Plucking Un-pruned Roses


Everybody loves a rose, But will you be thankful for the thorns? Love is easy when you’re loved, But do you curse another when you’re alone?

Sometimes the only words I can find to sum up or explain a particular situation or circumstance, are those that contradict each other, and sometimes we as human beings often contradict ourselves. Here’s a classic example of what I mean:

One morning on my way to school, I was struggling to stay awake and alert despite the lack of sleep, muscle tension and irritability I had to endure the night before. Apart from my son being sick, I too had been feeling feverish from the brunt of work that was so readily bestowed upon me or I dare say…work that I bestowed upon myself.

It’s been 3 weeks now since a day I once loved, the faithful Saturday, has become another day of labour and though thankful for the opportunity, boy am I fed up of its toll. I have been going non-stop and with my weekend reduced to just one day, relaxation has become an obscure thing.

I thought I had it altogether, but in reality I had been blinded by the fact that really and truly I was altogether separated from a myriad task I valued highly. These tasks were sadly demoted to ‘not so important’ on my checklist of things which I honestly am still embarrassed to talk about – that was until I had a wakeup call both literally and figuratively this particular morning.

As mentioned before, the struggle was real and because of this, the journey to school in the car with my partner became rigid to the point where the volume on the music had to be raised to pass the tension. I did not recognize the harm until I actually had time to stop and think about it.

If this was not enough, when I got on the school compound I had the dissatisfaction of walking through the rain and into the staff room just ten minutes before the bell. By this time, I had already mentally blamed every single man jack in my household for my tardiness.

I sat to unpack briefly in hopes of being completely organized for the day ahead when I heard a ripping sound. ‘ This cannot be happening!’ – I thought; but of course it was because for some reason unknown to me – I was being punished. Great! In retrospect, I had not made it to church on Sunday but God understood how much work I had to do and how much I needed the money. Besides that, I prayed all would go well so why the heck aren’t things going my way on a day like today where there’s so much to be done? After all, I needed that extra strength.

Another colleague right at that moment walked in and seeing me frantic recognized the problem instantly. “Stop!” was her advice, “Breathe and think,” she continued, and as quickly as she can she disappeared. I got up and made my way to another department to get myself sorted and received immediate assistance yet, I still found reason to complain. All in my head of course! Right before I turned through the door to where the staff usually assemble, a student said to me,

“Mam, thanks for caring, I wish I had more people like you in my life.”

Could that comment been the reassurance I needed to set me back on track? I smiled, gave a nod and walked away. Only in that moment had I recognized all the damage I’d done to my family in the past week. I’d taken every single person and all that God had blessed me with for granted with my constant whining, nagging and complaints.

When thinking about it, I realized I saw the rose but paid no attention to the thorns. The thorns being all the hurtful words, insults and neglect that surrounded how I was feeling – I was a blind gardener in a dying garden I was ‘altogether separated’.

This testing time of character can happen to the best of us. We become so far removed from the things that really matter that we don’t even realize the damage being done to those around us. All the areas of my life I had prayed for such as health relationships, good days and good health I had contradicted those prayers almost every time I opened my mouth to say something negative.

“ Urghh I can’t do this anymore, today is going to be a bad day, I bet he has that sickness.”

All these negative things need to be removed from our vocabulary. Remember, it won’t be easy but it can be done. Speak only positive affirmation. All it takes is practice. GROW out of that toxic contradictory state of mind and see how your rose will flourish in the positive space it is meant to grow in.

Here are some declarations you can practice in your day-to-day regimen:

“Today will be a good day.”

“I am more than a conqueror”

“I will give of my best”

The Lord is My Strength!

I will do right by my family!

SPEAK IT! BELIEVE IT! DO IT! … GROW!! Don’t criticize the thorns anymore…pluck them!

Can you identify with the niggling feeling to complain and/or to speak negative words when met with a tough circumstance? Reneika has outlined a few declarations above but if there are any declarations which you have found work for you – please share them with us in the comment section below.


Reneika Bradshaw Parent Blogger

At 25 years old, Reneika has gained a wealth of experience as she traversed through the harsh ‘jungle of life’ throughout the years. Being a young mother and having to learn how to cope day by day, her journey up until this day, has been a bitter-sweet one. With a love and a passion for seeing people succeed, she has no reservation with using her stories to empower those who need to hear.

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