Hello, readers. Welcome to the Fruitbearer blog. This is my first post. Enjoy!
In this Season
This is the season of Lent. It is usually, the time when we look inside ourselves and ask, “What am I going to give up?”
We poll our friends and post on Facebook what we are giving up. Sometimes these are things we like and feel we could NEVER live without. But, if it is just for 40 days, then I guess I could live through: no coffee, no sugar, or no chocolate, etc. The result? Hopefully losing a few extra pounds and being able to survive while being nice to those around me.
The problem with that is, it mirrors our New Year’s resolutions. We will do it for a few days, or if we are truly committed, we do it for a few weeks.
Here is Lent. According to the Internet, “The Lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ—His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial, and resurrection.”
I don’t know about you, but as a child, when I gave up chocolate, unfortunately, I was not reflecting upon Jesus, His suffering, His life, death, burial, or resurrection.
I thought Easter is a long forty days away and I hope my Aunt Sophie is going to bring a huge basket including an equally huge chocolate bunny that is solid, not the hollow kind and how I will devour it starting with the bunny’s ears!
Growing up, I have learned to reflect. But the same few days of “giving up” would pass and I did give up and continued with the small bout of self-reflection, grateful for my faith and deliverance, reflecting upon the season, and praying it would continue to linger throughout my days.
This Lenten season I did not give up anything, I added an early morning reading. Okay, well, I did give up my early morning slumber. I was led to read Fruitbearer: What Can I Do For You Lord? written by Candy Abbott. This book has quenched the thirst in my spirit for a connection with God. It has what I needed. Something real, by someone who sees the humor in life while on her own obedient search for a closer relationship with the Lord.
The book begins with the author sharing that she is a working mother taking care of life and fitting God in. Moving through the book, you go with her as her relationship is transformed during her conversations with God when she begins putting God first in everything. After all, He is in all that we do, and He wants a deep, meaningful relationship with us, His children.
I have read about people who have a deep, meaningful relationship with the Lord, but I really didn’t know what that was supposed to look like, sound like, or where to get started. Before reading this book, I felt as though I had somewhat of a relationship with God, but was this is the extent of it? Is there something more? I was SURE of it!
I was still thirsty. But where to look? The more I read the Bible, the closer I became to the Word, and in turn, the verses became familiar to me, but there has to be more.
I had no expectation when I picked up Fruitbearer. God and I had a short conversation, and I shared with Him,
“I think I would like to get up early in the morning and read.” This would be my “sacrifice” for this Lenten season.
So every morning, I felt the nudge to get up and read, but I bargained with God that I would fit in the reading:
“Maybe later in the morning, after my morning tea,” I said.
My conviction moved me to read. As I began to read and look up the suggested verses related to the life lessons and moved along with the author in her timeline, I became excited about my daily nudge, looking forward to where it would lead me.
I am happy to say my thirst has been quenched by the Word as it ministers to me in a way I cannot describe. Penetrating my Spirit, finally the bright lightbulb moment: The Word is my daily bread.
This is a moment by moment book. There is no need to speed through it to finish it. In fact, sadly, I have one chapter remaining. This book is a must-read for those who want to have a better understanding of what it feels like to become closer to God from a woman who questioned her purpose and place in this world, finding the balance while continuing to juggle life, and dropping balls once in a while. It truly is about knowing the One who knows, the One who is there to pick you up and to celebrate with you.
Excerpt from Fruitbearer What Can I Do For You Lord? as the Holy Spirit spoke:
“There is a saying, My beloved, ‘opportunity knocks but once,’ but I tell you that My Spirit never tires of knocking. I stand at the door of your heart, tirelessly awaiting permission to do My best work in you. Every day you have the opportunity to respond to My call. Continuously, I plant wisdom in your mind. You can act on these thoughts and discover My will for you, or you can reject them and stray from the path. Each time you respond to the opportunity to reflect My character, My voice grows clearer, and your joy grows fuller. But with each lost opportunity, your sensitivity to My call diminishes. You are presented this day and every day with opportunities to pursue your faith to it’s fullest. Waste them not, but open your heart to receive the blessings of joy that await you as you embrace your calling.”
Where are you in your walk with God this Lenten season?
Fruitbearer What Can I Do for You Lord by Candy Abbott is available through this website, the Perfect Misfits bookstore in Georgetown, Delaware, or on Amazon. Coupled with your Bible, I pray it blesses you as it has blessed me.