Today, I must draw your attention to the apple tree. Just a common, regular apple tree. The kind that grows in many a back yard and makes…apples. That’s what it does. That’s what it’s job is. To produce sweet, crisp, delicious apples. Every year at almost the exact same time each year.
Most years, an apple tree will produce a pretty decent harvest of apples.
And some years, the apple tree will produce so many apples, that it seems that there’s more apples on it than leaves. It will sometimes be so full of apples that some of the branches will break off and fall to the ground because of the heavy load of apples on it. And we say to each other, “Wow…that apple tree sure had a good year!”
But that very next year, that very same apple tree may not produce even one apple. Not one.
Because guess what? Apple trees need to rest. They can not continue year after year after year to produce tons and tons of apples without occasionally just sitting out a year and letting the other apple trees produce the apples for the people.
And after a year of rest, an apple tree can come back the following year and produce a great crop of sweet, crisp, delicious apples again.
That, my friends, is the way God designed…apple trees. :)
So, for all of us “apple trees” out there who think we must do all and be all and look all and take all and show all and have all – all at the same time – we’re not really being a very healthy apple tree.
If you are at a season in your life that you have more time to do more and be more beyond your home and family responsibilities, then by all means, please be the apple tree that has a bumper crop.
But if you have a husband and/or children, or other family members that need you, then enjoy serving and loving and caring for and being with them. Because that is enough.
And if your “apple tree” needs to take time off to rest…then please do rest. You will be able to produce more apples later, after you have rested.
It is simply not up to you or me alone to make sure everyone always has enough apples to eat. Sometimes, I can sit back and focus on other priorites and let other people produce the apples for a while. And then when it’s my time again, I can let others rest while I produce apples.
And those, my friends, are my extremely profound thoughts about apple trees.
And that, my extended family who live in other states, is why you no longer receive adorable handmade birthday cards from me anymore. (And why you’re lucky to even receive a phone call…four to seven days after your birthday.) ;)
So while I still don’t have a complete understanding of what all I should be doing and what all I should be taking a rest from…I do know that absolutely my most important job and focus is my husband and our four boys and taking care of our home.
I guess I’m “pruning back my branches” so that I’ll be able to give more of the best of me to my family. And God is helping me figure out which branches to prune.
Okay, now I’m going to go eat an apple. Which has nothing to do with my profound thoughts about the apple tree, except for the fact that thinking profound thoughts made me hungry.
Anybody else need to prune back a little? And if so…what kinds of things can you prune back?