Monday, March 12, 2012


I have many fields to cross before I can claim to be a farmer.

When I came into this marriage,
I had plenty of heart and desire to learn about farming...

 but there's a lot to know with this farming bit.

It's not a light task:
different ways with different crops,
different behaviors for different animals,
different touches for different harvests,
different methods for better yields.

Small-scale farmers,
in order to be productive farmers,
are, by necessity, smart people.

They do a lot with the hours in each day.

I had such a zeal for growing all of our own food:
raspberries, blueberries, grapes, cherries, apples, pears,
along with the whole vegetable garden host.

But my grapes vines have been sadly abused by my unskilled hands.

It is a woeful sight.

I decided to try to fix them this year,
watching Youtube videos for some reassuring instructions
that they might be salvageable.
I faced the overwhelming mess with pruners in hand.

 The funny thing is,
as I cut them, 
they reminded me of myself.

It's easy to get caught up with things in this life,
too many things that don't really matter.
Too many things that do, or should.

Life should be simple.

I've found myself getting caught up in debates on facebook
about politics,
 religious perspectives,
health topics.

Things should be clear and easy.

But they are not.
Angry words are painful.
They give pain, they cause pain.

How I respond when I am angry or disappointed
should not be different than who I am,
whom I represent.

I wrestled with God the other night.
My tears were hot and fell on my pillow
denying me the sleep I knew I needed.

What did He want from me?
Is silence the golden ticket
or does one brandish the verbal sword?

The pain of the unknown,
of the possibility that I had done more damage than good...

I fell to sleep unsure,

 So God took His pruners and has been cutting my branches.

Strength is not in silent apathy.
Tyranny loves it's yellow cloak.

But folly dances to anger's brutish clamor.

Truth can be visible.
Like a candle at night, it's reality may clearly be seen,
even if error comes wrapped in the golden glow of the reflection
of truth,

While sometimes swords are required to defend right,
prayer should be the sheath which holds that sword.

The grape vines were drastically reduced.

Although my uncertainty is still forefront in my attempts to do what is best for these vines,
I am hoping that a clean, airy start will be better than 
the twisting masses of unproductivity.

The unneeded pieces lay scattered on the ground,

 and as I began to clean up the mess...

and I considered the doubt and frustration,
the pain of the uncertainty of the correct response,

I looked down.

 The sun draped my shoulders with it's warmth
and I prayed that always
despite me,
God's will and wisdom would cover me.

I don't do things right.
I mess up a lot.
I don't want people to see me or hear me and think,
"What a self-righteous hypocrite."

I have no righteousness.
God's mercy is my cloak of righteousness.
And if hypocrisy mars my earthly image,
I can only pray that God will carefully prune it out.

I know that the most important people in my life...

 are watching me and learning by my ways.

I am reminded as I finish,
that my grapevines will need pruning every year,
that life is a continuous ball of lessons.

The splinters in my hands remind me that
most farmers probably wear gloves when they prune...
but my waste turned useful
makes them feel worthy...


"I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing."
John 15:5


  1. Wow, I love this! Thanks for sharing your heart. It was a blessing to read. :)It is amazing how I can get so caught up in the drama online and elsewhere and forget who holds all the answers. Thanks for the visual and poetic reminder. You have a gift with words!

  2. I was wondering if you had used the trimmed vines to make wreaths - - - I was about to ask - - - and then VOILA! You showed me!

  3. That was *really* good! Such a good metaphor and a great reminder. I'm guilty of getting all caught up in the drama, too- and I *hate* drama. The online world is so different from face-to-face interactions. I'd never get into arguments in real life. The pruned-back photo was the perfect picture of simplifying. You really do have a great way of looking at things.

  4. Excellent Tonya!!! I am always challenged by what you write!

  5. Great analogy. I enjoyed your thoughts here.


  6. Wow Tonya! You are such a gifted much talent in one little woman! You always make me think and challenge me to do better. I especially liked the little "shadows". Makes us try to live the way we should because they are watching. Those splinters cause pain but you have some nice wreaths out of them, future projects I'm sure!

  7. How beautifully put! I believe that when we truly mean what we say for good, God adds a little "seasoning" to those words so that they will not taste so bitter to the hearer.

  8. This post was so honest and heart felt.
    I am only a woman. I cannot see your heart...but I can't help but think, if you are this open here in this much more God knows the true state of your heart and He is pleased.

    I love this quote...

    While sometimes swords are required to defend right,
    prayer should be the sheath which holds that sword.

    If it is ok... may I place it on my side bar? With a link to your blog of course.


    1. Thank you, Pat. You always say the nicest things. I'd be honored if you posted the quote.

  9. Well said!! That really spoke to me!! Thanks for sharing that!! <3

  10. So many things we have to consider!

  11. Nice! I really enjoyed this one. I find internet debates to be somewhat
    fascinating too. Sometimes I'm amazed at just how mean people are online.
    i admire your self-awareness : )

  12. Thank you so much! God bless you and us all.


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