Monday, April 06, 2015

Fallen Branches

When I moved, my dear friend Laurie gave me a book with a chapter in it about pruning.   No, not on how to trim the hedges at our new house, but how God in his love and wisdom prunes things in our life to eventually allow us to better produce fruit!  It was comforting to know that through my move, God would be going deep with me and cutting away unneeded attitudes of the heart, assumptions of the world, and other spiritual misconceptions.

I did take comfort in that.

And Yes, he cut.

Then he kept cutting.

Kept pruning.

And is still cutting back.

Here are some fallen branches, each of which I saw as an important and identifying part of my life.

*Friendships: The first big branch to hit the ground was my beautiful network of friends.  Now, my friends back home will always be my friends. They love me and support me. But there is something about doing life 500 miles away that muffles things. And really, I needed to rely less on them and make friends in my new community.  Which I have (and am SO thankful for!) ... but friendship... deep friendship, fill-up-your-refrigerator friendship, go-through-the-muck-and-yuck-friendship takes TIME. Takes years.

*Family togetherness: There is nothing like spending the evening with family.  To see your mom and dad loving on your kids and your kids playing with their cousins... it's just preciousness in action. It's a moment from the scrapbook of time.  While I had a surplus of this family time,  I still couldn't get enough of it.  Some people get annoyed by family but not me. For me it was the very elixir of life.  However, now this family time comes over weekends and when living out of suitcases.  Now family time is joyous but on the other side of the pillow it hurts.  Because I know it won't last long.  This was one of the largest branches to fall.

*Serving: In Tulsa, I was busy to the hilt. I served. At school, at church, in the community. Everything was done to a "T."  But mine was a capital T in pretty font! And I loved every minute. I absolutely LOVED doing things for others, making them feel special, being creative, and feeling needed.  Service is good, right? Chop.  God took that busy-ness away from me too.

*Kid activities: One of my favorite things was running my kids around like a chicken with my head cut off. I truly loved the never ending stream of play dates, Bible studies, birthday parties, special get togethers, mission trips not to mention sporting practices and events.  But God said "no." Our relative lack of activity here is still foreign to me, but God has his purposes.

*Basketball successes: For whatever reason, the basketball world has not cooperated with us here as well as we had hoped.  Coming off one of the most brutal seasons in my memory, I just could hardly muster the strength to go to the games.  There is nothing more important to us than basketball and ladies and gentlemen, twelve wins does not a good season make.  That branch hurt.

There we have it.... friendships, family, service, activities and even livelihood.  Can you imagine having those things turned down a notch or two in your life? Taken away? When we are missing what "fills" us, is Jesus truly enough? But God, I plead, those are 'good' things! He says, "I am the only thing that is good." Trust in me.  The fruit will come.