyes have been opened to how much my girls want and need my husband and me to sit down on the couch and snuggle, or play a game, or go for a PJ walk. It’s not that we never did those things before, but we’re having more time to see how needed these times are to feel close to each other. 

I won’t lie, the past six weeks have been hard. I’ve lost any me-time I used to have during my block of preschool hours, and I have had to readjust my expectations a million times to realize I’m not going to get much done right now. I’ve had to surrender the need to accomplish anything and realize that connecting with my girls is the most important thing on my list. It’s been a process with ups and downs for sure. (Speaking of, did you read that post Laura and Anna wrote about how quarantine life is similar to newborn life? It’s so true.)

I’m trying to continue to look at these difficulties as ways God is pruning me to bear more fruit. I so desire my life to “bear much fruit” and it says in John 15:5 for that to happen I must “remain in [Him].” Admittedly, there are moments I totally drop the ball on staying connected to God. I lose my patience with my kids or my husband. I try to do things on my own strength. I choose productivity over connection. It’s a continual journey for me to keep inviting God back into my motherhood, marriage, and life. 

But one thing that’s helping me is looking at the seeds we’re growing in the fairy garden. As I take care of those seeds with my daughter, it’s reminding me how much more care and expertise the Master Gardener has over my own life. If He sees the need to prune areas of my life because they are not bearing fruit, I want to welcome it. Why?  Because His promise in verse 2 says that He will help me become even more fruitful.

Lord, may it be so.

 

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What area of your life is being pruned during quarantine? Share below!

 

About Michelle Warner

The truth about me is that I love spending time with people–whether it be with moms in MOPS, students in writing camps, friends in my supper club, or family on our patio. And if you combine people and words, I am definitely in my happy place. One of my most favorite moments is sitting around a table with the people I love sharing deep conversations about life. Inviting people into our home and pulling out my fancy dishes invigorates me, though tackling the hand-wash pile in my sink does quite the opposite. (Sorry, Hubby. I’ll get to those soon!) I’m learning to enjoy the people in my life without feeling the need to prove myself or always make them happy. God continues to teach me that when I find what I need in Him rather than the perfectly-cooked chicken or the perfectly-timed word, I have a security that can’t be shaken. And that’s a good thing since my hard-working husband and I have two very determined little girls who keep us on our toes!

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