I visited a local nursery a couple of weeks ago.  As I was getting ready to walk out with my gloriously blooming flowers, the woman who had assisted me asked if I knew how to cut the plant back once it had bloomed.  I shook my head “no” with that deer in the headlights look.  She proceeded to lift up the delicate trailing blooms like a hair dresser lifts a section of hair and used her fingers as imaginary scissors to indicate where I should snip, snip. She assured me the drastic flower sheering would produce even prettier, thicker blooms.

This week my husband was sharing with a friend our frustration with an established lilac bush that has large branches withering away. Our friend’s advice was to prune the bush back in the Fall to about three feet high and clear away all the runners shooting out from the base.  

All the gardening talk led me down a trail of pondering the necessity of pruning different areas in my own life.  Some areas I have started on and I’m in process, other areas are much more difficult to discern where the cutting needs to be done.

Given I was running/walking around the local high school track as my thoughts began to spill over in my mind, the first and most important pruning is currently happening in my health.  The extended, intense season of being a caregiver for my dad until his death and then my husband after a motorcycle accident depleted reserves in all areas of my life….physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  My husband and I are only children.  His aging parents are waiting in the wings for another season of care-giving. In anticipation of that reality, I made the decision to prune the erroneous thinking that everyone else’s health and well-being came before my own. I was forty to fifty pounds overweight, sedentary, and engaging in random erratic eating habits. I made a vow to myself that I would get healthy and stay healthy! My husband surviving the motorcycle accident is a miracle…we have a second chance at our marriage and our life together.  I have two children and their spouses that I love and adore to the moon and back. And my best gift of all….five beautiful grandchildren. I want to be able to move, be active, travel, and embrace my life to its fullest. That’s why on most days of the week you will find me at my local gym or at the track. I control my time and my schedule to intentionally protect my mental and emotional reserves that are slowly being replenished.

The before mentioned accident brought unexpected revelations into our lives. We discovered who our friends were and who they weren’t.  People we didn’t think would care…did.  They stopped by our home, called, and sent texts to see how Gary was doing.  There were those, because of a long standing relationship, I called from the emergency room. Sadly, they never darkened our door or picked up a phone.  I likened those friends to the runners at the base of my lilac bush…..vibrant green in color, “appearing” to be thriving and growing as part of the whole, but in reality sucking the life right out of the bush, slowly destroying it year by year. Toxic relationships can be hard to come to terms with. Removing people from our lives is painful yet freeing. There is a point in time where it becomes a matter of life and death for our souls and for us to remove ourselves from certain relationships.

I am a member of a Launch Team for a book debuting in August.  We were given early access to the book and are part of a closed group on Facebook sharing our thoughts and our hearts as we journey together in our reading.  All I can say is “WOW!”  It’s proving to be a life-changer for me.  I’m encouraging you….no… I’m telling you to pick one up ASAP when it is released.

Have you ever had a friend share a plant cutting with you?  You carefully and gently transported a snippet of one of her favorite plants, put it in a container of water, and watched as tiny, almost invisible roots began to develop and prepare the small cutting to be transplanted into your own garden for enjoyment.  I want to share a few “snippets” from Jennifer Dukes Lee that have taken root in my heart. I pray you take a thought or two, water with care, and prepare for some growth of your own…

*  “I began to rethink my life’s purpose, my plans, and whether I was living the life God wanted for me.”

*  “I wanted to be a woman who lived joyfully until I drew my last breath.”

*  ” Your happiness matters because it changes you, it transforms our world, and it glorifies our Maker.”

*  “My life was-statistically speaking half over, and I was afraid I’d been sleepwalking through it.”

I want to grow and bloom!  How about you?  I would love it if you would share the areas of your life where pruning has caused you to grow and flourish.  Make a comment or send me a personal message about your journey.

                                   Your Bloomin’ Friend….Jeralyn