Monday, May 7, 2012

I Am the Vine; You Are the Branches

I have been reveling for the past week or two in the fact that I have not had a problem finding things to write about and share in this blog.  It has come fairly easily.  It's never a horrendous chore but there are times where I feel more prolific than others.  Still the last few weeks have been especially enlightening, and I have found a wealth of messages in everything around me.  Far be it from me to question this blessing rather than enjoy it.  But of course...

This morning as I was straightening my, go to Mass, I was reflecting on this very thing.  In trying to analyze exactly what I have been doing differently, if anything, it hit me that I have awaken each morning over this time period and spoken to God before I did anything else.  I have truly been making a conscious effort to do so.  I have also let some personal things go that I was spending WAY too much time worrying about...the time spent agonizing was robbing me of more time in His presence.  "Could this be the reason for the constant bombardment of messages?" I wondered.  Right before church started, I entreated God with a request, "Please show me Your word as You want me to hear it."

Then Deacon Shane proclaimed the Gospel today from John 15:1-8:

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He [a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [c]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d] prove to be My disciples.  (my emphasis)

Amazing the blessings are born of this teaching when I actually follow it!  The more I include God, the more He gives me.  That's just the way it works.  He's honoring my inclusion of Him in the little things; the daily details; the giving over of fear and anger; the requests for help (when it used to be requests for "things."  I'll admit it!); the awakening in the morning with Him on my mind; the final words with Him before I drift off to sleep.  He showers His grace in celebration of my devotion.

And His branches in me will bear much fruit.
More and more ideas...
Inspired messages...
Words I could never write on my own without
His help...
His voice...
His grace...
His inspiration.

So here I will share for the first time a picture of the branches that I've prayed will bear the fruit.  (Ironically, I had not absorbed the above message from John when I asked for this to be designed.  But since He gave me the tag line, apparently He knew I would finally somehow make the connection.  Lord, am I dense...sigh...) 

My niece Amanda, is the graphic designer responsible for this gorgeous interpretation of my vision. 
I couldn't have dreamed of something better.  I look forward to continue branching out with words...with books...with vision...with work.  And I know that as long as I remain in Him, so He will remain in me through all of the blessings to come.

(More information soon on the website which will eventually house this blog.  Please pray for me as I move forward with this endeavor.)

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