Keep it Pruning

4 02 2010

For the first part of 2010, we have been exploring the purpose of the fruits of the spirit in our lives, however before we move into looking at the first fruit next week, I saved the most difficult section for last which is our need to – keep it pruning.

All this talk of growing fruit makes me think back to my mother’s garden.   I remember how my mother just loved her garden in our backyard.  She had tomatoes and greens, she had squash and probably a whole lot of other stuff I just don’t remember.  I don’t remember because I was just never into gardening!!  So I never quite understood why my mother was so delighted about being back in her garden.  I actually found it quite boring but she LOVED IT!!!  I remember my little 9 year old self  asking her why she was pulling off all of the leaves, which she seemed to do VERY often.  You see the mind of my youth did not understand why she spend so much time watering a thing only to pull off half of it.  (For those of you who don’t get gardening like I don’t, let me help you, it’s like cutting off the split ends of your hair so your hair will grow…LOL) Well I remember my mother explaining to me that you have to really take care of your garden for it to grow. Part of that care is cutting back the dead leaves or sections of your crop so that new ones will grow….hmmmm.  So now that I am a grown woman, I realize what my mother was saying to me is that her crop would not bare a good return no matter how much she watered it if she was not also pruning it.  My mother had to be mindful, to watch and be on guard to let go of the dead leaves, the negative bugs and/or weeds that would grow and try to kill her crop.  So like my Mother’s garden we too must keep it pruning.    

If we take this same concept of pruning a garden and apply it to our lives, it is the negative traits in us that produce lack and an inability to continue the growth of our fruit, our crop.  Whether it’s abuse, addictions, rejection, or anything that produces fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred or anything of the like.  These negative attitudes or traits can cause stagnant growth in our lives.  It keeps us stuck, having a negative attitude toward ourself, other people, situations or circumstances that have happened in our lives.   Yes things happen that don’t always feel good but if we take a moment to learn from it and not stay stuck in bitterness, hatred, anger etc… and then prune it by letting it go, it being  the negative attitude or trait it may leave, then we will grow abundantly. You know we can choose to live a negative, unhappy, miserable existence or we can learn the lessons that life teaches us, prune it and let it go!!!!  Let it go so that we can be the woman we were created to be!!! And not become someone that allows circumstance or situation to define us! 

Sometimes, I mean most times, pruning is a hard thing to do, but that is when we can rely on the Fruits of the Spirit that God has planted inside each of us. So as we stay focused on the positive it will overpower the negative.  Well ladies as we begin to explore our fruits next week, this is a call for each of us, yes me too, to look in the mirror along our way.  Actually you may already know some areas that you need to prune so why not take out that pruning shear and cut it off now!!  Get rid of the negative and renew your mind and receive all the abundant blessings we were each created to have.  As we begin this path of enhancing our fruit this year, we each must be willing to look at ourselves so that we can be diligent like my mother was in her garden and keeping it pruning so that our fruit will keep on growing in the garden of our lives.

So how do we keep it pruning?  The key thing to remember is that when the negative comes ya know the negative attitude you have toward yourself, other people, situations or circumstances that happened in your life, that the thought itself is where we begin the pruning process. Yes nip it right in the bud right there!!!  Thoughts themselves can only produce what we allow them to, so if we do not water the negative, it will not grow!  See when we water our negative thoughts, they manifest in our lives.  Ya’ll now when we allow emotions to attach to anything it is hard to shake it!!!! That’s when we as sistas get in that rolling of the neck mode …LOL.  So when you feel that negative thought or memory coming up, before you react, keep it pruning.  Prune it by reminding yourself of something positive that contradicts the negative. Here’s an example of something I say…when I think of the boss that fired in 2006 I say to myself:

You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,” – Genesis 50:20a

You see when she fired me, I was able to give Imani the extra time it needed and there was no way I would have ever quit that job on my own.  My lesson learned from that, was that there is no way I can do Imani and have another full time job.  I could have chosen to stay mad at my boss, who was a hater and lied about who I was and what I was doing.  If I did it would have turned into bitterness and resentment.  Instead I found the good in the bad 🙂  She was being evil but God used it for my own good!!!!   Actually I knew I should not have taken a full time job in the first place, this was God’s way of putting an exclamation point on it.  But I could have chosen to see if all together differently.  That is one example, I am sure you all have more!!!  Like I can tell ya about old boyfriends that hurt me, friends that talked about me behind my back, or the haters who perpetuated lies about me …shall I go on or should I say….. You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,”  Genesis 50:20a.

This journey will not be easy but if we want to live fully in our potential we MUST eliminate the negative and keep it pruning!!!   So along this journey when you feel something steeping on your toes that means that, that person, place or things must be pruned, take time to renew your mind in that moment and find the good or what I call look for the rainbow in the storm.   This is key because if you don’t do it in the very moment that that negative tries to creep up on your crops, it can kill your whole garden, it can disease all your fruit…and we don’t want that.

Our goal of growing the fruits of the spirit is a long term endeavor. Just like my mother kept that garden going year after year, it will not happen overnight but our fruit WILL grow through being consistent, perseverance and commitment.   It will take a desire and dedication to learning more about who you are and what areas you need to improve or prune.   It will take exploration as to who God is and who God made YOU to be.  This search to find our best self is what will keep us growing instead of staying stuck on the negative.  So as we begin our journey next week to plant, water, nurture and produce fruit, we must be mindful of the hardest part of the journey which is to keep it pruning along the way. 

Once our minds are “tattooed with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish” – John Maxwell

 “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
– Margaret B. Runbeck

 “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
– Voltaire

 “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
– Mary Kay Ash




2 responses

5 02 2010

It is only recently I can honestly say I’m in a place now where I can HEAR this and check myself with thoughts about people and situations that have left me in bondage. I’m free and liberated in His Word and I thank you once again for being obedient to allow Him to use you in this way… Thank you.

21 02 2010
JC Conrad-Ellis

So many things in our life that folks intend for harm, God uses for the good! When you’re on Oprah, that boss who fired you will be feeling pretty stupid!

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