Prune your life

How to Prune Your Life

Do you ever wish you could prune your life?

Once in a while, wouldn’t it be nice to trim back to what is essential?

This morning I bent over 12 tomato plants, pinching off perfectly good, green foliage. I clipped the low-hanging branches of each plant, and then removed the suckers. Afterward, the plants looked smaller, less lush and less vibrant. It seems illogical and almost wrong to remove perfectly good plant material from a healthy plant.

Don’t I want large, lush tomato plants? Yes, that would be good. But large, abundant fruit will be best.

The same is true in life. There are so many good things to fill our calendars, homes, and vision. But imagine if we only chose to keep the best – what God is calling us toward. Imagine if our homes were only filled with what we use, need, and love. What if our schedules truly reflected our values, calling, and priorities? What if we only focused on what is best for us and stopped comparing our lives with others? What if we gave up the fear of missing out?

What is it that you need to prune from your life?

What do you do out of habit or expectation that you don’t feel called to do anymore? Is there something that you could stop doing that would give you room to grow, air to breathe, space to think, and margin to rest?

Here are some areas we could consider pruning:

  • A job or chore that we do for our children that they are now capable of themselves
  • A volunteer role that we used to enjoy and feel passionate about but don’t feel God’s leading in anymore
  • An expectation that we’ve placed upon ourselves – perhaps around our appearance or the decor of our home
  • An expectation that someone else has placed on us that we have accepted and felt pressured to meet
  • A need to control a situation that needs to be given to God
  • A role in “helping” someone that has become enabling
  • A habit of comparing ourselves, our homes, or our families on social media and the resulting keep-up game
  • The stuff around our homes that we don’t use, need, and love

It is never easy to give something up.

But we can trust that if God is leading us to do it, He will bless our pruning even if others respond negatively.

So, when we give something up, it’s not necessary to have an excuse. We don’t need a reason, and we don’t have to justify it by replacing it with something else. We can just let it go. It also doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. We can decide to give something up for a season, or as an experiment.

If we want to produce large, abundant fruit, we have to prune even some of the good activities, tasks, and expectations from our lives. This can be painful and difficult at first, and may even seem counter-intuitive, but we all want to be fruitful.

In the book of John, Jesus said:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2

I want to be even more fruitful. How about you?

In this season of my life, I feel God calling me to cut away my comparison habits. I need to stop comparing my home, my body, my relationships, my vocation, and my appearance with those of others. I need to stop burdening myself with expectations that God does not have for me. If I truly want to be obedient in this, it will require some serious self-examination, and it may hurt a little. But, in the long run, I will bear more fruit.

What do you feel God calling you to prune in this season? Leave a comment and let me know!