Chicago Lifestyle Bloggers

In the mornings, on the bus ride into work, I like to spend time with God. I claim my seat in the very back row and pull out my prayer journal. It is filled with hopes and dreams for myself and my circle.

As I whisper them up through the buzz of the engine and the whir of doors opening and closing the walls come down and my soul rips open as I try to stretch upward with my prayers towards the heavens and towards more. I’ve heard that getting close to God is one of the fastest ways to grow because of how hard it is to be around that level of truth and love and perfection, but stay the same.

At night I dig into myself. I’m trying to make room for the revelations from my bus ride. I’m trying to prune the leaves that are withering. I’m digging to make room for the roots because a plant that’s not rooted will just blow away.

When flowers bloom everyone raves at how beautiful they are -- growth is so beautiful. No one tells you how much growing hurts. No one tells you that to get leaves that do not wither and fruit yielded in its season you’ll have to dig.

I’m attached to the weeds that I’m working to rip up, even if they are just weeds. The sod I’m scraping away has been here for a while. It’s made a home here, even if it has to go.

I think about my Grandmother’s garden in our backyard and wonder if the one within me will ever even begun to touch what she created. And then the revelation hits me that gardens were not created to plant themselves. That pruning is self-sabotage if done without the creator’s purpose in mind.

Pruning gives way to tunnel vision. The pruner’s eyes, with best intentions, only sees flaws to be cut away. Flowers were not made to prune themselves.

It takes a master gardener, with eyes for both pruning and cultivating, to do the job. Who told the garden to plant itself?