It is springtime here in Wisconsin and as I travel the countryside, I come across patches of blackened earth here and there. The contrast is startling as all other growth show bright greens, whites, and pinks, especially on a bright sunny day. If my timing is right, I may even come across a smoky patch, when fire is actually raging.
These fires and blackened fields are actually “prescribed burns” for the prairie patches still left in the area, especially on the state’s natural properties. The burns are used to maintain the health of our natural areas and rid them of invasive species. These prescribed burns help prairies by:
- Managing weeds and invasive species
- Restoring and releasing nutrients
- Rejuvenating growth
Prairie plants have deep roots and the key growing part of the plant is below ground, where the fire does not penetrate. Therefore, the fire, by destroying the weeds and invasive plants, allows the prairie plants to flourish.
What About You?
“Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames.” Mark 9:49 The Msg
When was the last time you went through a “prescribed burn”? A refining fire may or may not have been your choice. As the verse above reminds us, everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later – a health issue that turns big, a job loss, the death of a loved one, retirement, even the transition of children leaving home can be a refining fire – whatever transition you may be facing. A prescribed burn could be a smaller refinement, too – a fight with your family or friend, a problem with your boss or teammates at work, a reoccurring health issue – like a thorn in the side.
Whatever your “prescribed burn” is, think about the how fire helps the prairie plant. Could fire help…
Manage Invasive Weeds in Your Life
When faced with a fire, all resources and attention are placed on controlling the fire. For example, my prescribed burn was my depression. When I was fighting my depression, I let go of outside activities and focused on finding what was necessary for regaining my health. I focused on eating healthy, exercise, meditation, getting outdoors, asking for help from my family, medication, and monitoring my thinking. I needed to manage those invasive weeds in my life such as saying yes when I meant no, and understanding the difference between reality and expectations as well as giving myself permission to take care of myself. God lead me to a time of burning away the unhealthy practices so I could begin to see what health could look like.
Restore and Release Nutrients
The “prescribed burn” for the prairie restores and releases nutrients. The heat of the fire for some plants releases seeds that would not otherwise be released. It burns away the hard outer core.
It takes heat and fire at times to find our true creative self that God has placed within us. He has restored my health and released the nutrients of encouragement and love into my life and I am grateful. This can be true for you as you go through a “prescribed burn”. I didn’t do it alone. I walked with my coach, my spiritual director, my own family, and my church family. The seeds that have been released have been watered and tendered by the community around me.
After a “prescribed burn,” new green growth begins to appear. I love going back to that blackened earth to see the first few sprouts coming up. It truly represents how I feel as I am coming out of my depression. I am so enjoying the new sprouts of growth that are occurring – coaching, spiritual direction, writing, relationships. Without the “prescribed burn” of my depression, I would not be noticing these new sprouts. All of this noticing is occurring because of this new and closer relationship I have with God.
He has restored me and released me to a new way of living with Him. For me, I have found a new career, a new calling, a new way of serving and loving on women as well as my own true identity. That is what “prescribed burns” can do. Get rid of the unimportant and invasive weeds in your life and help you focus on how He wants to delight in you and restore new growth.
What wall are you hitting? What invasive weeds need to be burned out of your life so those beautiful prairie plants can grow? I would love to accompany you to make sure that prairie fire doesn’t burn out of control. Or if you’re coming out of a fire, that you begin to notice the new growth that is occurring. Contact me for a free consultation. Let’s see how you can begin to flourish more today.
Nancy Booth is a certified spiritual director. She walks alongside women who are seeking God’s fingerprints in their lives and want more awareness of what their own true identity is. She helps women shed hurry, worry and disconnect as they seek to hear God’s voice in everyday living. She has a private facebook group that also prays for one another that you can join. She would also love to pray for you. Send your request for prayers and to join the closed Sacred Moments Seeking God facebook group to firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Date! June 25!
Rejuvenate Your Soul- A Woman’s Day Retreat
Come away for a day to turn down the world’s volume and hear your heart!
More information coming soon!