Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So Something’s Gotta Give. What Gives?

I began pruning my fruit tree.  Cutting the things from my life that are not as important as the “most important.”  

Now the pruning of one’s tree is going to be different for everyone.  Some people can juggle a large number of balls while others are only able to juggle a few.  I have come to realize about myself that I can’t juggle at all and I would make a horrible clown, the fewer balls the better for me.  And so began the pruning in my life.  These were some of the things I felt I could prune from my life because I, personally, had a bowing tree that was filled with too much.  

The first to cut?

Leading the moms’ group. 

I hated to admit it, but it was time for me to step down from leading my moms’ group.  I didn’t want to, but something’s gotta give, and I am not going to have my family continue being the one that gives.  I ignored my fears of disappointing others.  I began looking for a replacement.

The next cut?

A Bible study group that met once every two weeks.  This one was hard.  There is a guilt that comes with cutting anything to do with the word “Bible.”  But if I do not have the space in my life to make personal, intimate time with God, I think He’d much rather have me cut out an extra Bible activity to make room for Him in my life.

I didn’t want to cut it.  I loved seeing the girls there.  They were a group of girls with whom I had worked with years ago.  We were all teachers together, and we had had the best of the best times together.  But it was time to let it go.  If I was going to make more room for my values, then pruning was inevitable.  It hurt to prune this.  I feared it would hurt feelings, that they wouldn’t understand.  And in the end, they didn’t.  I had tried to explain myself, what I was going through, how overwhelmed I was, but all they heard from my lips was, “I am pruning you.”  I didn’t actually say these words because I wasn’t pruning them, I was pruning the twice a month get together.  But no matter how I tried to comfort them and explain, unfortunately, they were hurt by my choice. 

I found that pruning things from your life is hard and sometimes it hurts.

The next to cut?

Some of my hobbies.

I love to paint, watercolor, acrylic paint, restore furniture, whatever.  This was the next to give.  Someday, in a different stage of my life, I will have time to take part in these activities, but for now, they were to be put on hold.  My husband had been asking me, begging me to let him clean out our garage of all the projects I had collected over the years.  He had been asking me for years to stop making “project” purchases. 

I caved.   

I finally came to the realization that the physical clutter of these things were making my mental state cluttered.  I bent to my husband’s desires.  It wasn’t easy.  Let me tell you.  There were some projects with great potential, but was I really going to put my time into them instead of where it matters?

I watched as he pulled my treasures from the garage and put them in a giveaway pile. 

Goodbye wooden dresser that would have looked lovely painted a light shade of turquoise. 

Goodbye you adorable shelf you.  You may not look beautiful now painted all black and glossy, but I saw the potential in you.  That is why I bought you.  I had great plans for you.  You would have been a soft shade of pink.  I would have found a place for you…. somewhere.

Goodbye corner cabinet.  Remember when I found you?  I too will never forget you.  You are actually going to a dear friend’s house because at least I can visit you there.

I let my husband go through our garage and empty out all of the pieces I had been planning on restoring. They had been sitting, waiting for me in the garage for a very long time.  I hadn’t gotten to them, and I realized I was making the conscious decision to not get to them, but to let them go.  

By the time he finished, half of the garage was freed up. 

This pruning was hard.

As the truck pulled away with all of the things I had been holding onto, a small tear fell from my eye.  I waved to my treasures.  I gently wiped away the melodramatic tear, and then I turned around.  I turned to look at the empty space.  This empty space in the middle of my garage was so comforting to my eyes. 

Hmmm.  Empty space

I was attracted to it.

I wanted more of it.  

I pulled up a chair and sat right in the middle of it. 

This feels good.

Then I realized:

I want more empty space in my life.  

 I think I am going to go modern.


  1. I love this. Sometimes the unpopular thing that no one understands ends up being the best decision. I'm going to go do some pruning now!

  2. You go girl! That is all that comes to mind! Yes, and amen.... and you, GO, girl! Hack those big 'ol branches and see the fruit that will come.

  3. I love the analogy! It's hard to look at every aspect of your life and pull away from things that once seemed so important.

    But I think it helps, and I hope that you feel freed by your "pruning". :)

    Just don't give up blogging please!!

  4. A year ago to this day, I was working full time in ministry. Leading God's people to do His ministry. When my son came along, I stepped down from full time ministry to be a mommy full time. It was a huge adjustment for me, so I decided to volunteer in a teen moms ministry at my church each week. I serve under someone else's leadership and someone else's vision. The leader of this group is stepping down next year and has asked me to consider co-leading the group. At first my head said, OF COURSE! But my heart is struggling with what that will mean for my family....when my husband works late at night, my son will have to come with me, leaving him in childcare all night and making him go to bed later then usual. It would mean as soon as my husband comes home from work, I leave to go set up. It would mean that I would carry the stress of volunteers not showing or speakers canceling all throughout my week. I was praying all day today that God would let my HEART and my HEAD decide what to do =) As you unclutter your life with things you love Janna, it inspires me to do the same. Some day I will be able to serve with less guilt and obligation, but for now....I do feel like God's mostly calling me to be a better mother and wife to my family. This is something I should spend my time focusing on and giving my time to. Your blog always reminds me that I gotta slow down because I am missing probably the best part of my life by filling it in with CLUTTER!. Thank you for the reminder and for helping me make this really hard decision.

  5. That is SO great! I'm so happy reading this! I know that when we follow God's order and put our families first, He will honor that in our lives! You are such an inspiration!
    God bless, friend!

  6. Ok, Where was I when you decided to give away all of your DIY projects?!!!

  7. Thank you so much for the sweet comment on my photography blog! I love your blog! So much fun! I am a new fan! Talk to you soon!

    Heather Mullin

  8. Ahh yes. Sometimes it feels good to have some empty and free space!

  9. So glad you stopped by. Love meeting other mama bloggers,and this post is such an inspiration!