I Despise Pruning

My houseplants are sad. Pathetic, really.

They’re (mostly) green, and they are long-lived. I’ve had some of them for more than two decades, like this spider plant. They are watered weekly as part of my housecleaning schedule, and yet, they are sad.

Most of them are horrifically root-bound (which is another subject for another post), but that’s not the worst of it. They’re pathetic because I loathe pruning. Even picking off the dead leaves bothers me. I know, my plants, particularly the geraniums, “like” being pruned. I’ve read the articles that say pruning helps them bloom and grow (Do you suddenly hear Christopher Plummer singing Eidelweiss?). But I just can’t make myself do it often enough to be effective.

This is a normal schefflera plant

As a result, my plants are crooked, lopsided, and wildly out of proportion to their respective species. They aren’t beautiful specimens of flora like the ones you find in flower shops. Mine, well, they look a little bit like mutants from some dystopian universe.

This is MY schefflera plant. It has been known to attack unsuspecting visitors, eats peanut shells, and is a reconnaissance location for green plastic army men.
I’ve had this one for 22 years. It looks fine from this side.
From this side, it looks like a character from a Dr. Seuss book.

I’m not all that fond of God’s pruning, either. I find it painful.

“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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

John 15:1-2 NKJV

First, I don’t like to admit there are areas of my life that aren’t bearing spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control). By and large, those are areas that I’ve allowed to get out of balance, and now they are causing pain or distress or irritation.

Second, I don’t like the process of becoming detached. I’m invested in those things, no matter how out-of-balance they might be. Cutting off a chunk of bad habit, or a weak and spindly tangent of an idea gone to seed is to cut off something I’ve applied myself to. Even though that thing makes me walk funny, or gives me a headache, or makes me look like a spiritual mutant, I want to hold on to it, because development of something new seems so SLOW and difficult.

The geranium won’t bloom unless it’s pruned.

How about you? Do you have trouble with pruning? How do you approach those periods of time when you feel impressed to set something aside, or give up a dream or an idea, or step away from a relationship in obedience to the Lord?

I suppose it all comes down to trusting Him. Trusting that He has our best interests at heart. And believing that we will look a whole lot healthier and feel much better when He is through.

4 thoughts on “I Despise Pruning

  1. Elaine K says:

    The fruit of the spirit has been my theme this year (it seems!). There is nothing we can do to cause the fruit to grow but we can create suitable growing conditions — by weeding out the sin, allowing the pruning, etc. That is not so easy either!!
    thanks for this!
    Elaine King

  2. Niki Turner says:

    I love that! You're right, we CAN create suitable growing conditions! That is encouraging, thanks for sharing!

  3. Jill Kemerer says:

    Your houseplants make me smile. They have character! (I do not have a green thumb.)

    I stress out when I know God is nudging me to grow, but when I relinquish my own thoughts on the matter, I'm always filled with peace.

  4. Niki Turner says:

    Trust you to figure out a way to turn my mutant houseplants into something positive! Plants with character… I'm thinking "children's book."
    You're right about the stress, too. As soon as we let go and let God, peace always comes.
    Blessings to you, my dear! I'll never look at my houseplants quite the same way again. : )

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