Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Plow In Hope

General Conference

It is the week before General Conference.

I can't wait!  Really, I can't.  I have already started counting down the days.  In our home Conference is a weekend of celebrating.  Gathering.  Growing.

So, every day this week this blog will be dedicated to the preparations we can make as we look forward to this upcoming Conference.

For the next five days we will focus on 5 Ways to Prepare for General Conference.

Today is day one.

When you live in the country you learn to watch for the tell tale signs of Spring.

There is a preparation of the land that takes place.  It happens every year.  First, the burning of the irrigation ditches bringing with it the smell of green grass freshly burned that floats across the crisp morning air.

Then the sound of tractors, as dirt hardened over the winter is turned over and made ready for planting.

There is something about the plowing that intrigues me.

I love watching the process as dirt, cracked and unyielding, is made soft...ready for the sowing that is about to take place.

This season creates anticipation in my heart.  It marks a catalyst for growth.  A fresh start.  A new beginning.  A season of hope.

"he that ploweth should plow in hope; and ...he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope."  (1 Cor 9:10)

I am so intrigued by the thought of plowing in hope.

Long before the sowing takes place, the ground is carefully prepared...

with hope.

Ready for the seeds about to be sown there.

So it is with our hearts.

As we ready ourselves for the Conference Weekend, perhaps we must plow our heart in hope.

To ready it for the seeds that will be sown there.

Maybe it is hard.  Perhaps it is cracked and broken.  It might be thirsting for living water.

What will it take to make it soft?

For me, it is preparing my heart for an increase of the Spirit.  This qualifying for the Spirit requires a bit of plowing.

I have to carefully consider what I will allow my heart to take in this week.  I consider the media I will watch, the music I will listen to, the Internet sites I will visit.

I try to put my schedule in order.  I want to make room for Conference, so nothing will get in the way.

I want to prepare my family with journals to write in, and games to play, and fun snacks to eat.  (More on that later in the week.)

My heart needs this weekend.

It marks a catalyst for growth.  A fresh start.  A new beginning.  Needed direction for the next six months.

But more than any of that, my heart needs hope.

What is it that you are hoping to receive from Conference this weekend?

An answer?  Words of comfort?  More strength?

What do you hope you will hear?

How might you prepare your heart to receive the messages that are being prepared?

How can you plow in hope today and throughout this week so you will be ready for the seeds that will surely be sown?

It is worth pondering.

Deliberate Discipleship:

What is one way you can plow in hope as you prepare your heart for General Conference?  What would allow you to experience an increase of the Spirit this weekend?  What is it you hope to gain from this particular Conference?