I have lots of babies. Yes, I have 2 human babies. Pretty cute human babies too, I have to admit. But I’m not talking about them. I have lots of plant babies. I’m kind of a plant mom, you could say. These plant babies are all my house plants and I love them. They bring me a peculiar joy. If you are a plant person too, you’ll know this joy I’m talking about. You see, some people are outdoor plant people and some are indoor plant people and if you’re super lucky, you’re both. Unfortunately, I kill everything outside. I have yet to keep alive a hanging basket much past Canada Day. But my houseplants? They’re pretty happy.
With that said, my once full and vibrant ivy…
…has been looking rather glum these days. So, I grabbed some scissors and started to snip.
Ick. Pruning. It just isn’t pretty.
I didn’t want to snip all that I did. In fact, it should have been done a lot earlier but I kept putting it off because I knew it would look so spindly after. I kept thinking: “It looks fiiiine.” From far away it looked just fine. All the dead stuff filled it out nicely and you couldn’t even tell it was on the verge of a slow and tragic demise. But that’s just it. It only looked good from far away. As soon as you got a few feet away, you could see all the wilted leaves dangling off their brittle stems. From close up, the loss of life was much more evident.
So, yes. My houseplants bring me great joy. But there’s something else that brings me joy. Deep, deep joy.
I love getting rid of stuff. You see, I am the absolute opposite of a hoarder. I get a high when I grab an empty diaper box, pack it with stuff, and drop it off at a local thrift store.
But it isn’t always easy parting with stuff. You see, I’ve found there are layers of purging. The first layer is just surfacey stuff: that plastic serving spoon that was melted a few years back (but you still keep the other 8 in the drawer….), that pair of socks that have hotdogs printed on them that you’ve never worn in 9 years (but you keep the ones with tacos you’ve never worn as well…because you like tacos more than hotdogs….so you need to keep them…right?), and the gross throw pillow that’s been hanging around for far too long (while your other 37 throw pillows in the house lay sprawled all over the floor). You get rid of that stuff and you feel like you’ve purged. But oh, that’s just the beginning.
I don’t think I’m at the highest level of purging there ever was. But I think I did reach a new level of purging recently. I knew because it hurt a little. Hurt in a good way, of course. And it was messy. Stuff everywhere. For days. I purged shoes, jewelry, home decor (decor that I still like but need to part with to have less clutter), bathroom closets (Anyone like me and have that hairspray that’s half full that you haven’t used in a couple years? THROW IT OUT. Do it.), underwear (and no, these did not get sent to a thrift store. Ha.), some wedding gifts we rarely use that I keep as a “maybe I’ll use that at some point?” but let’s get real here…it’s been almost 7 years. We’re not going to use it. I even purged some furniture that’s been moved from room to room and stored for far too long. Once I got through the pain of parting with some things, the oh-so-glorious feeling of freedom came rushing in again. Freedom to enjoy what I actually have. Freedom to not think about all the extra stuff. Freedom to have shelves and drawers beautifully bare or if not bare, then only holding what you actually use and enjoy looking at. It took a while to settle the house back down but now that I’m cleaned up from my mega purge, it’s magnificent.
Pruning and Purging. Neither is pretty in the middle of it. Both are so very healthy. Healthy for our plants and spaces but even more so for our souls.
I started my new year off purging my precious stuff and pruning my beloved plants. But I also have done some heart purging and mind pruning as well. And while I was doing that, all I could think of was “I’m making room…”
I’m making room, creating space. In the natural sense, yes…but even more so in the spiritual sense. For what, you might ask? You see, I don’t know. I wish I did, sometimes. But then if I did, where would the mystery be? This mystery in life is frustrating sometimes. But right now, there’s enough to be frustrated with so this mysterious, adventurous unknown is something I’m relishing in. Jesus has proven himself to be faithful with his timing and direction in my life so with this mystery of what I’m making space for, I guess I’ll trust him with as well.
So, while I wait to see things more clearly and wait to see what this “making room” is all about, I’ll continue to slowly prune and purge. Prune things that come up in my heart that need to go. Purge things that I no longer need crowding space in my mind.
Here’s to pruning and purging what needs to go so there can be fresh growth and unoccupied space in our homes and hearts.
Here’s to making room for God to do whatever he wants to.
And maybe I’ll even purge those taco socks soon.