A listening ear...

To people? I do an OK job at being a listening ear. To God? Not so much always.

For the past 6 months or so He has been pruning my listening skills. Have you ever pruned a tree or a rose bush? Sometimes the sheers slice through the small branch with no trouble at all. Almost smooth....like a buttery consistency. But, if you attempt to prune a branch that is a bit too large you will get resistance. I've done that a time or two, and then the sheers come crashing together only to catch my finger in between the handle. That is not fun!

Neither is personal pruning...always. God takes it little by little...pruning small twigs at first to get to the larger branches. Making certain not to cut into a brittle or tough branch. Instead choosing the perfect branch...the one that is just big enough but not too big; the one that can help to get to another.

We did some heavy duty pruning in the last 2 weeks. We pruned a large pine tree. This tree was just a sapling when we planted it 15 years ago. That was just after we moved hear as a child. That tree now stands taller than the house and almost entirely blocks natural light from the front porch and kitchen. It needed to be 'trimmed back'. My husband wanted to chop it down completely. But as we stood back...examined the landscape and how that might affect the overall yard and the shade on the front porch we made the decision to simply start by pruning. It looks really nice. Let's in a good bit more sunlight, while still allowing for much of the shade to exist on the front porch.

So as I was saying, the past 6 months I've been pruning..or rather He has been pruning me. The story really just illustrates how it has felt to me. His goal (I think!)? To allow my ear to listen to the things around me more. The needs of my family and husband. The desires of my heart. The will for my life that only He can put forth. The opportunities at my feet. The wisdom that sometimes only pain can impart.

Am I a great listener???? Not by a stinkin' long shot!

Here's to good pruning!

Oh, and by the way! There was another tree that we completely chopped down. It just needed to be done!


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