Monday, September 30, 2013

A Tasty Harvest

It was harvest time for our apple trees a few weeks back. It was a little disappointing compared to the bumper crop we had last year. It was still fun though holding the latter for the neighborhood kids and our own so they could have the joy of picking apples straight from the tree. There's just nothing like harvesting fruit from your own trees!

JJ got right in there to pick the right apples.

Sister was so happy when it was her turn to stand on the latter to pick a few apples!

Nee was one of my best helpers. She even sat out there and ate an apple with me while we reveled in our lowly crop of 2 bushel... compared to the 8 bushel last year, it didn't seem like much. But, I was happy to have them anyway!

Brother didn't get hurt climbing the trees this year, that was a relief. He had fun picking apples with Nee, though. Nee even invented the soccer ball throwing technique. The threw the ball and Brother gathered the fallen apples.

Not a bad harvest considering the crazy weather that we had this year and considering that we didn't get them sprayed for worms... they were totally organic.

This time, thinking about the harvest, got me thinking about the things I harvest in my life.

I realized when thinking about all the blessings and opportunities I have harvested this year that some of the fruit of my labors haven't been as "tasty" as I would have liked. I think I needed to do a little "pruning." You know, get rid of some of the areas in my life that weren't as fruitful as the other areas.

Sometimes in our lives we try to take on too much fruit and because we become so full there are some parts in our life that tend to sour or mold because we didn't care for our time and our well-being... pruning.

Sometimes the Lord prunes us without us even asking him to. Sometimes we have too much of a load that eventually that branch just breaks off.

But, we can prune for ourselves. We don't need to let ourselves get to the "breaking point." We do have a choice as to what we allow ourselves to take on and do.

We can look at our lives and decide on the things that are most important to us and keep them growing stronger while we let go of some of the less important things.

It is better that we let the sun shine through our branches and let the good fruit "ripen" and become abundant in flavor and beauty, than to let all the branches grow over each other until there is not enough light to grow the most beautiful apples possible. Not to mention that, without light, there is no joy it seems to me.

I have to look at my life and decide what is best to prune, to let more light in so the more important things in my life can grow.

I don't want to be the tree that's puts out plenty of apples--small, sour, and misshapen.

I want to be the tree that puts forth shining light and good fruit that nourishes the soul.

I hope that as I continue my journey in life that I can take courage as Heavenly Father prunes me and shapes me in a way that will help me bear greater fruit. I also pray that I will know what things I should prune from my life in order to be more fruitful in my endeavors and service.

"... the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;"  --Alma 36:25

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