Friday, October 16, 2009

Cleaning up & pruning...

OK so here is the ugly truth! You can't ignore it any longer. It is staring at you....begging for your attention. Just like our sins do from time to time....they blurt out to us- I'm here and you can't ignore me any better take action- or else!

So you carefully piece by piece take your broken heart and life....put them all back in order. Some things you have to throw away. Clear out- PRUNE! Well, let me tell you there is a lot of pruning to be done with 9 people under one roof! It has to start with- you guessed it- the parents. You see when our hearts are in the right place we are better able to help prune carefully our children's hearts.

So the real story - our children had gotten a bit well.....lax let's just say. They started breaking toys, shoving toys in places they don't belong, to just letting our nice and neat toy room get out of control! So I took all the toys (minus the books) and dumped them out on the floor. Every single thing (I went through the stuffed toys later too), but it is all here. Now don't be deceived remember we have 7 children in this house right that is a lot of toys over time, and some of our toys are 8 years old at least. The truth still remains though that this was a real mess. Not just of the toy room, but of the heart. Our children were taking things for granted. Thinking it was no big deal, but is it?

I think so. When we who are spoiled in life (yes you- if you have more than a one bedroom house you are spoiled...if you have are spoiled...if you have more than one meal a day or any are spoiled- ME INCLUDED!) start thinking that all our stuff - isn't enough or isn't good enough....that is when our hearts are not where God needs them to be.

Over the last few months we have been doing some real soul searching. What can we give up to pay for this adoption....for another child to have a safe, warm, home with food to eat and lots of love. Pretty important goal! We have been giving up things that are "normal" for us, and pruning our hearts. Now it was time to prune our children's hearts too.

So while this mom was cleaning up the toy room- getting rid of trash...getting rid of things not needed....organizing what we have, and giving everything a place so that we can keep our things nice and in working order....our kids had to go a full day without toys! Yes, the full day! I wanted them to appreciate what they had. Even Jason thought I had lost my mind. You would be surprised what took place. Our children played made up games with blankets and pillows. They talked to each other more. They sang songs and made up songs. They did go a little crazy, but overall- it changed them and me.
You see...the next night as I was checking to make sure all the toys were indeed picked up...I almost missed a sign from our Joshua. Look closely......
Here it is. A sign "daddy mommy sarah joshua I Love You". That is a huge sign! A sign that picking up toys was a privilege not a right. A sign that my children had gotten the message of how we take care of whatever it is that we are given- big or small. Just think I could have just cleaned it all up like I have before and went about my business, but nothing would have changed. Now I feel like things can change- so encouragement to parents- don't let things like this pass you by!
Because when you are taking care of yourself- pruning, and pruning your children. Everyone is a lot happier. We can learn so much from each other.
So my note to God would go like this "Hey, it's me Dawn....thank you for loving me even when I am in constant need of pruning. Thank you for the many Blessings I don't deserve. Thank you for the many many many miracles in my life! I love you God!"

What would your note to God be? Are there other things you can think of that need some pruning? How can you do this? Does anyone else have ideas about how to keep "stuff" from getting in the way?


  1. Good job on the playroom. Don't those little toys just drive you crazy? Every time I go to Haiti I take a bunch of them and hand them out down there.

  2. So funny that you wrote this...I was just thinking about your family today. My boys' room was pretty trashed and I was helping them clean, for some reason you came to mind and I thought how does she do it with so many kids:)
    Great post by the way. There's always something in me that the Lord's pruning away at:)

  3. I have gone through the clutter journey as well and have sold things or not replaced broken things that I do not NEED. My sign to God would say, "I mess up A LOT and you forgive me and love me anyway. Thank You for allowing me to serve YOU. You don't need me, but You let me do it, and it is my honor.

  4. It's funny that you posted this. Today is prune day at my I will pray about pruning on the inside as well. ;o)

  5. As always, a beautiful, thought-provoking post. What a great idea to take away the toys for the day - it's amazing and disheartening how quickly we all start to take all of the blessings that God gives us for granted.

    Also, SO excited about the good news that you've heard about little Naomi getting back to HH! We'll keep praying!