Updated: Apr 21
I need lots of space in my life. Lots. I'm not the kind of person who can juggle 7 projects at once...
Correction. I am not the kind of person who can juggle 7 projects at once without being high-strung, type-A, overwhelmed, stressed out, and still be a kind person. I prefer to move at my own pace and have lots of time to process, think, and ideate. It's because I take time to process and analyze things, and sit with quiet space, that I am able to diligently tackle projects with clarity and focus. But when I take on too many projects too quickly, I move from diligent to anxious and I begin to resemble more of a fish out of water gasping for air than a peaceful and productive human.
So I often evaluate and re-evaluate what's on my plate, I look for what can be moved or rearranged and what I can get rid of all together. I'm a process-oriented thinker, so I think about what I can simplify or change so that it's the best use of my time. On the outside, it looks like I'm always shifting or changing things in my life, but God wired me in a way to always sift, change, and find better ways of doing things. That's the innovator in me, that's the entrepreneur in me, and that's part of my design.
This is also what the process of pruning looks like. That might make some cringe while they read - pruning. We equate the process of cutting away, shedding, or removal as a challenging thing, something that brings pain. We think pruning is a season of discipling or correcting some kind of wrong area in our lives. I often hear people speak of pruning as a bad thing or something they shy away from.
But pruning is a life-giving, space altering, process in our lives. Cutting away things that weigh you down or no longer fit, is a way to allow new air to flow in your lungs. Think of the trees in winter, we do not consider trees bad or wrong for shedding every year. Some might even call winter trees beautiful. We understand shedding allows tress to brace for the impact of cold weather and raging winter storms. Trees are made stronger and survive because the shedding process, without it trees would tumble at the weight it carries.
This is true for us too. When we don't shed the weights of prior seasons, even good weights, it causes us to be crippled and unable to brace what is ahead. When we try to hold on to seasons past, we cause ourselves to stumble and leave no room for the new season approaching. Shedding and pruning is not a bad thing, it is necessary for your growth.
This has been a pruning season for me. And just in case I forgot, God sent me a few beautiful plants to remind me that pruning beautiful things is part of His work in my life. Part of my pruning has meant to rest after a season of working really hard. And part of the pruning has meant to let go of things I love. Pruning can mean disappointing people and it can mean letting go of opportunities that seem really amazing. But the disappointment of a moment will pass and is much better than days, weeks, months or longer of being stretched too thin.
So, what areas in your life do you need to prune? What weights do you need to strip off? What do you need to say no to in this season, so that you have space and strength to carry what's waiting in the next season?
Take a deep breath and release what God is asking you to place in His hands. Embrace the process of pruning and allow it to bring more space and peace into your life.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. - John 15:4-8 (NIV)