Where Will Your Branch Grow?

If you told me when I was five years old I would be content as a housewife, (caring for my hard-working husband, three beautiful – yet – stubborn children, two dogs, a cat, five chickens, a garden and land); I would have screamed, “Mommy!  There’s a crazy person frightening me!”, and I would’ve ran to my Mommy.  At five years old, I mapped out my path in life while visiting my Mom’s family in Arizona.  I basked in the hot Arizona sun, climbed rocks, explored the Senora Desert, and met my extended family.  I rode on a mule in the mountains.  I was in my aunt’s picturesque wedding.  I even got a pair of cowgirl boots I believe I wore everyday for the next year and a half.

If you told me when I was ten years old I would be content as a housewife, I would have laughed at you. My laugh would be followed with, “No, I won’t have time for that.”  We returned to Arizona when I was eleven, confirming my decision I made at the age of five – I’d graduate high school, attend the University of Arizona where I’d study archeology and astronomy.

If you told me when I was fifteen years old I would be content as a housewife, chances are you would have gotten an eye roll.  At fifteen, I had no idea what I wanted to be.  I knew my path would still take me to Arizona, but honestly, an astronomer? Quite unlikely. Now I was considering becoming a physical therapist, nutritionist, personal trainer, etc. I wanted to help people feel better and live better. I wanted to be needed; I wanted to do something of great importance. That sounded exciting.

If you told me when I was twenty years old I would be content as a housewife, I would have laughed and quickly disregarded your statement.  In fact, this happened!  I was working full time at a small business here in Atlanta, and the general manager always joked that within a few years I’d be married, with kids, driving a minivan! (YUCK!) I had no idea his statement was true. Incase you haven’t noticed, Atlanta is where my path led, not Arizona. Anyways, I was twenty and I loved my job! I loved my life.  I was single, I was Miss Independent, I was self-relient, I was proud. My hard work had paid off. While my friends were in college partying, I moved to Atlanta. I scored my dream job working for a global company, networking with people all over the world, everyday.  I networked with people from England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, etc.  What’s even more spectacular is that my boss, the owner of the company, offered to pay for my college education, AND offered to send me over to head up a facility in Europe! Not bad for a girl from a small town in the upper peninsula of Michigan! I felt so blessed by the God I had only recently begun to know.

If you told me when I was twenty-five years old I would be content as a housewife, oh…. wait.  I was a housewife by the time I was twenty-five.  While I was busy making my plans, life happened.  I was married with two kids, and ‘a bun in the oven’ on my twenty-fifth birthday.  I’d given up my career after my first was born at the urging of my husband who desired a housewife.  Over the next year my old boss contacted me three times to see if I would return to work.  I desparately wanted to… but it wasn’t just about me anymore. I resented my husband for years because of this, and as much as it is shameful to admit, I even resented my children.  I especially resented God.
You see, I wasn’t your typical little princess, dreaming of my wedding day and the fairytale life with a husband and kids….. -NO- I was a… shall we say.. adventurous, grab-life-by-the-horns kind of girl.  I had two older brothers that I kept up with, a dad who was a sports fanatic and an excellent coach; and I loved to be the best and make him proud.  He would brag about me and my accomplishments to his friends, which fueled my desire to be the best at everything I did.  I had a mom who was always very loving, encouraging, reassuring and supportive. She gave me the confidence to believe I could conquer any challenge. I always knew my life was going to be way too important to just be a housewife… I’d leave that for the women who – like my grandma, actually seemed to enjoy sitting at home, cleaning and all that junk. I never understood that type of woman. I foolishly thought it must be one of three things: either they weren’t good at anything and had to settle, they weren’t confident in their ability to do anything, or they were simply, crazy. I mean, who would want to just be a wife and mom? Who would want to throw away all of their ambitions? My grandma is amazing, but I couldn’t understand how her life brought her joy.
So, there I was, just a housewife. I forced a smile, while on the inside, I was screaming to be free from the pressures and confinements of motherhood. I wanted to be free to seek what I wanted for my life, and I was blind to the fact that I already had it. Well, how’s that for a Christian? I was sticking my nose up at these blessings God had given me. Needless to say, we endured many struggles after I quit working. At the time, I blamed it on the fact that I “wasn’t allowed to be me”… that we only had one income, that I was wasting my time at home, etc. I placed the blame on everyone and everything but myself. I have to admit that if I had the correct perspective from the moment we said “I do…”, things would have been monumentally easier.
I should have immediately accepted that my life as wife and Mom was much more important and demanding than any adventure I could dream up. I should have realized I had more blessings than I’d ever dreamed of. I should have stopped fighting God… I should have ‘let go and let God’. But, I’m not your average woman… I’m a fighter. It’s who I am. It’s who I’ve always been…. Its who I was made to be.
Well, God has His way of bringing you to your knees in order to get your attention, and He did just that. Five years (of complete turmoil) after I first acknowledged His existence, I gave my life over to God. (It was His all along, but I finally admitted it.) I gave everything to Him and pleaded with Him to fix it all, to fix me, to fix my heart.
I asked God to lead me, lead us. I prayed over my kids. I prayed over my husband. I prayed over my household. Suddenly, I began focusing less on my agenda and more on my family’s well-being. At this time I felt an urgency in my heart to study the Bible, God’s letter to us; in order to prepare my kids for their lives. It was then that my priorities changed, and the pieces of the puzzle (that is our family) began to fit together brilliantly.
It’s been five years since then. Five wonderful years. We have our moments, but since I admitted to God that He is in control and I gave up my (nonexistent) control, life has been good. Nah, life has been beautiful. I couldn’t tell you why God loved me enough to prune me even when I resented Him. I definitely don’t deserve the blessings He’s given me, yet He continues to pour them out over me.

I’ll be turning thirty in a few weeks. I am honored to be a wife and a Mom. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. I gaze at the stars and study them with my oldest son. I dig in the dirt with my daughter. As a housewife and mom, I am far too busy to ‘just sit around and clean’. There are new adventures to be had everyday! I’m a doctor, a nurse, a therapist, a counselor, an inventor, a teacher, a nutritionist and a chef for my family. I am CEO of the Bryan Household, a fortune 500….. family. I represent, and speak on behalf of my… clients daily. I am the most sought-after name IN this family! What an honor that is.
I have asked for forgiveness for the foolish resentment I harbored, and I’ve been forgiven, and richly blessed. That’s what God does. He forgives. He prunes us. He loves us. He has a path laid for us that is far more exciting, and of much greater importance than we could ever imagine.

If you tell me when I turn thirty years old that I am content as a housewife I’ll smile, nod, and tell you how thankful I am for the path God laid before me, and how often He ‘prunes’ me. Look at my life now. I love my life. Oddly, I am doing everything I’d ever desired. Not exactly how, or where, or when I planned; but better. I am fighting everyday for my amazing husband, praying for him while he works, while he sleeps. I am fighting everyday for my kids. Teaching them to follow God and not the ways of this world. I’m fighting for my oldest son to grow in his faith and find the path God has prepared for him. I’m fighting for my son with autism to overcome the obstacles he has been given; fighting for society to accept him. I’m fighting for my daughter’s innocence to be a thing she treasures, and retains.
Minivan and all, I AM just your average woman… I’m a fighter. It’s who I am. It’s who I’ve always been…. Its who I was made to be.

This is the birthday cake my four year old daughter made for me. Now, has anyone ever received a better birthday gift?

Wherever you are, at this very moment, is exactly where God wants you. If you don’t believe in God, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. I did as a skeptical eighteen year old, and He revealed Himself to me. If your life is in turmoil, seek God. Ask Him to take over your life, ask Him to repair your brokenness. I did as a desparate lost mother at the age of twenty-four, and he comforted me, and gently, lovingly corrected me. If you have burning passions in your heart (no, not that kind!)….., ask God to make His path clear and straight. Pray for God to bless your intentions, if it is His will. I did at the age of twenty-nine, and was driven to create Cultivating Your Branch. Life is meant to be filled with Joy, is yours? God knew you when He formed you in His mother’s womb. The passions in your heart are placed there by Him. Your passions are your purpose. If your life is in turmoil, seek God.

Matthew 7:7 “7.Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”. -NKJV

John 15:1-2 “1.I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2.Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” NKJV
So, let Go of your life and let God prune you… and see where your branch grows! Read my post regarding John 15:

3 thoughts on “Where Will Your Branch Grow?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    This is beautiful! I'm praying the truth of it will settle deep down inside your heart and mine – for wherever we are is exactly where God will use us! Love you friend – thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you. Isn't it funny that I know this, and yet still struggle internally when challenges arise. I suppose it is proof that we always need to fix our eyes on Jesus.

  3. Sending blessings and love your way!

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