This afternoon Gene and I waged phase II of our war on the Japanese beetles that have invaded our yard for the past five years. Saturday afternoon I pruned our rose bushes and other flowers. The poor roses were being ravaged by the Japanese beetles. Sadly I had to cut most of the new growth. The rule for pruning roses is to cut back to the first five-leave growth on the stem.
As I worked I couldn’t help but think of John 15 where Jesus talks about how God prunes our lives so we will produce more fruit. The pruning is good for my roses; it removed the bug damage and made room for new healthy foliage and flowers. I prayed for God to show me what needs pruning in my life. Where is there damage in my life due to unhealthy habits or relationships? What has outlived its usefulness in my life? What was once abundant growth that now needs to be cut back to make room for even more growth?
One area God showed me is to cut back on the negative words (what I like to call suggestions). In their place words of blessing and joy will flourish.
I am still praying and keeping an open heart for God to show me where else He wants to work and what He wants me to do.
Last week a dear friend asked me what the fall held for me. I had no answer. But as I work in the yard this summer I will continue to pray for God to show me what in my life needs to be cut back and where He wants me to grow.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.