31 Days of Paying Attention — Day Three


After meditating briefly on the bridge, I turned back toward the center green area at the retreat site. The mist was breaking away quickly now and this bright spot of color called my name. Purple and green — a favorite color combo — and this particular plant is one that is ubiquitous in the California landscape. It’s called Mexican Sage and the hummingbirds love it. You hack it down every winter, right back to the ground, and by late spring it’s standing tall once again, it’s cheerful stalks inviting the returning busy-birds to partake of their nectar.

I want to be open to effective pruning. I don’t much like it, but I know that it helps me to be a sturdier and more productive plant, with blooms that are life-giving — for me and for others. And I wonder: who are the ‘hummers’ in my life? How can I reach out and offer sweetness to them? Will I trust the Gardener’s technique, believing that the good work of pruning and shaping will result in longer life, brighter colors?

Help me to trust you more, Lord. 


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  1. We so often resist God’s attempts to “prune” us when we should simply submit to His will.
    Blessings, Diana!

    • I think it’s a pretty natural response, actually, and maybe even one wired into our hard drive. Something like a survival instinct. It takes a lifetime to learn about resting, waiting, trusting. A lifetime.

  2. I’m subbing today, and the class is growing Lima Beans as part of their science unit. But the plants aren’t the only things growing. Some of the kids soak up the information and thrive; others listen and are stationary; and others don’t listen and are engaged in other things that don’t support the task at hand. Each child grows, with intensity or mediocrity or lethargy. How can I prune my info to make it relevant to all these children so that they will all grow and thrive? I pray for guidance and patience and a good heart.

  3. Elaine Byer Reed says

    Yesterday I was not complaining really, but we have had a pretty hot summer. Then today was cooler and beautiful. To save water we are letting the backyard go brown and watering the front very carefully. I had a laugh noticing the side yard strip a beautiful green and suddenly turning to brown. We are really so blessed. Enough water and air conditioning to live comfortably.

    • I know all about careful watering these days, Elaine. Blessings as you walk through your own version of this terrible drought afflicting the southwest.

  4. I’m with Martha, above–wanting to resist God’s pruning. I have to keep reminding myself that the end result will be worth it. LOVE the idea of offering sweetness to the “hummers” in our lives. Some flit near for a moment–the saleswoman who needs encouragement, a quick-but-rejuvenating hug for a friend in passing. Some hummers linger–the mother whose son was just diagnosed with a serious illness, the young woman seeking guidance. With you, Diana, I pray God shows me how best to reach out and offer his sweetness to them.