Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Deadheading

For Mother's Day this year, as in past years, my favorite boys gave me two beautiful hanging flower baskets.  AKD (the kid formerly known as Code-man) picked particularly lovely ones this year: there are three varieties of flowers in shades of purple, and I really like them.  A lot.  They were so nice that I was particularly dismayed to think that what happens every year to my hanging baskets would happen to these.  You see, they always start out looking beautiful, and then, well, they get scraggly and sickly looking.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I set about caring for my Mommy's day gifts.  I was vigilant in keeping them watered, even adding some gorgeous self-watering globes to the pots to keep me covered if I missed a day or two.  I set up a rotation schedule so they would receive equal light on all sides.  I fed them miracle grow.  And, after a few weeks...they started getting scraggly and sickly looking.  *Sigh*  I supposed I was destined to have scraggly, sick looking hanging flower baskets.

Until...

About a week ago, my no-longer beautiful hanging flower baskets were suddenly, overnight, in fact, full and beautiful again.  What brought about this miraculous recovery?  I deadheaded.  Deadheading is the process of removing withering blooms from a flowering plant so it will produce more flowers.  You see, the purpose of flowers is to attract pollinators so that the plant can produce seeds.  Once a flower has been pollinated, the plant diverts its resources into producing seeds, rather than producing more flowers, and without blooms a flowering basket just looks sad.

Oh, I had been deadheading, dutifully removing the spent blooms 2 or 3 times a week (I had a schedule for that, too), but I wasn't doing it correctly.  I was taking off the dead flowers, but leaving the portion of the flower where the seeds are formed.  I needed to cut deeper.

You know, sometimes we need a little spiritual deadheading. 

Jesus said, "He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more" (John 15:2 NLT).

What needs deadheading in your life?  What is diverting your spiritual energy so that you're not blooming?  What's looking scraggly and sick?  Maybe it's a bad habit or uncontrollable thoughts.  The Master Gardener prunes; He knows exactly what to do, how deep to cut, to produce growth.  All we need to do is to invite Him in to deadhead our lives...and to marvel in the beauty God generates in the process.

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