Pruning My Plants and Myself

I owned a horticulture company for 26 years, so I know the importance of pruning (sometimes called “pinching” for indoor plants). One of the easiest plants to keep beautiful is the Pothos, also called Devil’s Ivy. It is primarily available as three different cultivars: yellow variegated, white variegated, and plain green. The botanical name for Pothos is Epipremnum.

When women were convinced they had a black thumb, I always recommended the Pothos because it is hard to kill. It can be grown as a hanging plant or on a pole; but however you chose to grow it, it has specific needs. It tolerates a wide range of light, but for optimum growth it needs brighter light (not direct sun light).

A moderately moist soil is preferred. Allow the soil surface to dry before each thorough watering. Drain the excess of the water in the saucer at base of the pot, the container has a saucer, to prevent root rot.

As long as you keep it in moderate temperatures (65-70 F), fertilize it periodically, and keep it dust-free, it should grow well. But the question you must ask is, “How do I want it to grow?”

By that, I mean do you want it to grow long and lanky (for draping over a doorway), or do you want it to grow bushy? If it is a hanging plant, it will soon look scraggly if no pruning is done. Or if it grows on a pole, it will soon look out of control if no “pinching back” is done at the top of the pole.

When I am pruning my own Pothos, I am usually thinking I want the plants to last a long time, and they must have constant new growth for that to happen. That takes pruning.

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It’s the same in my spiritual life. Oh, I know God uses circumstances to “prune” me, and rarely do I like it. But what about pruning myself?

We are told (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) it is our responsibility to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. That is very hard to do! I seriously doubt it can be done without the strengthening of The Holy Spirit.

I’ve been on a campaign of self-discipline for some time now, capturing negative thoughts as they enter my mind and deliberately altering the course of my mind. For me, the tool that works the best is singing scripture, for I must concentrate on not only the words but also the melody and rhythm. At night, when depressing thoughts come to me in the dark, I begin to sing. It’s not always audible to anyone but God, but I’m singing!

If I get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip, that seems to be the time when my mind begins racing, and I must use extra discipline to alter the direction of my mind.

And in the morning, when I am coming to consciousness, just like a computer, my mind begins racing. I must deliberately stop it and concentrate on the goodness of God and His plan for that particular day. It is constant warfare, made even more difficult if the first thing I do is turn on the television. (We all know what depressing news is fed to us 24 hours a day!)

So I must be as faithful to the pruning of myself as I am to the pruning of my plants. It’s the only way to win the war!

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(c) 2009 April Lorier

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.