I’ve shared my experience with gardening here before and how I tremble at the thought of pruning my plants. To be honest with you, friends, I have gained confidence in adding new plants to the yard, but I still find myself hesitant and a little anxious to pick up the pruning shears and cut back the once beautiful summer blooms that grace the bushes around our yard.
As a mom I want to give my kids the best—the best experiences, the best food, and the best home. I want to be the best mom I can be for them. To do that, I’m learning that I have to be willing to give myself an internal evaluation and sometimes allow God to prune back areas in my own life that are no longer producing fruit.
In what areas of my life can I grow stronger? Where can I improve, and ultimately what needs to be pruned back? If I’m being honest with you, I hate change. I am a happy camper in the day in, day out routines where everything stays the same. I would even be fine with my kids staying just as they are. Consistency is a familiar friend.
But just like the seasons of motherhood change, so, too, do the seasons of childhood. My kids are no longer toddlers, and my oldest is pushing the preteen years. I have to embrace change and realize that the parenting techniques that once worked with my toddlers are not relevant now.
I’m thankful for the beautiful illustration of the garden that God gives us. You see if we don’t prune back the areas in our lives that have already come to full bloom, we can’t make room for new growth. Just like in my own garden, I must cut back stems and sometimes even dead branches if I want that plant to continue growing.
When I do so, I’m reminded that as much as I dislike cutting off the wilting flowers from my bushes, it is a necessary step. My plants don’t ask why I’m cutting back their branches. They remain silent and trust that I will cut back only what is necessary. Our heavenly Father does the same with us. Sometimes the thought of God’s pruning shears seems painful. Even when we can’t see what’s ahead, we can trust God, who prunes back in perfect timing so that we, too, can grow.
As I walk around our yard and take in all the beauty that is blooming this summer, I’m thankful for growth and the smell of fresh flowers. But I’m even more grateful for the gentle reminder that I can trust God, the ultimate gardener who prunes us in his love.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2).