Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Take Out the Pruning Shears

Sunday morning, our pastor shared a very convicting message. He used the scripture from John 15:1-11 where Jesus is telling His disciples that He is the true Vine and we are the branches and any branch that does not produce fruit shall be cut off but those that do produce fruit will be pruned to produce even more fruit. I love how visual our pastor is because out he comes with an actual vine and a pair of small pruning shears. He showed us that while most of the vine was green, there was one branch that was dead (not producing fruit) and therefore was actually stealing the nutrients from the rest of the vine and that God, in His lovingkindness, would prune that dead branch out of the way so that the fruit-producing branches could therefore produce more fruit. I am the type that likes to find ways to apply messages like that to things in my own life and I asked God, What's in my life that is taking time away from You? What are my "nutrient zappers?" What do I need to allow You to prune out of my life? The answer, as it may be for many people, is media.

I have facebook on my phone which means I actually don't get on the computer that often at home, except to blog or work on something for work or pay bills. But boy, can I spend some time just scrolling through statuses and looking at pictures on facebook or playing games or pinteresting till my heart's content. While none of these things are inherently bad or "evil," they are non-fruit producing branches that are taking the "nutrients" or time away from my Creator. Last year, right around this same time, I went on a 10 day media fast. I didn't get on facebook, pinterest, or watch anything on Netflix (except for Gabey's shows). Instead, I spent that extra time I had reading the Word, reading other "Christian Living" style books, and spending time with my husband and son. I felt more fulfilled in those 10 days than I did the rest of the year. Why didn't I do another fast, you ask. Well, the simple answer is because distraction is an incredibly strong force that one must be diligent to counteract. I was not. I wrote in a blog afterwards that if I felt myself spending too much time doing those things again, that I would do another fast. But I never followed through.

Now I am armed with the realization that not only are these things eating up my time, they are actually taking me AWAY from my Savior. So, starting February 4th, I will be going on a 21 day fast from Facebook and games on my phone. I wanted to do it sooner but I am planning my son's 2nd birthday party and want people to be able to get a hold of me through facebook if they need to. And actually now that I'm looking at that date, I think I'll just go ahead and make it a 24 day fast so that it will carry me through the end of the month.

That also gives me time to pray and prepare my heart for whatever God is going to show me through this time. I will not delete my account, but I will not be getting on during that time. I will fix my phone to make sure I don't get messages every time someone comments on my facebook. I will be deleting all games from my phone for that time period and will also not watch anything on netflix, aside from the shows that I might watch with Gabey (Mickey Mouse, Elmo, etc.) unless the hubs and I are doing an at home date night with a netflix movie. I will still pinterest for the simple fact that I am always looking for new healthy recipes and organization tips (both parts of my long-term goals) but I will set myself a limit each day...and maybe even an alarm on my phone that lets me know when my time is up.

I want to really dig into the Word and who knows, after my time is up, I may just keep going. I will still continue to blog, most definitely about what the Lord is revealing to me and may do a quick posting of it on facebook for those of you that wish to read and only access it from facebook.

I might also still post videos or photos that I take with my phone for family that loves to see/watch Gabe but I don't actually have to get on facebook for that. You might even see a YouVersion bible verse shared on facebook from time to time but that also does not require me to actually get on facebook. So, while you may see "activity" on my account, please know that I will not be mindlessly scrolling through statuses or posting statuses myself.

I'm looking forward to this time. I thoroughly enjoyed it last year and expect I will this year too. Be in prayer with me please that God would reveal Himself to me in a new way and that I will learn all that He has for me to learn during this time.

Here I am Lord...prune me.