I have a potted lemon tree. It moved here from California like I did. I move it inside for winter since neither of us are fond of freezing temperatures.

Last summer my tree had tremendous growth. Two branches grew straight up the middle, taller than any of the other branches. They had massive thorns. What was strange is that—apart from the two super branches—there wasn’t a lot of growth, or thorns, or buds, or anything.

My sister, the gardener, took a closer look when she was visiting. She showed me where the graft of the Myers lemon was on my tree. The two super branches actually came from below that graft. She told me I needed to cut the tall branches completely off so that nutrition from the soil could reach the main part that had been grafted in.

When I approached my tree with gardening shears, I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. After all—the two tall, green branches were the most alive-looking part of the tree. But, I’ve learned over the years that both my sisters have a good bit of wisdom. I took her advice and cut off the branches.

What happened next? In just a few weeks my tree was covered with blooms. Now I have a prolific crop of healthy green lemons slowly turning yellow.

I’ve thought a lot about my lemon tree lately because—if my schedule were a tree—one of the most conspicuous healthy branches was recently cut. While I do feel some loss, I’m actually excited. For the first time in years my to-do list is actually do-able.

Schedule pruning can be rough. My missing branch was something that I thought was vital. Now that it’s gone, I realize it was draining resources and leaving me depleted.

I don’t have a bumper crop of effectiveness to write about just yet, but already I’m looking around to see if any other branches need to go. I don’t mind schedule pruning if it means the Spirit has more room to produce His fruit in me.



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