Many years ago my children and I were watching their father through the window. He was pruning some tree or bush to within literal inches of its life and one of the kids asked what he was doing. I explained the situation by saying "sometimes men just have to chop things!" and we all laughed.
Well the saying has stuck and every few months when the sheers and hedge trimmers and saws come out I will hear one of my now adult children chuckle and say to me, "well you know, sometimes men just have to chop things!"
It is not very often that the tree or bush that my husband has in his sights is going to get away with a little trim, or even a short back and sides. No, they are in for a number 2 buzz cut, or a really close shave! If he is going to take the time to get the gear out he is only interested in doing a thorough job.
I am often left cringing at the severity of his work, feeling sad for the loss of so much and weary about the chance of recovery.
When a thing is cut back to the bear and simple framework it can either just give up, or push through, grow and flourish.
I tell you this story because there are so many analogies that I am learning as I see my husbands handiwork and the the ongoing results from it. Just last Saturday he had one of his "just needing to chop things episodes" and he chopped down most of a lovely yellow flowering bush which has been growing since before we moved to this house 30+ years ago. at first I thought WHAT ARE YOU DOING? but as the bush disappeared I was surprised at how nicely the area was opening up and there was new light and a new view to be seen.
It has helped me to remember that sometimes you need to 'prune' some things from your life in order to get a new perspective. These things are not always bad things, like that bush which in itself was lovely, but hanging on to it didn't allow us to see the potential beyond it like the fact that if we lower it and make it smaller we can use the space more efficiently.
I have already been thinking about taking a break from some activities that I have been doing, and although I still have not been struck by a lightening bolt of inspiration form the Creator, I have heard some words, and I am learning to listen to the quiet voice of God that can sometimes sound louder than all of the clutter and commotion going on all around. The voice telling me that it is okay to let go of some of the good things that I am doing in order to make way for me to see and move into the more beneficial areas that He has planned for me. Areas where I can best show His love to the world around me.
Pruning can hurt, letting go of things can be difficult and as an overthinker with a great ability to feel guilty about everything this is not easy for me. Last time I quit something I think I went into mourning for several months and didn't really move forward at all. As I am coming to terms with some of the letting go this time around, I am being more intentional about focusing on the actual goals I would like to set next. Goals that will move me towards fulfilling dreams that I have had since I was a child.
I write these words not because I want the world to know all about me, but because maybe someone else needs to hear that it's okay to let some good things go in order that you can get a clearer vision of the next step into your future.
Or maybe I can encourage you to stop long enough to begin to get to know our Creator by reading His Word and praying and seeking his guidance.
Or maybe you have just been putting off doing some work in your garden and I can encourage you to get out there with some sheers and start chopping something.
I think I have more to say on this topic so there might be a part 2 next week!
Have a wonderful week!
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