Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clearing the Trees

On November 30, 2010, my husband and I closed on, what we now call the "Woods Estate". Considering the entirety of the home buying process was completed in the fall/winter, we had not given much consideration to landscaping. Then spring arrived. Flowers bloomed, buds sprouted into leaves, bees started buzzing and we took a look at the "Woods Estate" in the spring. Sadly, we realized that the home we were investing so much money in for renovations was hidden by the trees and shrubs that had been neglected for so long by the previous owners. So, I decided to call the tree removal company.
Our trusty tree expert came out, gave is expert advice and ultimately.....the dreaded estimate. My husband and I got into a heated debate about the cost but I assured him that our home would have much more curb appeal and we would be THAT much more happy with it's appearance. He conceded to my requests and I scheduled the tree removal. I also had our Orkin representative on my side, who had suggested removing trees that were close to the side of the house to prevent mice and rats from seeking refuge so close to our living space. On top of everything else, there were some trees in our backyard that were emitting this God awful smell and we couldn't figure out what it was, except that it was coming from the tree.
Fast forward, our tree removal appointment arrives. I greet the crew and begin instructing them on which trees stay, which trees go, and which trees will be transplanted. I go to the kitchen to pack my lunch and I hear the chainsaws. I walk to the living room and I am amazed by how much light is pouring into our front sun room after only 2 trees were removed. It was like a breath of fresh air. I began to get so excited about how much natural light we would get once all 17 trees were removed...which got me thinking.
Sometimes we hold on to things, relationships, and situations because they've have just always been that way. These things we hold on to can become eye sores if left unattended. Without proper pruning and care, they become over grown and interfere with your life rather than enhance it. Un-pruned issues that reside too close to you can be a hiding place for rodents to burrow their way in, causing an even bigger nuisance. Sometimes there is an undeniable stink about a situation you're in and you will reveal some repair needed that was once hidden.
As I transition through different phases of my life, I realize that things, people, relationships, situations, etc. that I once held near and dear are no longer that way. Instead of trying to hold on to them for comfort sake, I've decided to clear them out of my life to make way for natural light and take in a fresh look at life. Initially, the process is hard and may result in internal unrest, but once you see what a big difference removing a few can do, you are anxious to clear the rest.
I look forward to the end of my work day, when I can go home and actually SEE my home from the street instead of wondering what it looks like behind all of those trees. Yes, I'm sure we will discover even more exterior scraping and painting that needs to be done, but such is life. Better to catch it now and fix it early in the game than to wait until it needs to be replaced because it beyond the scope of repair.
Clear the overgrown trees from your life. Inhale the fresh air. Take in the natural light. Be sure to prune the remaining trees. Sometimes we need to cut things off, in order to reveal our true beauty. God wants it this way.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lesson Learned

So, after dealing with some family drama. I have come up with a list of life lessons that I took away from the situation. Afterall, what is the point of going through drama if you can't learn anything from it?
1. Never lower your standards:
If you have high standards for how you expect people to treat you, maintain them. You most likely have these standards because you treat people with these same high standards.
2. Be willing to accept your role and apologize:
Have your humble pie with ice cream, but have it. An apology can go a long way, especially when it's genuine. The blame game won't get you anywhere.
3. Accept that everyone does not see things the way you do:
God created us all differently. Imagine that! Any situation can be interpreted a number of ways. Be open to the other party's view.
4. Everything isn't for the internet:
We all take to social network to vent or express our feelings. People are always watching, even when we aren't expecting them to be. If you must vent, be as vague as possible.
5. Stand your ground:
After all is said and done. Harsh words are exchanged, tears flow, and apologies are exchanged....or in my case, not exchanged. Stand up for what you believe is right and continue to do what is right. Righteousness will prevail in the end.
6. Don't take everything personal:
People's actions toward you, while they may effect you significantly, aren't always a direct result of how they feel about you. Even in situations when they are, brush it off and keep it moving. Don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you rattled, if that was their intention.
7. Be honest:
No matter how much the truth hurt, a lie that is revealed later does MUCH more damage. Your integrity follows you way longer than the hurt you cause.
8. Realize that everyone isn't for you and doesn't like you:
This can also apply to family. Accept it and move on.
9. God gives you what you need when you think you're missing something:
Be it people, money, things, or resources, God is always right on time. When someone let's you down, don't worry, He's got you.
10. Pray about it:
While it's the simplest advice and seems easy, it can be the hardest thing to do before reacting when you in the middle of going through a situation. However, in any situation, usually the hardest thing to do is the right thing to do. Remember, righteousness always prevails.

You learn about yourself when confronted with strife. The more strife, the bigger the lesson. Sometimes we look and the negative in a complicated situation. I like to think that God is preparing me for something big as we naviate through one situation and into another. No rest for the weary but usually the weary are very wise.