Lent week three: gratitude for pruning

“I know you don’t want to hear this, or need to add anything to your schedule, but you’ve really GOT to cut down that stuff by the mailbox. If you don’t your new plants can’t grow.”

I know she’s right, my mother, because, well, she’s my mother. And she gardens well. She’s come to pick up my third child for the traditional spend the night by yourself at the grandparent’s house. I have loads of laundry unfolded in two rooms (at least!), piles of schoolbooks littering the table, breakfast dishes still on the table, and the remains of a sick room on the sofa. I’m still trying to tag stuff in the living room for a consignment sale next week. Sigh. Really?

Three days later, as I drive back into the driveway from church, I see the pile of last year’s leaves and stems, mixed with grass and the sad wires that held the plants up when the blossoms were so numerous and heavy, every breeze or shower threatened to knock them to the ground. These peonies that I didn’t plant by the mailbox are show stoppers. People walking down our street stop and exclaim over them in the spring when they bloom. My children cut them and bring them to me to perfume the house and cheer the table. They are breathtaking.

But my neglect of them could kill them. I finally head out  with my gardening gloves the dog has slobbered and gnawed on and my little clippers. To my surprise, I find tangled in the mess of last year’s dead wood, new growth already sprouted and growing. A few of the taller stems look kind of sad and wilted from lack of sun and air. The whole job, (the one I dreaded and put off since last October with the first frost?) the whole thing including throwing the bag away took 10 minutes. Ten minutes to cut away the dead wood and let the sun shine on these tender little leaves. What I dreaded and thought I didn’t have time for took barely any time at all and will allow me and everyone else on my street to enjoy the blossoms in just a few months. Why did I put that off?

I’ve felt a bit like that neglected patch of lawn lately. So much dead wood I can’t feel the warmth from the life-giving Son. Exhausted, burnt out,  hardly able to think about blogging, much less other stuff. So, I’m going cut back my blogging a bit, while I ask the Lord to do some serious pruning in my life so I can produce fruit. There will be Monday gratitude posts and occasional other posts as the Spirit leads, but for a bit, I need to slow down and listen to that still, small voice.

My gratitude list for the week:

Three gifts found

  • peace in the whirlwind
  • quiet moments to read
  • extra minutes of sleep after a tiring weekend

A gift bent, a gift broken, a gift beautiful

  • my spirit all bent out of shape from being tired and burnt out, and the Holy Spirit to carry me through those minutes/hours/days
  • plate from wedding china given so long ago, but happy it’s just stuff
  • a friendship deep enough to know when a text needs an instant call back, a soothing word of encouragement, and a quick prayer

Three gifts in the kitchen

  • milk shakes for the boy who had three teeth extracted
  •  open kitchen window to bring in the spring breeze
  • newly stocked with gluten-free staples to start a new adventure

Three gifts loud

  • a room full of excited Boy Scouts (and their families!) on Pinewood Derby night
  • loud laughter of children way after bed-time
  • family worship time with two djembes, two ukuleles (none played very skillfully), a triangle, and a very patient husband/daddy leading on guitar (quite skillfully) who truly knows and understands “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.”

Three gifts in Christ

  • iron sharpening iron for the children’s sake
  • friend to laugh about the Pedal Tavern, Lucy the donkey, and everything in between:)
  • a sister to call and chat accountability–to listen and talk without thought of judgement and spite–thanks Amy!

Three gifts read

  • “From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:16
  • ‎”For the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Cor. 1:25
  • “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30


Filed under Gardening, Gratitude

2 responses to “Lent week three: gratitude for pruning

  1. A great analogy and one I can definitely relate to! Thanks for sharing your heart and your list.

  2. Thanks Christina! Blessings to you!

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