Tuesday, September 6, 2011


 "Is there any hope?"

"Maybe, if you take drastic measures."

"That drastic?
Will it survive?"

"It may not,
but if you don't, it will be worthless."

Pruning the unkempt apple trees on our farm
when we bought it seven years ago
almost seemed like a lost cause.

The trees were smothered in a mess of undergrowth,
and badly shaped.

Is an apple tree supposed to look like a mass of trees bunched together?

Our friend told us to make a major cut of one of the limbs
of the Granny Smith apple tree.
It was a big one
and he said it might not survive,
but if we ever wanted to try to get apples from it,
this cut would be the best attempt.

We've kept at it each year,
making more cuts,
trimming out waterspouts that grew in.

Most times,
I don't feel like I know what I am doing;

but I keep trying,
the hopes and dreams of apples spurring me on.

As I cut I am reminded of people.

So often I hold frustrations against people;
I grumble at my husband when he gets tired and grumpy;
I sour at the kids lack of brain power to remember to pick up,
I think that people can't change.

But to think that
is to lose hope for myself as well.

I need changes, too.

We all change, and to hold somebody to a mistake,
to reject forgiveness and hold out that there is no hope,
is to deny that God does pruning work.

I see it in our fruit trees.

I see it in my kids.
 Violet is highly competitive.

We've dealt with her tears after lost games of Memory,
Crazy 8's,
Old Maid,
Chutes and Ladders.

We've explained, encouraged, corrected, taught,
but some things take time, life's lessons, prayer.

Sometimes as a parent,
it's hard not to wonder if they'll ever get things.

This past Saturday our church had a "Field Day" for the kids.

Violet didn't win any of the games.
But I could see that,
it didn't seem to bother her.

She was having fun.

And when she won the ribbon for good sportsmanship,
I hid behind my camera,
so nobody would see my misty eyes.

She is learning.

 It's been seven years of pruning.

Years where we got 2 apples,
then 5,
then 10,
then 12 apples.

Always, only a few;
always, they seemed to rot on the tree before they fell down.

 Then this year,
the pruning and care...

have started to pay off.

Harvest has begun.

 There is hope.

 Pruning can save an unfruitful tree,

and the rewards are worth it.

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger,
plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as heaven is high above the earth,
so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children,
so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame;
he remembereth that we are dust."
Psalm 103:8-14

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed your blog.

  2. That was beautiful. The pruning...is so hard. The pruning in my life...the pruning in my children that ends up pruning me....some days the pain can truly make you question the outcome...until you get a taste of that sweet fruit that comes from the bitter gall.....!!!!

    Thank you for linking up to the HHM!

  3. that is lovely. the apples and the work you've put into them - and your children. :)

  4. Great post! I like how you related the two types of pruning together as it corresponds with Scripture! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love that scripture passage! Pruning is essential and I'm glad you took the time and are now reaping the rewards of all your hard work. I'm proud of Violet's award~ I think good sportsmanship is much more important in a child's life than how many ribbons one wins! Thanks for the lesson today Tonya!

  6. What a beautiful post! The apples look delish...and so do your pics. Have a great day.

  7. Wow! Look at all those apples! Yummy. Loved your window pic with the basket of apples and canned jar of I am guessing applesauce? good lesson to keep on going even when it doesn't look like there is hope.

  8. I absolutely love your analogies. You are wise beyond your years.


  9. What an inspiring post! To see the hard work and how it pays off in our children, our "apple trees" and in our own lives, it is all God, and He is truly amazing! Loved this post! I'm a new follower.

  10. Those last two photos are framers!!

  11. Such a beautiful story. Your daughter is so precious and so cute. Good for her for winning her ribbon for being such a great sportsman. Your tree is wonderful and yes, it is so worth all the love and care you've given it. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  12. What a beautiful post and the message is so true! The pruning sometimes hurts but God is making us look more like His son! :)
    Your daughter is so cute and I'm so glad she was able to have such fun!
    Thanks so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  13. Beautiful, inspiring and true! We have a highly competitive 6 1/2 year old - so many tears! Takes after his mama though :D Learning and praying - thanks for the encouragement! (visiting from hip homeschool hop)

  14. It is amazing what pruning and care can do to rejuvenate old fruit trees, it has been the same in our garden, we have inherited very old trees that have lacked TLC.

  15. This post is beautiful. I hope its ok that I linked to it from my blog. This post is so inspiring and I really really enjoy reading it every once in a while to remind me to keep up the pruning and have faith that someday there will be a reaping.


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