Pruning Time

I chopped my tree up. Yesterday. I am not usually the one to do yard work in our household, but I was inspired by the success I’d had planting some begonias and laying down brown mulch in the flower beds. Shoulda stopped while I was ahead. Instead, I turned my attention to the shaggy trees in the front yard.

A 10 foot ladder, my sister (hanging out for the day) spotting me, and four short gardener helpers (my daughters) running around… and a snip here and a snip, snip there… HERE A SNIP, there a snip, everywhere a snip, snip. And oh my word! What had I done?

I hadn’t seen the lopsided nature of my chopping until I got down from the ladder. And I FREAKED out.

Been in this house for 8 years. And this tree was a shrimp when we first planted it. It had JUST finally grown to a respectable height and…

Tim is gonna kill me!

So I did what anyone in their right mind would do… I cut some more. I got down under the tree and hacked at the branches I could reach on the underside. Snip. Snip. Snip. There. That’s more balanced. It was better… I thought…

But NOT from the sidewalk!!! It was pitiful. One side of the tree had a crew-cut. The other side sported an Afro.

I stunk at this. “You’d better stop hacking at it” my sister said. I think she was drying her nail polish now. But I couldn’t give up! My neighbors were getting home from work. This was not a naturally occurring shape in tree-dom. I couldn’t leave this overnight. I had to fix it. Snip. Snip. Maybe if I get up on the ladder on this other side…

Just then the lawn guy appeared. Tah-dah! Thank you…
He was just supposed to mow. I think he felt bad for us. Yes, of course, I’d let him take over and trim the tree a bit more… It had to be fixed.

He got out a chain saw, climbed the ladder. His partner trimmed some more branches from underneath and within 20 minutes, my tree now had a “bob”. I had wanted it to have a shoulder-length cut… But that’s what I got for trimming my tree myself…

They continued with tree number two. I had not attempted this one yet. I think the guys were afraid I’d start on it while they mowed. They are not tree people. But they had a two person perspective (hard to have when your second perspective is holding your ladder right where you are, or painting her nails! ;)) They only took off what was out of balance and a few branches that were too close to the ground on the trunk.

This tree (#2) still looked it’s age. Just nicer. Not like its scalped brother (#1) across the front walk…

The disparity is obvious. I nodded in the direction of my hacked tree…
“I told you to leave it alone,” my very UNHELPFUL sister said, her nose buried in a text message… well… I take that back… She WAS helpful. She kept me from killing myself by falling off the ladder. She did not, however, keep me from chopping the tree to pieces before it could get reshaped a bit by more capable hands. WE both were just standing TOO CLOSE TO SEE what we were doing.

Thankfully my husband was so proud of the flowerbeds and so tired from a long day of meetings, he just thanked Patricio (our lawn friend…) and offered to pay him extra for the next mow job. He didn’t say much about the “bob” trim job on tree number one… Oh well. It served to teach me a lesson.

My life has been pruned before. Sometimes God uses people to wallop branches off of you. Sometimes too much gets cut off. You feel exposed, you feel years younger, you feel chopped.

But… if God is your gardener, He will only allow certain branches (dead, out of-balance, or fruitless twigs) to be cut off. And He sees you from every angle. His perspective is such that He can perform a surgery of the tiniest of incisions or the chain-saw sweeping movements necessary to keep you from becoming too weighty of a tree for your trunk. He will not leave us exposed. He will not leave us chopped up. He sees every angle.

I’m glad I saw what happened to my tree this week. It’s similar to what my life would be like in my own hands. I’d make a huge mess of it. It makes me grateful for the expert eye and careful hands of Jesus in my life. He knows just what to keep and just what must go. He tends my life with care. A lot more care than I, my nail-polish & cell wielding sister and my four munchkin helpers could give to tree #1. Now when I see the tree out front I will laugh at my foolish mistake and thank God for here-to-save-the day lawn guys and for HIS expertise and grace in my life.

If you aren’t sure who is tending to your life. You need a Gardener. Ask me… I know a great one.


7 thoughts on “Pruning Time

  1. I’m excited that you were able to be alive after that terrifying experience of being on the ladder. If I had known your life was in danger I would have actually held on to the ladder instead of standing next to it! But alas my nails needing tending. I think I will blog about how cell phones/ nail polish are a great Kingdom perspective! 

  2. But I DOOO love your perspective and yes to the Lord being not only the best Shepherder but the best Garderner also!!

  3. Oh my goodness… I actually laughed out loud at this one… my husband asked me, “are you okay?” LOL… Love your blogs. 🙂

  4. Realmente tienes razon de llevar esta experiencia como jardinera con tus cuatro lindas asistentes a una lección de vida. La foto que finaliza esta tremenda historia no parece que hubiera sufrido tanto jajaja. eso si parece un arbolito muy juvenil… Lol
    Bueno creo que en la nueva Iglesia, vamos a tener que buscar el Buen Jardinero…jajaja

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