Monday, November 17, 2008

Prioritizing

I have a little mandarin tree in a pot. I bought it sometime this spring, and it seemed to be thriving, it even had a mandarin or two growing. Then the tree suffered and accident; I was carrying the pot and dropped it, the tree fell on the ground and the entire top broke off. All that was left was a bare trunk.
This all happened when we were in the process of moving, and the little mandarin tree was left with other plants for several at a friend's house before we were able to bring it to our new home. When I saw the tree a few weeks later I was astonished; several new branches had grown and put out leaves, and once again the tree appeared to be flourishing. Interestingly, there were a few branches at the top with large leaves, and several growing from the side of the trunk with thorns and small leaves that never got any bigger. And as I continued watering the tree, I noticed that only the branches with the small leaves and thorns continued to grow and put out new leaves. I did some research and discovered that citrus trees are generally grown on a graft. The fruit-producing tree is grafted onto the root stock of a hardy wild citrus type, which provides a good root system (but on its own produces inedible fruit). Apparently, the shock my tree had undergone had stimulated the root stock to put out branches. I was concerned that only these "wild" branches seemed to be growing, sapping the tree's resources, so I pruned them off. Within a week or two, the larger "tame" branches were once again putting out new leaves and growing. I'm hoping for some mandarins next year.
This morning I was thinking about how to prioritize my time and efforts so that I can attend to the things that are most important to me. Recently I feel like I am barely holding on, trying to do too much and not doing any of it well. What I want is a peaceful, pleasant home where my children can learn the gospel and develop their talents. I want my husband to be able to come home from work in the evenings and relax and enjoy being with the family. Instead, meals are usually late, dishes are never done, laundry is is various piles, toys are on the floor...I think I have too many wild branches growing and I need to figure out how to prune them off so that I can devote my energy to those that will bear fruit.

4 comments:

Catherine said...

How interesting! I'm glad the tree is recovering. It was such a lovely mandarin tree.

James said...

That was your best post yet. Holy Jacob 5, Batman!

Anonymous said...

looking for extra time? how much do you spend blogging? :)
- jessica

Paula said...

But...but...but...my blog is going to save the world! (Or at least my sanity...) LOL
Thanks for the reminder Jessica :)