I have to admit cutting back in life is not always easy for me. I completely understand that it's necessary at times. Yet for whatever reason I tend to fight it a bit and just struggle through for the long haul until I eventually crash. Call it stubborn perhaps, but there is also a part of me that feels a sense of weakness when I can't handle it all. That whole comparison game kicks in where it appears everybody else seems to be handling it all just fine therefore I should too.
I'm not going to lie, I was a mess inside. Anxious, lacking concentration, and some days depression creeped in that left me only going through the motions.
The truth of the matter is life gets overwhelmingly busy at times and trying to do it all is just not healthy. The end result will be stumped, fruitless and just plain messy. So rather than hanging on for dear life only to look back on something less fruitful I decided to just surrender to the need to take a break. I was going to choose to nurture the need and embrace what the regrouping process had to offer.
So I took a break from blogging...
to prune my family's rose bushes.
And what an amazing experience it was!
In fact, it was a GOD THING!
Here is what Google says about the purpose of pruning:
"Pruning of trees should always be done with a purpose in mind. Some pruning is done to change or train a plants growing pattern or to restrict growth. Other forms of pruning may be required to maintain or improve plant health or the quality of flowers, fruit and foliage."
Now I prune our trees and bushes twice a year. And while I happen to enjoy it I never really thought too much into depth as to why we do it. I mean yes, we know it's a nice little hair cut or manicure for the yard. But let's think about this...pruning is a necessary process in order to promote healthy growth! Otherwise they remain stagnant, dull, and lost in the midst of unnecessary weak stems that will suck the life out of it's full potential. And let's not forget the unproductive dead branches only cluttering precious space.
Pruning eliminates distraction in order to
provide direction and strength where it matters most.
I found it interesting when I was pruning how some areas were hard to cut back. They just seemed too pretty and interesting to eliminate. But stepping back I could see from a bigger picture pretty or not it didn't really contribute to the rose bush as a whole. They only distracted the eye from the main attraction. Isn't that so true in areas of our lives? Not to say we can't have pretties or have fun interests, but if they distract your life off course it's not bringing value.
Now there were some areas on the rose bushes that were questionable on whether to cut back or not. I felt they had potential, but only time would tell so I decided to keep some and see where they would lead. I feel sometimes God allows us to keep some of those little extras in our life for that very reason. He sees potential and He is willing to see where we take it. It may or may not be a permanent branch. It just might be that extra growth required to support our core in a time of need.
Notice in Google's definition how it says:
"should always be done with a purpose in mind".
God has a purpose in mind for us. But it is up to us listen to His voice so He can guide us on when and what to cut back on as needed. Or to even weed out completely. We can't do it all, nor should we try. Otherwise something or someone will suffer.
So no, I don't plan on giving up blogging anytime soon. But I was struggling to juggle it all for a moment there with everything else going on in my life. It wasn't until I decided to surrender to that Voice telling me to stop to prune the roses did I realize what God was trying to teach me.
Cutting back is not weakness,
it is an act of wisdom to promote healthy growth.
It wasn't much longer after that monumental day of pruning that I started to feel strong and productive again where it matters.
And you know what?
Our rose bushes did too. New healthy growth has already sprouted.
Do you struggle trying to do it all? What areas do you cut back in to spring back?