We’re taking back some long neglected land and  are planting blueberries.  (Click here to catch up.)  There is sweaty, ugly work involved as wild grasses and thistles … healthy, abundant thistles … have been allowed to believe that the land is theirs.

It’s interesting that as we’ve started this project, I’m in a Bible Study titled “Rooted”.  The study is taking us down a path of the things that help us to be firmly rooted as followers of Christ.

It occurs to me, that there is an often overlooked … but absolutely essential part of our journey to become rooted in God and to reflect the love of Christ in this world. Before we can “plant”, we have to “uproot.”

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One thing we’ve been warned of repeatedly is that grass will choke out blueberries.  We’re going to have to uproot it.  Because we want to stay organic, I’ve said no to Roundup and quick solutions.  It will take more effort to pull out and fight off the grass, but the fruit will be much healthier.

And then comes the question, if the process is the same in my faith journey … if I’m looking for a fruitful life in Christ, then there is some uprooting that has to take place … and not just one time, but throughout the seasons and the decades.

The choking weeds in my life include bitterness, fear, pride, jealousy, selfishness, …  (sadly, the list seems to find new additions at new junctures.) So, here, I ask, Reader Friend … are there weeds choking out the riches of your life? I am praying that you and I have the courage to take them on.

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Not all on the land is fruitless.  Mom and Dad bought these lots with hopes of restoring an old house and making the property livable again.  A flood of memories come with the land … the house that used to sit there … the dreams to fix it up but that crumbled with the home … my grandmother’s house across the street … now remodeled and inhabited by another family and alive with a different set of dreams … mind photos of all the times I had to mow, rake, and clean up these lots only to now face a mess.

The house to be remodeled ended up in decay, inhabited only by raccoons, but early on, an orchard of sorts had been started.  I had forgotten all about the plums and apples Dad planted, but as you can see, even neglected, they kept growing.

And here’s where I learned another life application.  Neglected fruit, although apparently prolific, isn’t exactly the best fruit.  The fruit was wormy, small, and mostly tasteless.  Without pruning and pest control, too much fruit was competing from limited resources.

Just to claim that we have fruit (giftings, talents, aspirations) isn’t enough.  If the “fruit” of our life is really an extension of God’s goodness to the world, then we must allow Him to prune and trim as He sees fit.

Thinking back on our first attempt to reclaim the lots and on this entire adventure, I realized that yet one more lesson had unfolded …

Dead dreams are rarely dead.  They most often become seeds for another season or even another generation.

I should never despair what has come my way. To embrace a healthy life, I have to surrender both the hurtful and the hopeful to the Lord’s all-knowing Hands.  I’ve had to tell myself at those moments when I’ve stood on a cliff with no path ahead, “Do what He says and then trust.  He knows more that I do.”

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Jeremiah 1:10 “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms … to build and to plant.”