I’d been picking berries over a period of a few days, trying to gather enough to make a batch of blackberry freezer jam and a blackberry pie ~ that I had a tiny piece of on a tiny plate, of course!
And, in so picking, I noticed something interesting that I hadn’t given much thought to before: that the berries on a bunch all ripen at different times! Only one or two berries in any given bunch are ready to pick at any given moment.
For your farming education and berry-viewing pleasure, here’s a photo that I took of said berries, and then drew circles around each of the many bunches. (You may notice that a few of the bunches are lacking a dark, ripened berry ~ this is because I had already picked them off!)
This is similar to how I see myself as coming into “fruition” regarding growing in and applying principles of the Thin Within message! There are many areas ~ in Thin Within and in my life as well ~ that I’d like to be adept at all at once. Like immediately!!!
But, alas, I am a slow learner. And :::sigh::: some days go better ~ and some worse ~ than others.
Just when I think I have one area conquered, I fail miserably the next day, as if I’m starting from ground zero! UGH!!!!! I know I’m really not, but some days it just seems like it!
One cluster of berries represents several areas that I need and want to grow and become more mature and skilled in! Like what, you ask?
Well, like… waiting for zero… stopping at 5… which equals eating withing my 0 to 5 boundaries…
creating my truth cards… reviewing my truth cards… getting truths on my truth cards into my mind and heart…
drinking more water… being more faithful at renewing my mind… being more consistent at working in my workbooks…
eating more slowly… exercising 0–5… applying myself to conscious and undistracted eating…
running to Jesus instead of to food for comfort or help in decision-making…
truth journaling… letting go of the dieting mentality… learning to not beat myself up when I fail…
allowing God’s truth to replace lies… for that matter, learning to even recognize lies!!!
And these are not things that I feel bound to do; they are things that God will use to set me FREE, “if I don’t get discouraged (or distracted) and give up”!!!
In fact, since I am berry ~ I mean very visual, I went ahead and labeled most of the individual berries in the bunch in the photo above so that you could visualize exactly what I mean right along with me!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could mature in all of the areas we want, all at the same time!?! But that’s not too likely given the fact that we are human, weak, and imperfect.
But, as long as we are on the Vine, and remain connected to Him, who is also the Vine Dresser, we will mature! And I assure you that it won’t be because of our own ability to hang on! It will be because of His life-giving, transforming grace that flows through the veins of our souls and nourishes, grows us up, and ripens us in the “wisdom and stature of the Lord”! In fact, He even helps us to hang on!
So as we “seek him first,” all these berries – I mean things – will be added unto us!
I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Heavy on the “apart from Me you can do nothing” bit!!! And thinking I can when I’m on a good streak is part of the wrong thinking that needs to be renewed in my mind!
Since that verse is about grapes, I thought it would be appropriate to include a photo of grapes ~ which turned out to be prettier than the blackberries! Aren’t the variations in color as they ripen amazing?!?! (Wish I looked this pretty as I’m ripening!!!)
Let’s close by praying through that same verse:
Lord, You are the vine, and I am one of your branches. My heart’s desire is to remain in You, and for You to remain in me, so I ask You to help me do this, Lord! Help me allow You to transform the “home of my heart” into a place You are comfortable residing in.
I want to be a fruitful branch of Yours, and to produce much tasty fruit, but I know this is a byproduct of allowing You to live Your life in and through me! For, apart from You, Lord, I can do nothing! (As in ZIPPO… NADA… ZILCH!!!)
Thank You for choosing to dwell in my heart, Lord!!! … Aaaaaaamen!!!!