Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On Pruning

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I've been running on fumes the past few weeks. I think the end of the school year is always the time that my tank starts to hover right around empty. Jen Hatmaker wrote a hilarious post about it a few years back. It was before I had school-aged kiddos but now all I want to holler is "amen, sister!"

Regardless of it being the end of the year, we're just running ragged over here at the Leach house. I'm not sure what triggered it but we are stressed, busy and spread too dang thin. Just like most of you, I imagine... and I'm tired and irritated as a result. I'm not talking some of the time.... I'm talking all of the time. I've been operating from a place that has a critical spirit and that feels guilty for saying no to people and {good} things, yet I simply cannot extend a yes beyond my family right now. Not one.

I've been analyzing my feelings pretty closely, asking questions like what exactly is making me stressed? What is making me feel critical? God is moving in and around me, so why can't I focus on the blessing instead of the obvious pruning?

I've been learning that taking my thoughts captive is a HUGE weapon against Satan in this season I'm in. It's not an easy thing and it doesn't come naturally to me, but when done correctly {and immediately, I might add}, it has done wonders for my attitude, stress level and perspective. The only reason that God is pruning me is because He's not done with me yet - and that is a reason to shout "Hallelujah, Praise Jesus!" My story isn't ending here, on this note, and thanks be to God that He cares enough about me to take away things that mean a lot in my life so that there's more room for Him to move.... so that there's more space for Him.

As I search and aim to grow during this uncomfortable season I find myself in, let me say to you :: don't avoid the pruning. I've been kicking and screaming against the Lord for a long while now - which is, I believe, the thing that is causing all of the stress + negativity in my life.  God showed me a few weeks ago that He desires compassion, not sacrifice - and in focusing on compassion,  I have felt such freedom - even in the pruning.

God gives + God takes away and there is an extreme beauty in that. Beauty in the change.... beauty in the mess. I'm thankful for a God who loves me so much that He is willing to not leave me the heck alone - despite my desperate pleas. He has more for me - even after He has less. There is so much inspiration here, y'all. So much simplicity in less. I believe He takes away so we can more easily see the direction that He's taking us. In all of the busy + mundane of the everyday, it's hard to see where He is going, and it's hard to discern where He's leading a lot of the time. The more He takes away, the easier it is for me to see, and that is what I am clinging to in the pruning. 

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit." {John 15:2}

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