Ezra Study: Time to sit under the apple tree and enjoy

There are several friends reading Ezra with me.  God’s Word is living and active.  I loved the words expressed by a reader after studying Chapter 8 together:

“Whew! I’m mentally exhausted.  I have so much work to do, but I’m excited about it.  I’m going to try to print out the 12 ways to humble yourself!”

You are fully equipped.  The working of the Holy Spirit in your life is a continuous working, not a once and for all event or occurrence.  As a parent, you teach your baby to walk, but they still fall down.  In fact, for the rest of their lives the possibility of falling exists, but they walk. The other day while cleaning, I had music playing for motivation. I decided to practice my “moon walk” from the 80’s and down I went right into the goodwill box loaded with dishes.  I fell hard.  Embarrassingly, I got up, laughed, and kept on working.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13

Guilt, self-loathing, bitterness, depression while on this journey can creep in.  Don’t let the enemy fool you. He can remind you of your “falls”.  Well meaning, loving people who you trust can remind you and give advice.  Don’t be swallowed up by fear, shame, or discouragement! HE gives you the desire and the power! So you fall.  Get up and try again. And, even in the midst of strongholds or battles ENJOY the journey. Choose joy on purpose.  Be purposeful and know it’s okay to laugh, play, and be human.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich

A precious friend of mine shared the quote above during my writing this morning.  How fitting.  Connection.

Yesterday, I had planned a trip with friends to the High Bridge Trail in Farmville.  It was a break from a routine that was arduous. My guilt wanted me to stay home. My Joy said, “Go!”.  I’m so glad I chose to sit under the apple tree and taste as many apples as I could–“Taste and see that the Lord is good!” God connects things if we listen.  A quote, menial tasks, an arduous adventure, challenging relationships, and daily tasks with your beloved family….

The simplicity of this connection overwhelmed me.

Cleaning a cabinet and questioning many things in my mind (does detail cleaning do that to you?), I began to ask God many questions about life, the journey, and the purpose. Throwing away outdated food and organizing closets does that to me.

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The Spirit led me to a scripture box.

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My “random scripture” was

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..he kept him as the apple of his eye… Yes..God….

Then tucked in the corner was one of the million nick-nacks that clutter my house

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Nick nacks with the coffee and sugar along with a scripture, studying God’s Word, connecting with other believers, and a day of apple tree sitting brought answers and joy for the journey.

Thank you Monica for the video!

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