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Pull Out the Good to Make Room for the Best

Tue, 2017-07-18 07:32 -- Jocelyn Green

I spent a few hours pulling weeds from my gardens yesterday. Most of what I yanked out was some strange, creepy crawly invasive species I've not officially identified. There was also some crabgrass, some other grass, dandelions, random corn stalks (yes, I live in Iowa), and baby trees who thought they'd give it a go just wherever.

But there was also this flower. A really pretty, cheerful black-eyed susan. The trouble with her was, I'd already stripped that flower bed of her kind, having decided those plants were unpredictable and patchy in how they spread. I wanted to try something new there this year, something with a tidy growth habit and more structure. It's a small garden plot, and it's doing well now with a back row of tall, dynamic ornamental grass, and in the front, three salvia plumosas arranged in a wedge.

That lone black-eyed susan, pretty though she was, didn't belong. If I let her stay, she would multiply and take over the plot again. So I dug her up by the roots and tossed her, because listen: in life and in gardens, a weed is anything that's growing where you don't want it to. Even good things can crowd out the best things.

In case you struggle with an overcrowded life right now, here's your official permission to weed it. Recognize your limits, including time, energy, and money constraints. And don't be afraid to set limits where they will most benefit your ability to pursue your God-given purpose. That means pulling out whatever threatens to overwhelm your schedule. Sometimes--lots of times--that means choosing the BEST over the good.

This is something I hammer home in my new book Free to Lean: Making Peace with Your Lopsided Life: It is not a sin to know and communicate our limits. It's good stewardship. 

Can you think of a time you had to pull out the good to make room for the best? What was the result?

About the Author: 

Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives through her Faith Deployed books and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she co-authored with best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration. As a speaker, Jocelyn inspires faith and courage in her audiences. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at

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