Next in Line

Just returned home from Lifeway’s Women’s Leadership Forum and ‘wow’ is all I can manage at the moment. I’ll attempt to process the gems I learned over the next few weeks.

That said, I am shifting this blog from the adoption of our daughter (who is doing AMAZING by the way)…to the wait I am currently in with God. It looks something like this:

I am called.
I am willing.
I am waiting.
I am preparing.

Aren’t we all?

So here’s my desire–let’s wait and prepare together. I listened to Margaret Feinberg speak about her new book endeavor, Scouting the Divine, in which she followed a shepherdess from Oregon, a vintner from California, a farmer from Nebraska, and a bee-keeper from Colorado.

This is what she said of the vineyards:

The shoots of a grapevine are planted. In the first year they are pruned delicately. The second year they are again pruned back. The third year, the vine bears grapes that are not picked, but allowed to stay on the vine and wither. The fourth year the grapes are harvested and then the fruit of that labor is not tasted until year seven.

What really blew my mind is that a vineyard does not expect to turn a profit for sixteen or more years if all goes as planned.

That’s dedication!

So here I am…dedicated to my calling alongside God. I am currently writing two separate studies, getting more intimate with the giver of purpose…and am pretty sure I’m still being pruned.

Share the journey with me? What God’s leading is in your life? We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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4 thoughts on “Next in Line

  1. Good stuff Marian!

    I planted grapes this year and am not sure that I can wait as long as they say to before I can partake of the bounty.

    Oh, well, the purpose of mine are to hang over my fence and make it a more intimate setting and a place to be reminded of the good fruit we are to bear. I know this may sound a bit corny but I calligraphed (way before there were vinyl wall words ☺) in one of my kitchens, in one of my old houses, the verse from John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches: he who is in me at all times as I am in him, gives much fruit, because without me you are able to do nothing.” I guess I was in need of a more vivid reminder this time! That verse is powerful to me. I hold it in my mind’s eye and try so to be sure that I am conscious of what God’s desires are for me and how I can be obedient to him.

    Craving a more intimate meaning of the verse I planted the real deals in my yard and am waiting to grow along with them. Wanting…to see what God says needs pruned and what God wants to let me bear as good fruit.

    I like the imagery of how I am so like a branch of the vine. I have growth spurts – some are longer than others. At times I can put out a lot of branch and leaf and really produce no fruit. In other instances in my life I have times where I grow right along, slow and steady, and have a little fruit that doesn’t seem to be the greatest but it is o.k. In other times I notice where I actually die back to the vine body and am being pruned because I have been neglectful of my place and duty in God’s grace filled life that He has for me.

    The reward is when I look and see how God has been holding me up and encouraging my growth and my spirit and telling me that I am more than o.k. even when I need pruning. I find strength in knowing He is there intimately intertwining His divine grace and forgiveness in me as I grow along. The fruit that is produced tastes really sweet and is so plentiful. I can look and see where He has been my nourishment, my strength and my shelter

    My yard is my refuge from the world. The place where I can pray and grow and find my intimacy with My Father!

    Once upon a time I gathered enough encouragement from this verse and a few others and took the prompting of many Godly ladies from our church and started a women’s bible study. It was named Girls of the Vine. Funny how we sometimes don’t know if or when we should leap into the places of doing Kingdom work. I was scared because it was a time where I had to fill big shoes from the previous ministry and all the expectations people had for it. It was a success…everyone loved the ministry but there were not enough to carry the load. I really had to look and see that the 2 years that it went were not years of failure but were for a time and a place.

    Prayer for you and your endevors.

    under His wings -Jodie

  2. Jodie, Wow! I am not just flattering you when I say that your insight is sweet and soothes the soul. I love that verse and am about to remind Nate of it as soon as I am finished typing. 🙂

    I would love to see pictures once your grapes have grown! You and your family just churn out one beautiful project after the next. I wish very much that I would have gotten to hang out with you and Michaela more while in the big RC…because I SURE have LOVED getting to know you both from VA. 😉

    Your heart for ministry is encouraging, but it is your heart for God that gives me hope. Some days, I feel like I might just lose one for the cause of the other. The Lord has been sweet to me this year in the way he has refreshed my life with him and brought me into a place of harvest. It has been a long time coming.

    You speak of intimacy with Him…I will be calling you. 🙂 I am writing a study on intimacy inside our marriage, but I have theorized (from Scripture) that true intimacy starts with God and manifests itself through the mind, body, soul, and heart. I would love for you to write an intro about this for the study…Just putting that out there. Let’s talk and pray!

    Marian

  3. Thanks Marian! Your words are so kind.

    Sanctification in us is not always as balanced as we would like but remember sometimes it is more than likly compartmentalized a bit so that we can learn and grow and then in turn share and minister to others. I also think that we can grow and learn while we minister and share too!

    You have had not just a big plate to balance but maybe about four or five (adioption, authoring, moving, mothering, pastoring, and finding your place in all of these)in the last few years to balance all at once. I think you are handeling it pretty well.

    Let me know if your idea on intimacy works out, I would love to think pray and study up more on it and share what God is teaching me.

    Waiting on the grapes of summer’s end next season. I will share photos as they come.

    Jodie

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