May is just a few days away! Have you selected your Focus Fruit?
Spiritual Gardening Tip: Let the Holy Spirit pick your focus Fruit!
The Fruit of the Spirit comes from our relationship with the Holy Spirit and His guidance on how to grow this Fruit. Often we start a new month with a certain fruit in mind to focus on. But read each fruit definition (in your planner and on your bookmark), and pray to the Holy Spirit. He'll let you know which fruit is right for you this month. You'll feel that conviction!
At the beginning of each month in the planner, there is a prayer inspired by scripture. Most are about one of the Fruit. Look through the planner and find the one for the Fruit you are considering! We hope this words will ring true for you as well.
See you in the garden,
Julie and Leann
As we head into April, we hope your Spiritual Garden is growing strong! Here's a tip to cultivate it!
Spiritual Gardening Tip: Work the Planner with a friend or small group!
This may be obvious but having the love and support of a friend (sister
) or small group will truly enrich your experience. You can cheer each other on, feed off of great ideas, and share your fruitful experiences.
Would you like to join our monthly zoom calls? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add you. Or if you have a small group or are thinking of creating one, send us a note as well, and we'll support your journey!
See you in the garden,
Julie and Leann
Does your weekly planning session with the Holy Spirit get derailed when you start thinking about all the “other” things you have to do during the week?
Here’s a tip:
Plan your weekly activities and “to do” lists on Friday or Saturday for the upcoming week. On Sunday, enjoy a fruitful planning session with the Holy Spirit. Use your pre-planned activities as opportunities for spiritual growth!
If you only have one day, break planning into two sessions.
Colossians 1:9-10 (NIV)
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
Ready to REPURPOSE your day?
Gardening Tip: Till your garden and replant for more fruit
Don’t be discouraged by busy days with long “to do” lists and responsibilities. Instead, repurpose your daily activities, workouts, meetings, errands, social engagements, even chores. See them as a place in your garden for planting, cultivating and growing fruit.
Spread some LOVE around the house as you do your chores
Serve JOY while serving meals to your friends and family
Bring PEACE to work, share it during lunch or in meetings
Grow PATIENCE by driving slow and letting others cut in front of you
Share KINDNESS as you’re out and about by giving to the man with the sign, engaging with the store clerk, opening doors for others and tipping generously
Plant God’s GOODNESS by doing what’s right for the group, even if it’s hard
Respond with GENTLENESS when offended or put out by others at work
Cultivate SELF-CONTROL by submitting to the Holy Spirit when tempted to self-indulge or have things your way
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
Today's Gardening Tip- Schedule Lunch with God!
I love to start each day with coffee and some time with God. By the time my cup is empty, my heart is full and I’m ready for a fruit filled day. I tend to work all day, taking breaks only when needed. I think that if I keep working, I’ll get done sooner. So far, that’s never happened. I’m beginning to realize that breaks are actually energizing. They improve focus and productivity. Breaks that involve physical or social activities are most effective for recharging and refocusing. Studies show that taking a lunch break allows your mind the chance to rest and recuperate. The same is true for our bodies. Think back to the last time you met up with a friend for lunch. I bet you felt re-energized both physically and mentally when you returned to work. Now, think about how you feel after morning time with God. Combine the two! Schedule lunch time with God. Take a walk together, share some details of your day, compliment His beautiful creation, tell Him of your struggles, ask for His perspective, listen to His words of wisdom. You’re sure to return to work refocused and re-vitalized, full of Joy and ready for a fruit filled afternoon.
John 15:5 (NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
What steals your time? What do you feel has to be done BEFORE you spend time with God or loving others? How do you prioritize your time and choices?
Gardening Tip: Prioritize loving God and others above all else.
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
How about a little Fruit Punch?
Gardening Tip: Take a break and have a little Fruit Punch
Take one day to look for Fruit in others. Make a game of it. When you spot LOVE, JOY, PEACE, KINDNESS, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS or SELF-CONTROL give someone a fist bump and call out “Fruit Punch”.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Trading my Weakness for His Strength!
As you work on your weekly plans here’s a Gardening Tip: On your weekly planning page, try keeping 2 “to do” lists; one list for what you want or intend to do (from your PLANT + CULTIVATE + GROW page) and the other a record of what you actually do. At the end of the week, compare the two lists.
Walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit, asking Him for help to live each day as planned, loving others and bearing Fruit!
2 COR 12:9 (GV)
But he told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me.
Planning Tip: Track Fruit in the margin of your bible
When you come across a reference to Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness or Self-control in your Bible reading, make note of it in the margin. Later, when you’re wanting some nourishment, you can easily identify scriptures references in context for each Spiritual Fruit.
1 John 1:4 (AMP)
And we are writing these things to you so that our joy (in seeing you included) may be full (and your joy may be complete)
PLANT + CULTIVATE + GROW
Planning Tip: Choose a weekly Scripture
Choose a scripture each week to help develop your Fruit of the Month. Write it somewhere on your weekly planning page. (I like to write it across the top of the page) Read it frequently. Meditate on it and let it sink deep into your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to use this scripture to grow you spiritually through practical application in your daily life. Record your thoughts, revelations and experiences on the bottom of the weekly planning page under PLANT + CULTIVATE + GROW
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. 2 Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. 3 They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do.
Today’s Spiritual Gardening Tip: Be an avatar for Christ
Have you noticed, there’s fewer faces on social media today? It’s true. They’re being replaced by avatars. Users create cartoon avatars of themselves to use in comments and stories. Avatars are also used for profile photos in place of a personal photo.
The idea of creating a personal avatar is alluring. It’s also super easy, only 9 steps to a new “you”. You can customize your avatar with details like facial hair, eye color and shape. You can even use avatars to express your emotions. The avatar embodies the personality and character of its creator, so much that people see the creator when they look at the Avatar.
God created you. In His image, you were wonderfully made.
You were created to be His avatar.
put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.
Weekly Planning Tip:
Plan and carry out your activities with confidence, trusting that God is working in you and through you to grow spiritual fruit.
Have you ever felt an urge to do something good for someone, but hesitated just long enough to let another thought talk you out of it? It’s happened to me more often than I like to admit. Like, I get an email from church asking for help delivering craft packets to families. As soon as I read it, my heart leaps with excitement for the opportunity. I imagine being like Santa delivering toys to the good girl and boys. My next thought is how busy I am this week. Instead of replying I move on to the next email, but my thoughts frequently go back to the request with a sense of regret. God is using these opportunities not just to benefit others but to grow us spiritually. Next time, you get a request or urge to help others, recognize the one who’s making the request. Trust Him and do it. It’s for you as much as it is for others.
I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (CBS)