Why Do We Try So Hard? {Of Pruning Shears and a Severed Pinky}

It’s Friday. A stranger is coming over to pick something up that has been mistakenly shipped to our house. And I am concerned about what he might report to the former owner of our house… Weeds by the garage. Shocking.

Does it really matter? I hear in my head. Do you have to do this now?

Yes. I am determined. So the kids play, and I haul out my gardening gloves and small hand-held pruning shears to cut down the tall grass – instead of bothering with the weed wacker.

I turn my back. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds. Four seconds. Five seconds.

Taylor is yelling “My finger! My finger!” I run.

The shears are stuck shut. Blood everywhere. Her pinky is cut through.


I’m sitting on the porch. The neighbor heard me screaming and ran over. She had the common sense to ask about a towel which I’m now holding tightly around Taylor’s tiny 2-year-old finger. For a split second I had realized she would have to dash through my disheveled house. Breakfast dishes still out, toys strewn all over. So much for keeping up appearances. Like that matters now.

She helped me call 911, then whisked Morgan and Levi away with her daycare kids. I call Steve.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Steve.” He can hear the panic in my voice. “Taylor cut her finger…”

“Ok… how bad is it? Is it bleeding pretty badly?…”

“No. Steve. She cut it through the bone. It’s only hanging on by a little bit. I called an ambulance.”


Taylor is a rock. When I keep saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” she puts her head on my chest and says “Iss ok, Mommy. Iss ok.”

It seems the IV is worse than severing her pinky… It’s so hard to watch her go through this.

The surgery takes an hour. Her finger pinks up when they reattach it. The surgeon is hopeful. We are so so grateful.


I just wonder. If I hadn’t been so concerned with what someone I didn’t even know thought – would our reality be different right now? I dare say probably.

I’ll be honest – I spend most of my life worrying about what other people think. It’s exhausting. And it’s getting costly.

I try so hard to keep up appearances.

Most days I just don’t have the energy for make up. But you better believe I have it on if I’m going to see anyone.

When I got pregnant with our fourth child it mattered to me what people thought. It mattered to me whether people were shocked that all our children were so close together. I knew that specific people made judgments, and that bothered me. Don’t you know what causes that? was the joke.

When we lived in an apartment I didn’t want to have anyone over lest they think our house too small. When we bought a house I was worried people would think it was too big.

Is my hair too frizzy? Can they see the grey? Do they remember I wore the same outfit last Sunday? Are they mad I made that mistake? Does she not like me? What if they saw my house this way? Everyone must think I’m an awful mom.

This is what the Bible calls fear of man.

The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Proverbs 29:25

I’m just done. I am so tired. It is a drain on the soul to constantly work to please everyone – to make everyone think I have it all together. Because I don’t. I’m just as jacked up as anyone else.

My hair is turning grey. I’m not designer anything. I’m just normal. I’ve got clover growing in the side garden and my kid got a hold of my gardening shears and cut the tip of her pinky off.  I am not super mom. A lot of the time I’m not even a fun mom – I’m just trying to get through the day and keep the toilets from turning green. And right now I’m wiping the tears and snot from my face with my own shirt. I don’t have pictures for this post – I’m sure you’re grateful for that right now.

If you still want to be friends – snot and all – great. But at the end of the day it just matters what Jesus thinks, and if I did what he wanted me to today. That is all that matters.

So if you’re ready to be done with this whole comparing, judging, pleasing, trying-to-be-perfect-so-everyone-likes-you thing, then lets do it together. I don’t want to miss my calling because I cared more about what people thought of me than I did about obeying what God was asking me.

And I’d like to avoid further injuries, if possible.


I leave you with this video. It made me cry. Not that most anything wouldn’t make me cry right now.


15 thoughts on “Why Do We Try So Hard? {Of Pruning Shears and a Severed Pinky}

  1. Such a heart wrenching post that hits us all from time to time as I am now an empty-nester watching young adull children making decisions about their life and still wondering what I could have done differently-but it always humbles me to know God has a plan in it all! Thanks for sharing your heart with so many-I love you for the sweet loving mom you are! Your kids are a joy to watch grow up even if from afar! Cheryl F.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Lauren! Did you think people would say that? Well you should! Thanks for putting yourself out there! If we are all honest with each other we all worry and it is hard to admit and get rid of! Prayers for Taylor! You are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am honored to be your friend. You are a strong, brave, beautiful person. I love your thoughts, especially this. Choosing the best thing as our priority in the moment is what we can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. merci luren pour ce témoignage très touchant et édifiant sur le poids du regard des autres, je crois que tu es vraiment pas la seule dans ce cas 😉 merci ca m’encourage aussi à plaire au Seigneru premièrement, sois bénie toi et ta famille et très bon rétablissment à Taylor 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Why Do We Try So Hard? {Of Pruning Shears and a Severed Pinky} | robinsnest212

  6. Oh Lauren, my heart went out to you, Steve and Taylor. Trust me, as parents we have all been just moments away from disaster many times. And the part about trying to keep up appearances. I’m good at that one too. I’ll throw myself into a tizzy thinking that every speck of dust has to be vacuumed up before company arrives. It is exhausting and I am really going to try harder to break that cycle of perfection!! Thinking of you guys and sending my love…

    Liked by 1 person

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