REMAIN. ABIDE. “Stay in your Lane”, “Stay Focused”, “Put your Blinders On”, “Keep Your Eye on the Prize”, “Dance with the one who brought you”. Aren’t we always looking to stay in line with what God desires for us and is calling us to do. Especially, the beginning of a new year. We have EVERY motivational plan, inspiring mantra, and physical “call to action”, we could dream of. But still. We usually fall short. So much fluff and stuff, sparkle and glitter… it fades.

What God has been teaching me over the last few months, is truly REMAINING in HIM. John 15:4 “4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” Abiding in HIM on a daily basis, on a minute basis, can be a challenge……but oh is it FRUITFUL! There are so many distractions and temptations to pull us from the vine. Winds that blow, storms that come, freezing temperatures and blazing HEAT….. and then comes the sweet morning dew, the warm, gentle sun….. and HE GROWS us!

What does this even look like, though? Abiding? Remaining? I think, for me, it’s being in HIS WORD. Waking up to that calling on my heart to pause and listen and be present with HIM as my day begins… I am better on some days than others… Truth. But, regardless, I am trying to open my heart to HIS call. Over the past 8 months, our family has experienced some “harsh conditions”. Our 21 year old son has battled health issues since the age of 2, when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (childhood cancer). Extreme treatments, protocols, and experimental drugs were all part of his story. A HEAT wave! Keeping him alive was our goal. After his initial 2 years of treatment, he went on to live, thankfully, an active, happy and overall healthy life. Miracle. Some BLOOMING! Fast forward 19 years, due to some of the earlier treatment, he developed a tumor in his brain, a meningioma. Some STORMY weather. After 11.5 hours of brain surgery, they were able to remove 98%. Praise God! He recently received treatment for the 2% left, but we are still waiting, GROWING, PRUNING, and ENDURING the elements. Remaining looks like, not being afraid when you are. Abiding looks like holding tight to the vine. Fear, disappointment, worry, bitterness, anger, distraction and heaviness can all pull you away from your true source. We need HIM to bear fruit. HIS Love looks like the warm sun on a cool morning… peace, protection. HIS Grace looks like, a light rain after a hot day…forgiveness and humility. When we REMAIN and ABIDE, we can “be slow to anger …” and “ our lips overflow with praise”, We can be JOYFUL and we can be SECURE in HIM. As you move through all the NEW YEAR’S resolutions and mantras…. Remember that REMAINING in HIM and ABIDING in HIM is a beautiful relationship that feeds us, protects us, keeps us steady, prunes us, and BLOOMS us ALL year round… despite the seasons.