Scripture #1: Pruning

This year I didn’t really make any “New Year Resolutions”. I usually love to reset and make goals, but not this time around. This year I was realistic, and quite frankly just too tired to take inventory and list unrealistic expectations for myself.

So I chose the simpler route.

One word: Flourish

I wrote about why I chose that word here. I looked at my life and thought, I know I want this year to be about growing, thriving, and being as healthy (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) as possible. I not only want to flourish this year, but I want to help others flourish. I want to use all that God has given me and spend it helping others grow, thrive, and become healthy.

So as I thought about what I would be meditating on and memorizing this year, I wanted to be intentional, knowing that what I hide in my heart will help me flourish.

And I kept coming back to John 15. I kept thinking that in order to grow, I have to be connected to the True Vine. To bear fruit I must abide. In order to thrive and flourish, I must be willing to prune and cut back.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:1-2)

As I read those words, I realized that growing, thriving, flourishing, starts with connecting to God, and then, pruning.

To cut or lop superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots from; trim.
To rid or remove or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).

In order to grow, I must connect to the Vine.
In order to thrive, I must cut out what is unhealthy.
In order to bear more fruit, I must prune.

As I was on a walk with Santino last weekend, I started thinking about our olive trees. We have an olive tree in our front yard and in our back yard that he prunes. I asked him “What do you know about pruning?”

He started teaching me and telling me about pruning and then said “If you don’t prune the branches it can grow in too much, become too heavy. The tree won’t get enough oxygen and it can suffocate.”

I stopped and grabbed him. He just preached a sermon to me in that sentence.

It can suffocate from too many untrimmed branches.

So I started this year taking a long hard look at my life, my calendar, my commitments, and started pruning. I cut out what was unhealthy, overcommitted, and just too much.

I realized much of my life was running too hard and suffocating me. I had to prune to be healthy, cut back to bear fruit.

There were some hard no’s and hard letting go’s. I’ve learned the lesson of saying no and the value of margin in my life, and I know it is a fight to keep it that way. I also know being healthy is worth the fight.

So here’s to a season of pruning, and LORD willing to a year of flourishing because of it.

Scripture 1: “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2, ESV

If you’re memorizing a verse with me, leave it below! We’ll pick a new verse on the 1st and 15th of every month.

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