February 07, 2009


Plants and I do not get along.  At all.  Every couple of years or so I get inspired and try my hand at planting flowers......I handle them gently, speak softly to them, give them all the food and water they need and they still die.  It is a conspiracy..........another check on my "I Will Never Be Martha Stewart" checklist.  Right next to the check for ironing linens, regularly using lemon zest, and making handmade bows.  Don't do any of that.  Apparently gardening is not one of my spiritual gifts.

For some reason after taking the boys to the bus and walking the overweight dog yesterday, I decided that I needed to prune back some plants in our backyard that a landscaping company planted for us (that's why they're still alive).  I searched in the garage for some clippers and I went to town.  They almost looked like tumbleweeds - all the brown stems and leaves.  I could hardly see the base of the plants.  Throw in a bunch of weeds and it was an official mess.  I just started cutting at anything I could see.  When it was all said and done, this is what I had left.     
I stepped back and started wondering if I had gone too far.  If I had completely ruined these sweet plants that grow beautiful yellow flowers.

Then I started thinking.  As Christians, we read in God's word about pruning.  Cutting out of our lives those things that keep us from bearing fruit.  How often do I look at my life, see no fruit but see a bunch of brown stems and weeds, and just start chopping away at an attempt to "prune".  I chop out service at my church that appears unproductive, I chop out volunteering because it makes me tired, I chop out Bible study because it's on my day off.  Before I know it, my attempt to prune in order to produce fruit has turned into chopping off the part of the plant that produced the most.   I completely mistook a vital part of the plant for a weed.

I am going to be more careful next time I go through a "pruning season" in my life.  I will do more research by reading God's word so I can easily distinguish between what stays and what goes.  I will be open to the fact that just because a branch is not producing, does not mean it has died, it may just be soaking up the nutrients it needs to be beautiful.  

For now, I am going to pray that my little plants I butchered will survive my attempt at gardening  and that come Spring, I will once again see flowers.

The one smart thing I did?  Wait for the boys to get home and offer them and their friends $2 to clean up the mess I made.  Take that Martha Stewart!!


  1. Wise words. We are such an instant gratification society, even in our churches. If we don't see immediate results we think we have failed and nothing is happening. Better for us if we remember the farmer's life and the patience they have to endure. Martha probably would have made mulch or something decorative out of the discarded branches. Paying the kids $2 sounds like a much better plan. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Don't be surprised if I visit you to ask questions about the men children because I have no clue as to what I am in for. Have a great weekend.

  2. great post Keri! Thanks for visiting my blog and a fellow Houstonian too!! I am sure that your plant will live, I did that to a plant back home years ago hoping I had killed it, but it kept coming back, bigger too I might add!!

  3. Great post! I have said many times that the only reason I have green plants in my home is because they are fake. I cannot garden to save my life. My dad is great at it, on the other hand, and loves to do it. Lucky me, he even likes to garden at our house! I am counting on some beautiful flower beds this spring! teehee

    Thanks for stopping by my blog...sorry there's no Reeses left now, sadly. And Praise God the snow and ice is finally almost gone with 60* temps all weekend!

  4. The greatest times of pruning are when we hand the clippers over to the Master Gardner, and trust Him to take out the weeds. And after He prunes, it's amazing how quickly those flowers grow back. Your yellow flowers will come back in the Spring, I have no doubt. And in the meantime, I know that your life bears fruit more than you will ever know!

  5. Christie, I so wish I had said that myself. You are so right......thank you for the reminder!

  6. Gardening is not my spiritual gift either! I found sweet encouragement in your comment that "just because a branch is not producing, does not mean it has died, it may just be soaking up the nutrients it needs to be beautiful". Sweetness to my soul!

    Blessings to you!



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