A devotional Paula Moldenhauer
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”~ John 15:1-2 NIV
The snip, snip of scissors punctuated the tiny ache I felt as the blossoms, now faded and drawn, toppled to the ground scattering pastel petals across the concrete of my driveway.
Necessary though it was to cut away the old blossoms so new ones could quickly replace them, it was hard to let go of the glory of that rosebush, which now stood taller than my head. Never had it been as beautiful, never had it produced this many flowers. Those sixty plus roses, lying in clusters at my feet seemed to whisper a truth I didn’t want to think about.
I gathered handful after handful of fading blossoms and tossed them into the trash. I struggled not to mourn too deeply at their passing.
Glancing back at the bush, a bit of satisfaction pushed at the loss. The bush now looked fresh and vibrant. Newly budding roses popped out, no longer hiding behind fading flowers.
My life had many blossoms I thought would live forever—jobs I’ve done, friendships that grew, talents I discovered. And yet many times they opened up, let off their beautiful fragrance, showed their moments of glory, and were then cut away.
And yet I remained. Pruned. Shaped. With room for new blossoms.
There is perhaps no greater analogy in my life than my recent steps into an empty nest. Letting each child go and become his or her own bush includes loss. I miss them. I miss my role in their journey. I let go of directing and soothing and teaching. I allow distance where I long for closeness. As I hear the snip of time’s pruning shears, I begin to see new blooms. Relationships slowly shift from mom-in-charge to mom-held-at-arm’s length, to mom-as-friend. Schedule that once was crammed full of children opens up to space to more fully become me. A marriage that was strongly child-focused discovers the joy in being two-focused again.
Each of life’s blooms is glorious. I long to tell the young to embrace every bloom the Good Lord sees fit to produce in them, to stretch to the Son and let that flower grow to its full potential, bringing joy to all who delight in its beauty and perfume. I want to encourage them to also allow the Master Gardener to cut away blossoms at His will. He alone knows which buds need space to grow and open to the Light and which old blossoms are hindering new growth.
Come to think of it, this blossom cycle continues forever. Like the rosebush that produces season after season, there will always be buds, full blooms, and fading flowers. We need only the grace to surrender to the Master Gardener to be a bush that flourishes, always full of blossoms.
My Prayer: Lord, help me enjoy the mature blossoms in this season of life. I surrender to Your shears, willing to change as new seasons come. Give me excitement for the buds. Prune me and shape me so that I can consistently produce beautiful, fragrant offerings to You.
Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer encourages others to live free to flourish. She shares this message when speaking at women’s events, and it permeates her written work.
Paula has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets and has a devotional book series, Soul Scents. Her first published novella was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards, and she now has six published works of fiction.
Paula and her husband, Jerry, are adjusting to a sometimes-empty nest in Colorado. Today’s devotion was adapted from her devotional book, Soul Scents: Rooted.
Visit her at www.paulamoldenhauer.com and sign up for her newsletter to get a weekly Flourishing Moments and periodic updates on free days for her books. For daily Flourishing Moments, “like” Paula’s author/speaker page.
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