I am developing Instagram envy.  I blame Amanda for this.  Lately, her feed pops up picture after picture of planted pots full of sprouting vegetables in her backyard.  “I can’t believe how much my tomatoes have grown,” she comments.  I growl hungry with desire as I stare into my iPhone — I want her yummy, juicy organic tomatoes in my yard!   Maybe I could go steal a couple, and she won’t notice?  Hm…

Do you ever look with longing over at some else’s juicy, fruitful life?  “Lord, I wish I had her job… I want a ministry profile like hers… if only, Lord…”  Yeah, I must admit I get a little too green with envy in the soil of my heart sometimes.

This past year, “my pot” sat around empty and barren.  Sickness, problems, unmet expectations — all these pesky weeds tried to take root in my heart and  destroy my fruitfulness.  To the naked eye, nothing sprouted in the dirt.

During this desert season, I determined one thing — I must keep watering.  So, every day, I got up and poured the living water on the dark soil.

Just recently, I have noticed a few sprouts — little shoots of spirit and life that God is cultivating in my heart.  Fruit.  Juicy fruit is on its way.  I am so thankful.

God filled me with hope tonight when I read this description of fruitfulness:

“But what happens when we live God’s way?

He brings gifts into our lives,

much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—

things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.

We develop a willingness to stick with things,

a sense of compassion in the heart,

and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.

We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,

not needing to force our way in life,

able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

Galatians 5:22-23, MSG

All along, God has been fertilizing my heart.  Keep watering the soil, my friends.  Soon, you will see a sprout.   God will produce life-giving fruit out of that dirt if we just keep watering.

Q4U:  How do you keep the soil of your heart fertile for Him?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Tell His Story, Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.


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32 responses

  1. Love this analogy Lyli. The way I keep my heart fertile? Abiding in the vine regularly. That sounds so trite and easy but for me, it makes all the difference. I’m just weak and frail enough that I know I need to abide in His presence often or I get off balance.

    • I love that word picture in John 15 — it was the Scripture God gave me as I prepared to marry my husband 4 years ago. Getting married in your 40s after being single forever is kind of crazy, and God spoke softly to me and told me to just keep abiding…. For the next year, it seemed like everywhere I went I saw that Scripture. I even bought a book at the local Christian bookstore, and the bag they gave me had a picture of a vine on it with the words of John 15. I kept that bag for weeks as a reminder.

  2. This is such a truth that I need reminded of often, Lyli. How easy it is to get discouraged when the fruit hasn’t poked through the soil yet. Beautiful words of encouragement, my friend.

  3. We can’t grow the garden without getting our hands dirty by tending it. Thanks for the lovely analogy. May all our spiritual gardens grow.

  4. This past year, “my pot” sat around empty and barren. Sickness, problems, unmet expectations — all these pesky weeds tried to take root in my heart and destroy my fruitfulness. To the naked eye, nothing sprouted in the dirt.

    I want to be careful the way I say this because I am saying it with all humility as one who is still learning….
    It is not your pot….it is his pot. Allow Christ to live his life through you and all the pesky weeds will disappear. Sickness, problems, unmet expectations, etc. are his not yours, they are his – let go of them and enjoy the abiding life. Your life looks like Lilly but it is not Lilly – It is Christ living his life through you.

    To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27

    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Col 1:3-4

    I suggest everyone read the book: The Rest of the Gospel by Dan Stone.

    Lilly you are a prolific writer….I enjoy everything you write. Praying sweet victory for you my friend. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.

  5. Yes, I have to admit there have been times of envying the fruit in the life of another believer. I then ask myself, “am I willing to do what it took that person to have a ministry like that?”

    Often, I have to admit I’m not ready.

    I like your advice of keeping watered in a desert season. For me, the best way to do that is to listen to a lot of praise and worship music and spend time in His word. I think when you are in the desert, you have to press in and do those basics of Christian life even more vigorously than ever.

    • So true, Jerralea! The parable of the talents comes to mind…. some people do more with what they are given, and the harvest is greater. I just pray that I don’t bury my head in the sand like the guy who buried his talent.

      Worship music is a big thing around our house — especially on a tough day.

  6. Dear Lily
    This post is truly fruitilicious! Yes, what seems like dead winter to us, is actually the time when our Lord is preparing the best fruit ever!

    • He never quite does things the way I expect… I pray for one type of fruit, and He gives me another… His is always better, but I whine the whole winter through…. You’d think I would have learned better by now…. I am such a slow learner!

  7. This is great to read…and to know we’re not alone when things seem “unfruitful.” Thanks for the reminder to keep our hearts focused on Him – prayer, reading scripture, and trust seem to be what keeps my heart fertile. 🙂

  8. Lyli, I LOVE the Message translation you posted here.. have to mark it and read it over breakfast to my kids in the morning. And that faithful watering of dirt? I’m like you- stick with the Word in all seasons. Last year WAS such a hard one for you, friend, so thrilled to know you are bearing fruit from that season! Hope you have a great week.

  9. Oh yes, I’m guilty of that envy. Your words have encouraged. Loved this reminder… “Keep watering the soil, my friends. Soon, you will see a sprout.
    Blessings to you, Beth.

  10. Love your word “fruitilicious!!” This year I’ve been soaking up Words. Jesus words to be exact. Love the plain simple English of the MSG version — so needed for my simple south Texas mind. I feel filled when I’m absorbing, but after awhile I have to pour out. I have to see my friends on the streets. I have to be with them. And there — I feel I’m soaking up Jesus in real life. Beautiful!

  11. “God filled me with hope”

    *Hope* seems to be a recurring theme I’m hearing in the past 24 hours. It is indeed a gift from God. I want to be filled with it from his hand, and I’m praying it for someone else at this time… Thanks for sharing this.

    • Lisa, I prayed for your friend to be filled with hope this morning as well. One of my memory verses this year (used in a recent post) is Proverbs 23:18 (NIV) — “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

  12. First time on your blog, glad I visited. Everything you wrote speaks wisdom. Love the comments too. We now live in California and things take a ton more watering here which reminds me how much I need to be watered. Have been very thankful in the last few days that God still wants to work with my frail pot. Good post.

    • Betty, it’s lovely to “meet you” here. Thank you for your sweet comment. You encouraged me today. I have visited your lovely state and have always wanted to return. Lots of beauty out in California! Keep watering, my sister. Blessings to you. 🙂

  13. Pingback: Lessons Learned in 3D — Memorial Stone | 3dLessons4Life's Blog

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