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The Growth in You

There are some days that living the Christian life comes with a lot of persecution. The blows from others are so consistent we start to wonder if the comments they are saying are true. Our worth is not feeling so worthy. While we know we are doing the right thing their is still this unexplainable feeling going on in us. It reminds me of this Olive tree we have.
We live on 10 acres and our land has been in the family since 1948. So to some it is just land with a run down old house. But for others it is a land full of stories and memories. This Olive tree is just one more story to the list of stories.
Where this Olive tree is located there use to be a line of trees. There were so many that they were crowded together. However, the days of tree clustering slowly started coming to an end once we moved out here in 1991. I think my step-dad made it his mission to clear trees out. This area where this Olive tree is was a location of one of his missions. 
He cut all the trees down. It took some time and I watched as the progress was being made over time. His mission finally came to an end. I looked out and there was this tall tree with maybe a couple of branches on it, which they were all sticking straight up. Only one branch had leaves and there was not very many. 
I asked, “Why didn’t you cut that tree down it looks dead?” He said, “That is an Olive tree and those are good trees. It was smothered from all the other trees so it was not able to grow. Now that the trees that were taking what it needed away from it are gone it will grow.” 
Every summer when it comes time to mow I have stared at this tree while I mowed. I have wondered why is an Olive tree all that. I have wondered if it was every going to grow like it is suppose to. I have pretty much sat in wonder of this Olive tree trying to see what my step-dad saw in this tree.
Now in looking at it I no longer wonder. I can see what my step-dad saw. Today it is a beautiful full tree. It produces olives and shares them with the ground underneath. I can not tell you how many little trees I have had to mow over. If I don’t get to them soon enough there are an abundance of them.
After a day of persecution maybe you feel like this Olive tree looked. Beat down and not seeing a lot of good in you. But the One that allowed you where you are sees a lot of good in you. He sees that where you are is clearing away all the things that are smoothering you from growing into full bloom. As they are removed the light is able to get in to grow such an abundance of fruit that it will be an overflow. 

God loves you like crazy.

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Breaking Out

Breaking Out

Life brings different adventures that await us. One of the hardest parts is to break out of what we are accustomed to and into the path we desire. We can see the experience and the opportunities shining with excitement. The kid in us prefers to reach for it in a blink of an eye. But inside are all those voices of reason that have influenced us while growing up, holding us back.

The butterfly metamorphosis is reference repeatedly in Christianity.  A caterpillar that lives in a cocoon of transformation and afterwards breaks out a beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar representing your past and the butterfly representing your new life. th (7)

In my beginning years of giving my life up to Christ, it was a story I held onto. At times, I thought I would be in the cocoon for the rest of my life.  I was convinced once I burst out of the cocoon the story was over. My beautiful wings would stretch out and I would take off into what God had. However, time has taught me the story of the butterfly is never ending and each event I get a different outlook.

Recently, God put me in a position where it seemed as if I was in a box, a cocoon you could say. At first, I did not understand until He closed doors and there I sat by myself with just me and God. A place where my finances remained at bare minimum. No work. No income except child support. A situation I was not prepared for.

Aware of what was ahead I took the measures needed to go after what the future
required, simply to come up empty. Okay, I got knocked down. I got up,
suggesting God had something else in mind.

I paid impressive money to pursue the job of my dreams. I laid all my fears down to
apply for positions I was qualify for.  Although I did not understand how I would blow
the interviewer out of their chair to declare, “Yes! She is the one.” Only to sit
three months afterwards with nothing but declining letters from companies in my hand.

This taking place during the time of year that is fun and relaxing. Summer. You know when people are on vacations. Family and friends by the pool. Sleepovers and attending late night movies.

th (9)Well, life circumstances have felt like the climate of summer. It has been hot. The only rain falling is what you produce from your eyes, called tears. When all you can look at is dirt, it creates a large amount of uncertainty in you and you grab at different possibilities. You pray, but when the answers don’t come, you answer the prayer yourself. Realizing you took a bunch of risk but nothing came from it. Then you begin the mental process of recollecting your mistakes.

If I had not spent . . . on that idea I would have . .  . more money than I do now.

               If I had managed my time better, I would be 10 more steps ahead of the idea I am working on now.

                If . . . (You fill it in.)

It’s easy to fill in our failures with “ifs” as we tear apart our worth.th (8)

Then you hear that one thing in which can only come from God alone and it reignites you. You take that small flame while carrying your failures and “ifs” and you march toward God stronger than you every have, believing there is more.

Y’all this has been my summer.

What amazes me in the process of what I regard as so awful is it took God to bring me to this point to go after my desires.

A movie that speaks encouragement to continue after my dreams is “Pursuit of Happyness”. The film with Will Smith where he lived in the slums of San Francisco and had nothing. His wife abandoned him because the situation became too much. The situation led him to find determination like he never had. It was at his lowest that caused him to chase after something so many would consider impossible.

Check out the trailer here:

When we watch movies, our emotions get so caught up in the goodness of what is transpiring that our emotions dance a lovely picture. They make us miss the aches and pains it takes to break us out of generational ways of thinking. In those desperate moments when the tears are falling, creating puddles, it can be one of the most beautiful
times in our life. A time of just you and God. Allowing God to tear down the barriers keeping you bound from a place you never imaged to be or do. A point where we give into the fear ceasing and faith arising. Grabbing faith’s hand as we consent to God pulling us up and telling us what to do.

In the comment section below share your thoughts over what your read. Here are some questions to help you get going:

Has fear ever kept you from what you desired? If so how did you overcome?

How do you handle when God has you in a summer season so you do not lose, or give up on, your faith?

Is there something God is calling you to but you remain in a box that you need to break out of? Explain.