Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Sad Tree.

This is the big oak tree that serves as the center of our front yard: it shades my gardens and the kids' play area.  It is the most beautiful tree on our property, in my opinion.

Our farm has lots of trees on it, a big positive in my mind.  I grew up in New England where trees and woods were everywhere, so when we moved to Pennsylvania when I was a teenager, I'd never seen such open land.  It is beautiful also, the rolling hills and multi-colors of the strip crops,

but I love trees.

When we were looking at farms to buy, so many had houses that were plunked down on open ground with a tree or two around.

But when I saw our farm, I loved it immediately.
There are black walnut trees in rows, a pine tree windbreak behind the house, and oaks, maples, chestnuts, English walnuts, mulberries, dogwoods, persimmon, mimosa, willows all planted on our farm.

I loved this property.  It's not really a reason to buy a place; it's just a personal delight I had.

Let me interrupt this dialog briefly to ad an element pertinent to this story.
A few weeks back, Violet was out in the field with the calves moving them around as she likes to do.  She came in a little angry and very frustrated. She told me she'd asked God to let her get all the calves into the shelter shed, and she couldn't get them all in.  I tried not to make light of it, seeing how upset she was and tried to explain to her that God doesn't always answer every prayer the way we want Him to; we can't just see Him as our easy solution to our work or our wishes; He has reasons for everything.  Still, she's had her doubts about things relating to this lately and I pray she'll have understanding.

Back to the trees.

One day as we were up at the swing-set, we noticed that the back side of our great oak has a sad face on it:

"Look at the Sad Tree,"  Levi now says when we go up there.

"Why is it sad?"  I wondered.

Such a great life it has and has had: living on a farm right in the center of all the family life.

 "What's wrong with you, Sad Tree?"

So I said to the kids,
"Go stand in front of the Sad Tree and I'll take your pictures.

 Look sad."

"Come on!  What are you doing?   I said to look sad."

"Violet, think of Daddy stepping on your toes up in the barn,
or doing lots and lots of homework
or eating fried cabbage."

"Yeah, alright, what's so funny?  Why is it when I say to smile I never get this?

Stick your fingers in the corners of your mouth and pull your lips down so you are frowning."

"Oh, forget it!"

But then as I looked at the tree, something suddenly hit me.  Maybe Sad Tree wasn't frowning at us,
but smiling at the sky.

So I turned my head upside down and saw this:

"Hey, guys, come here and look upside down at the tree and see what you see!"

And then it hit me.  I said, "Violet, sometimes we see things we think God should do, and when He doesn't do them, we think He's let us down.  But He sees and does things differently than we do because 
He sees everything.
He knows everything.
He is God.
And He knows what is best for everyone.
It might look bad or sad to us at the time, but
He sees the good He wants to come out of it.
He sees that the tree that we thought was sad 
was really smiling at Him."

Linked up to:
Kellys Korner Blog
Parenting Tip: Sometimes our problems overwhelm us and seem big.
But God is bigger and He sees the whole view of things.
There is always a reason for things;
we just need to trust Him
and teach our children to trust through the hard times, too. 


  1. Tonya,
    That is AMAZING!!! I absolutely love that application. Keep up the good work with your blog. It is becoming a "must read" for me.

  2. That was so neat! I love you application! I had to laugh when you were telling them to frown and they couldn't. I love your yard and farm....Farmer's Wyfe!

  3. Thank you, Miriam! That's a huge compliment coming from you!
    Thanks, Tammy. :) Yes, these kids keep me hopping!

  4. That is really cool. I loved the way you told the whole story and the happy ending was sweet.

  5. Loved the "Sad Tree" story! Thanks for sharing it!

    Holly Sundsmo

  6. Great kids...Great tree...great post!

  7. That is the cutest story ever! LOVE the trying to get them to frown and they just can't! I think your tree is very handsome... and smart for smiling at the sky!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful tree-filled yard with us! ♥

  8. That's an amazing story! And a beautiful tree (beautiful property, beautiful kids). What a nice lesson for your daughter to learn.

  9. What a great post! And that tree is so funny to have a sad (or happy!) face on it!

    Thanks for linking up with Lazy Wed Walk!
    The Lazy Mom

  10. LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!

  11. They're so cute :). Thank you for a smile to start the morning!


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