T minus just a few days and it will be here. My favorite time of year, springtime, will arrive! As each of my children passed from toddler to little kid stage, they became inquisitive. They began the incessant “get to know mommy questions”. You remember them? What’s your favorite color? Who’s your favorite kid? (I still get asked this.), Would you rather be Batman or The Hulk? What’s your favorite season? They were never happy with my answers. They didn’t think white, cream, and gold at the same time counted as a favorite color. They caught on pretty quickly that I named a different kid as my favorite kid each time they asked. Apparently, no one else wants to be a big green guy but me. And springtime, in their opinion, was just not as awesome as full on summertime. Beaches, waterparks, no schoolwork, that all happened in the summer. I kept my opinion, springtime is the best time. That’s when the real work is done to prepare for summer’s beauty and bounty.
Like in nature, what we do in our springtime lays the foundation for our own summer abundance. This morning when I got up for my Rise and Tithe time, I found great inspiration for my belief about springtime. John says in Chapter 15, verse 2, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so the it will be even more fruitful.” Right there is something key to remember, there’s going to be a cut. What’s not productive in your life needs to be cut; but, even those areas where we are productive need a pruning in order to bear even more fruit. Either way, it’s going to hurt.
If you are spinning your wheels in an area of life where you are not living in your purpose, those things need to be cut out. If you have friendships that keep you in bondage or are unfulfilling, not connecting, they need to be pruned. Sometimes that pruning will eliminate the friendship. Other times that pruning just cuts the relationship back so it can grow from a freshly trimmed branch and bear even more fruit as a result.
Even your time needs a review. Our activities and commitments sometimes gets us bogged down. We can find ourselves so accustomed to the usual that we find that we are just going through the motions in life. It’s important to periodically take a look at our time and talent commitments and prune. Eliminate those that aren’t bearing fruit. Restructure , rethink, and revise those that are.
The worst kind of pruning, I must say from experience, is when God asks you to prune and you don’t and you get a heavenly pruning. It is thorough and you not only see all the good and bad of those around you, but He shows you all of your own dirt too. It ain’t pretty folks. Become good at self pruning. My favorite tool for self pruning is “The Season of No.”
I Decided. No.
For the people pleasers of the world, you know who you are! Raise your hand. This is where you close your eyes and picture me standing with you with both my hands raised! It’s time to enter a season of no. Just say no. No to throwing that party; no to babysitting; no to loaning money; no to giving a ride; no to bringing that labor intensive dish for the potluck; say no to it all. Pray about how long your season needs to be. Spend the time thinking about your personal mission statement. Get some clarity about how you should use your limited time, mental, and financial resources. When you exit your season of no and begin to say yes, be selective about it. Do things that fit your personal mission statement. Engage with relationships that support that mission. It’s spring tie, it’s the best time, to prepare for all the new growth this summer will bring you.