Last week, after work, on my routine walk from my parked car in the driveway to the mail box, I noticed baby buds growing on our crepe myrtle tree. I had planned to have it and the other foliage in my yard trimmed up and ready for spring time at the turn of 2018, but life happened (our newly one-year old son, holidays, family trip to Arizona, work, etc.). Anyways, those baby buds lit a fire under me to get cracking.IMG_7969

To start, I took stock of my tools and added to my collection a new pair of loppers from Target (love that store). Then, on Saturday, the work commenced. My goal for all the foliage in our yard is to shape it into a majestic tree or remove it to make room for well-manicured grass. That drove me to severely cut back my crepe myrtles last year (I was a crepe murderer). I lost one of my crepes in the process, leavinIMG_7966g just one lone crepe in the front yard.

On Saturday, I continued with my goal. For my crepes, I cut out the under branches and any limb or branch not growing skyward. This was to force the tree to send its life force upward. I have infant Japanese plum and Magnolia trees (both affectionately named Baby Groot), a bottle brush tree, and an old crepe myrtle in my backyard. They received the full brunt of my majestic-tree-or-bust approach.IMG_7962

I deeply care for my all my foliage but especially the bottle brush tree. While cutting away the under branches on it, I mentioned to Becki that I feel sorry to be causing it pain but it’s for the best of the tree. This will force the growth where I want it. A light went off and we linked this to the Lord.

In our lives, the Lord has tools he uses to adjust our lives (the Bible, people around us, circumstances, etc.). His goal for each of us is to look like His Son (Romans 8:29) and to that end He works in our lives. Things in us that distract or hold us back from being like Jesus (Hebrews 12:1) are cut away (John 15:1-11), sometimes painfully. Those things can be outright wrong doing (sin) or innocent things that in and of themselves are fine. From our narrow view, these things seem important but when viewed though the Lord’s eyes they are a problem. We can fight His handiwork or trust Him. He cares and sympathizes with the pain the cuts cause in us, but He is willing to do it because it is for our good. He is forcing growth in our lives where He wants it.

Lord, thank you for being the overseer of my soul. Thank you for the tools you use in my life. I want to be like your Son. Do your work of adjusting, cutting, and shaping in my life. Help me to see the cuts through your eyes and not my narrow view. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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