Ouch! That hurts.......
Updated: Nov 4, 2018
You have a gorgeous, huge tree in your yard that produces fruit. Over the years it produces so much fruit that the branches start to sag, the wood becomes brittle and the fruit loses its size, color and taste.
You have to prune it. Cut off the extra branches. The branches that are taking all the nutrients the fruit needs to become grown and full of flavor.
It looks bare at first, but then, the fruit that grows is of quality, and the tree begins to flourish.
So painful, yet so necessary. Do you ever think of your life like this?
What areas do you need to get rid of so you can concentrate on the areas that can bare fruit?
I am in this stage.
Where I'm deciding which branches get to stay, and which branches need to be cut off.
I am that person that does a lot of things well, and because I'm doing SO many things, nothing I do is done with excellence. Therefor, nothing I'm doing is producing the amount of fruit its capable of producing. I'm spread too thin. Can you relate to this?
I know other women can relate to this in particular...........
Trying to be a good mom, while simultaneously maintaining my identity as a woman, member of society, financial contributor to my family, and teacher to my students. While still taking care of my daughter full time. Utilizing my skills to make the financial contribution, while still trying to maintain a household, cleaning, cooking etc. Being emotionally and intimately available to my husband who works full time and is only home after long days at work. Trying to maintain my physical state and put effort into valuing my body and health. Running my health and wellness coaching business, teaching music and dance, leading worship and serving at church, working Three Daughters Music, pouring into my friendships and relationships, and did I mention, RAISING OUR DAUGHTER FULL TIME. Phew!
Can you relate?
I'm not listing all this to complain or brag, but instead to shed light on all the things that go on, and how hard it can be to prune areas that you absolutely love and find joy in. It doesn't always have to be a toxic thing in order to be something that needs to be pruned. The toxic stuff is easy to decide on right? The stuff that sucks the joy out of life, the stuff that causes you pain, fear, or anxiety. Whether it's a relationship, area of work or service, when it's toxic the answer is easy.
However, when its something that you're good at, that you enjoy, and that brings you joy and a sense of fulfillment, it can be much more difficult to decide if it needs to go or not.
SO how do you do it? How do you decide what gets your attention and effort, and what needs to be put on hold, or removed completely.
I can't say I have all the answers, I struggle highly with this. But what I can do is tell you how I have been starting to make these decisions.
Is my time being compensated for in a way that gives me value? If i'm resentful for the time and effort I put in, in exchange for what I am being compensated, then that's a start to gauging whether or not it's worth the effort and time. Resentment is an incredible tool for an indication of change. The second you feel it, that means it's time to reevaluate a situation, and not just when it comes to work, but for any situation or relationship.
God. As a Christian, my relationship with Jesus is conversational and continual. I pray frequently for discernment, for help making the right decisions, for clear indications of what I should be working on and what I need to leave alone. It's incredible how He will open doors where He wants you, and close them where He doesnt. It's important to listen to that and not to force your way into areas where it's clear you aren't being fruitful. It's a thin line between perseverance and stubbornness. LOL.
Changing my mindset to view closed doors as a form of protection rather than rejection, has been a huge help. We aren't meant to do everything, and sometimes what WE WANT isn't always what God wants for us. We have to listen, be self aware, and most importantly, be God aware.
Advice. Im always leery of unsolicited advice. However advice from people you trust, who get you and love you and who can remove their own personal preferences, can be a valuable tool. Having people to bounce ideas off of can be such a healthy way to help make decisions for yourself.
We all have seasons where pruning is necessary. Are you in a season of this? If so, I would love to hear about how you are making those decisions.
As always, keep the conversation going in the comments below.