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If you want to thrive more, you must be willing to cut back.
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There are things that we never want to let go 

people we never want to leave behind.

But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end
 of the world;

 it’s the beginning of a new life.


Two Trees


My gaze began on two identical trees during a time of listening prayer last week. It was a beautiful sunny day in Southern California at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center.


There was a lot of noisy distraction from the gardeners that day. Climbing trees using chainsaws and hauling big branches to nearby trucks.  So I closed my eyes to practice quieting within and savoring the splendor of the day in the midst of clamoring without.  


When I finally looked up again, I was amazed at the difference between the trees. The gardeners had begun masterfully sculpting and preparing the trees for thriving in the next season.


Out with the old. Off with the unnecessary excess.

Make space for new growth. For what matters most. 

If you want to thrive more, you must cut back.



Ponder and reflect on this powerful ‘visio divina’ image of the trees.

Listen for how the Spirit may speak to you today.


The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. 

What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.  

C.S. Lewis


‘Tis the season to cut back.

De- clutter.




Let go.

Give to God.


I’m embracing this ‘season’.


It’s my birthday week.

Keeping with tradition, I’m reflecting with gratitude for the year behind and re-evaluating with anticipation the year ahead.

Making the most of this opportunity to cleanse my environment, closet, calendar, vision, goals, habits, thoughts and the daily rhythms of life.


My dear friend Georgia Shaffer has a great slogan to guide this process:

What needs to grow… what needs to go?


Simplicity and pruning can be frightening at first.

Not looking like much. Vulnerable.

Less busy. Open space.

Not being viewed as accomplished and productive.

But it is the necessary way of divine order in nature.


If you want to keep growing in vibrant living, to bear more lasting fruit, you must be willing to submit to the seasonal pruning process.

More is not better.

Less produces more.


So, let’s slow down, let go and make room for what matters most.


‘Tis the season.


What would it look like in your life to ‘let go’, making space for what matters most, to thrive and flourish in a season of new growth?

2 Responses to If you want to thrive more, you must be willing to cut back.

  1. Amy Alves /

    December 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    What a well shared reminder Catherine. Thank you! Being obedient to God’s promptings to wait or let go is always so worth it. It’s in these times where I can sense him preparing me most. I’m still and watch Him work. Happy belated birthday. ~ Amy Alves 🙂

    • Dr Catherine /

      December 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks for connecting Amy. Blessings as you continue to listen for God’s promptings – discerning how to make room for His new life in you. And thanks for the Birthday wishes. I am anticipating a great new year !!

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