Books, Faith, Obedience

On Making Space

On Making Space

Standing at the sink in the pre-dawn light this morning I caught myself staring at the mulched patch in the back of the yard–all that remains of the old Ash we had chopped down last year. It had stood tall all of the years we lived here, and many before. This house has stood here well before we did, carrying within her boundary lines, an unknown history.

making space

We’ve spent a decade making our own history here. Our story, rolled into the paint on the walls, bits of it buried by our children out there in the yard, beneath the shadow of the now missing Ash.

For all of the years my babies were babies, they played beneath her upraised branches, in the cool of her summer shade. We loved that tree, even when we knew she was dying–eaten slowly from the inside out by a parasite. For the longest time, we couldn’t see the damage that was being done.

Silently, she stood dying, while we laughed and played and lounged under her covering.

Now there’s just space. A scar in the dirt is all thats left from where her stump was ground right out of the earth. Just a few chips of mulch in brown contrast against the fresh spring green.

Ash Tree

Of course, this isn’t really about a tree. God used the remnants of that old tree to remind me of the burden of dead weight in my life. He reminded me that growth sometimes means a cutting away.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2)

Standing there in the dim light, pressing against the countertop, gazing out at the space left behind, I remember the grief of my sons as the men chopped at her limbs and carried bits of her off. My middle boy stood angry at the same window watching, with a deep set frown and tears brimming.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)

We didn’t have a choice. The tree was diseased and in time would eventually crumble. Her weakened limbs had already become a hazard in the windy afternoons, breaking free and crashing to the ground without warning. My mama imagination always saw the potential for one of those limbs to crush one of my babies, and in a minute, I’d have burned her to the ground for such an occurrence.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

So we carved her out and made space for something else. Space for games of tag. Maybe space for a chicken coop. Maybe space for soaking up sun where light had rarely reached.


We cut out the thing that carried disease, that posed a threat, that deep inside, was no longer living and we grieved the loss, and trace the scars from where it had been.

Life is like this. So often we willingly live burdened decaying things that need to go.

We’re holding on to the memory of what was unwilling to face the truth of what no longer is.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:9)

Pruning seasons are never fun. The hard work of cutting away the dead breaks our backs, breaks our hearts–leaving scars.

It’s true, we won’t be the same without it.

We will be better off.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

It’s part of the process.

Let it happen.

And then, let it go.


Let go of the things that hold you back, that pose a threat, that are no longer fruitful. Make space for new adventures, new callings, new visions and dreams of things you do not yet know.

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us… (Hebrews 12:1)

Christin says, “You can let the past define you or confine you. Or you can let it refine you. You can also choose to let it go… and leave it behind you.”

These days, as spring unfurls in the yard, and we work tirelessly to clean out our house, I feel the steady sweep of God’s hand, clearing away the dead things, making room for new life. He’s calling us to lay it down– the stuff that so easily entangles. the things that have become too important to us–the things we don’t think we can live without.

Leave it behind you.

That’s what he’s saying.

Let. It. Go.

and LIVE.



*This post was inspired by my friend, Christin Ditchfield’s new book, What Women Should Know About Letting It Go: Breaking Free From The Power Of Guilt DiscouragementAnd Defeat. Get it. Read it. Be encouraged. {This is an affiliate link}


  1. This coincides with the day’s reading in the Savor Devotional today. Something I was praying over this morning and am yet again moved to be mindful of God’s pruning and growing in me. Good words, Kris.


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