Surrendering: the painful process of pruning

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How often do you pray for patience, and then without warning a situation occurs that demands an inner fortitude that a) you never knew you possessed and b) you wouldn’t need to tap into had you not asked for patience? I wrestle with this lately. But not patience so much as seeking to live out my word for the year: growth—which shows up as frequent “pruning” and a daily practice in humility. Merriam-Webster defines pruning as “to cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth.” As a Christian, this can be a painful process of surrendering in any number of ways, such as letting go of a position, possession, relationship or some other desire to better align oneself to the image of Jesus. In my case: be careful what you pray for. Yet without a season of pruning, we carry around “dead branches” that hinder our ability to grow. And to eventually flourish.

What area of your life could use pruning?

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Running out of time: an essay

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It’s my biggest fear, next to death. To run out of time. Because: To write all the stories. To love all the people. To make a difference. To win the prize. Because, dear heart: We all run out of time, ready or not. A vicious tug of war. Hope vs. despair. Yet the roller coaster of life—exciting and scary and often creaking and jarring—eventually grinds to a halt on its tracks. The Great Conductor, His voice booms: End of the ride! The shiny metal buckle, smooth and cold to the touch, releases its vice-like grip from across my hips with a flick of the wrist. My legs wobble as I push against the mechanical arm and stand. How I yearn for another lap around the track. But it’s here I discover: I didn’t run out of time. I ran into eternity. Accompanied by a lifetime of memories, of stories and books, adventures and dreams, that flourished. Well done, child, a still small voice whispers. Well done.

Image courtesy of PANPOTE at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Permission to flourish

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Permission to flourish

Believe you will succeed, and you will.
~ Dale Carnegie

My last post, “No more apologies,” was about just that. Instead, I’ve been letting [aka training] the people in my life to know it’s essential I have my “writing time” each day, no questions asked. Unless someone is bleeding, I want no interruptions. The first day, I briefed my family before I shut the door to the outside world (except for my cats). For one hour I revised an essay, as well as rambled for 168 words in my personal blog. The 60 minutes flew by (proving the theory once again that time does fly when you’re having fun) and, when my timer chimed, I felt refreshed and happy—nourished. And the more I write, the more I want to write. It seems my muse has been waiting for permission to flourish unhindered by expectations, boundaries and guilt. To reign free. I’m excited to see where it takes me.

What do you need to make regular time for?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.