Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"I am the vine, my father is the gardener.  He cuts every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit.  Every branch that does he prunes so it will be more fruitful."   John 15:1-2
I have been quiet lately, I have needed this time.   I have been praying, pondering, thinking, meditating, questioning, wondering, resting, leaning, and listening for answers.   I am now convinced more than ever that even though it is important to give, it is okay to receive too.   Just like breathing in and then exhaling out,  all of life is give and take.  I need oxygen so I receive it from earth's plants.  They need carbon dioxide and so I give it back to them.   If I don't receive I have nothing to give.  If I don't give,  they have nothing to receive.  
It's Spring and in Southern California we have had record rainfall this year.  My plants are basking in the rich nutrients showered on them as the clouds continue to fill and then empty so late in the season.  The infant greens and the blossoms are more vibrant than ever and the birds sing joyfully as they are busy building their nests.
I enjoy my plants and my backyard immensely.  I spend up to an hour of quiet time outside as I begin each day.  This year I have paid close attention to each plant's growth cycle and I have witnessed maturity through the natural pruning process.  Some of my plants have also died since last year.   I have learned that the natural life cycle of red banana trees is on average a couple of years.   In two spots where there once stood a beautiful, full-leafed ten to twelve foot tree, there is now only a hole in the ground.   I am contemplating what to plant there next.
All of life has a cycle and as much as we try to hold to what is beautiful or what we think helps us to feel happy or secure we all must experience a season of pruning.  Sometimes our "branches" need to be cut off all together.
I believe that I have been going through a season of personal pruning.   God is showing me what I should cut-off and what should be pruned so that I might produce more beautiful fruit.  In some cases it is hard to determine what exactly I need to get rid of so I have been sitting by quietly and letting my heart, my soul, and my mind rest in the perfect gardener....God.  I have been receiving peace of mind from His beautiful creation manifested in the living things found right outside my back door.   It feels good to receive this blessing so for now I rest in it.
I suspect that others of you are feeling this season of new life and new growth.  I know that many of you are in the midst of health crisis.  Others are surviving the end of a relationship by separation or  death.   There are also many other personal or family problems which may be plaguing your mind or interrupting your sense of security.  Maybe you are questioning or looking for answers?
Even though it is a painful process, remember that pruning or cutting-off is a part of life.   "I have come to give you life and give it abundantly" says Jesus in John 10:10     He doesn't say I have come to give you an easy or a predictable life.   An abundant life means a full life, a complete life, an entire life.  A life including many ups and downs...the pruning or the cutting-off.
Maybe God has been revealing something to you during this season of regrowth?  I hope and pray that you will embrace your changes and always look for what potential beauty is left from your pruning.   I also hope that your personal season of growth will include both giving and receiving. 
God is blessing you.


  1. Hi Donna. Long time ago that i react on your blog.
    Your writings are still stimulating and powerfull.
    Just send you a E mail , but i am not sure i did it right.

    How high the mountains are to climb. Never forget, God made them.
    And wenn you reach the summit. It is God to provid you with enough strength to make the decent safe. So you always find your way home.
    It is the power of God that made you climb.
    It is the trust in God that brings you home
    Always and without doubt.
    Greetz Jeroen Kokke Netherlands.

  2. Great spring thoughts Donna. We all have to carry our burdons, something that bothers us. Rough things we have to deal with. For me it's like the season sprouthing up with new plants. Forgetting the stony past. I do it with my dad who treats me "in short" like a no-good. Or a male friend who seems to be jeallous of the kind of life I live. I go out in the nature and see the waking up of the nature and see how my faith is helping me to come over all the negative things. I read in the bible or devotions, listen to, for me, great sermons online or in church. - My prayers are going your way. - Blessings Rose

  3. Mankind it seems is one of the only species to not always take a prolonged change to reinvigorate ourselves; Mind, Body and Spirit.

    So it was good to read you have been enjoying the Springtime quietly, in your wonderful garden!

    We seem, as humans, to stay on a too rigid schedule and then we wither, burn out, fizzle out or just keep doing the same things but are not as invigorated as in earlier times.

    We do need routines, but part of the routine I believe, should be to "shuffle the cards" and do stuff a bit differently at times or just stop for a bit and look around at nature listening to the birds as you are doing!

    Some, as you mention with health issues have been forced to stop and the Blessing is, when we have stopped long enough or at least slowed down, one gets a fresh perspective. For me, that was an opportunity to open my Heart more fully and to appreciate the wonders of earlier times in my life. Also, a time came to appreciate the simpler things like a good book, time to talk with friends and family without busyness or a schedule.

    Embracing the Spring; seeing how the birds enjoy finding the bits of bark or last year's oak leaves to build a nest; watching buds on the Lilac or other trees change daily from a new "bump on a twig", to a new sprig, to a little flower then shed it's winter wrapping! Beautiful!

    SPRING! It must be why we use that word to mean to jump up suddenly and reach as high as we can reach!

    Greetz Jeroen Kokke in Netherlands, I loved the words you wrote about God's Mountains.

    Rose you are a nature lover too so I hope you have lots of nice walks enjoying the re-awaking of nature.

    Donna, stay peaceful and I know you will write more wise thoughts when you can. I always enjoy your videos or writings!

    But mostly, good to know you are well.

    He is blessing all

  4. I really enjoy this post. So authentic and genuine. I feel your peace coming through the writing. These are good times when we prune.

  5. I really enjoyed this post as well. These are one of those that seem to come at just the right time. Thank-you so much for your words.


  6. Thank you for your comments...I really appreciate them. For those of you who have contacted me via my gmail account and don't know how to comment here...you just have to open a Google account. It's okay if you only want to use it to post a comment. If you have one and have forgotten your password. Click "forgot your password" and they will email it to you! I love hearing from you all!

  7. These weeks I try to get peace of mind. But my greatest wish is the peace of God. In my earlier years I thought you had to earn the peace of God.
    Now I experienced that when you sit in your garden, listen to the birds and watch the trees you become peace. Very simular to your story Donna. Sometimes it seems there are so many tasks or inner monkees.......but I do not listen. Difficult, but i'll try hard. I just received the latest book of Neale Donald Walsch. Tomorrow I'll sit in the garden with this book. Just to get inspiration. Your words Donna, great books, mother Nature......I feel greatfull..Thank you.

    Carmen, the Netherlands.

  8. Hi Donna and everyone,
    I love this post! Its so important to know when to be quiet and let the Holy Spirit refresh, re-fill, and restore. Pruning can be a difficult place. I am in that place, too.
    North Carolina has had a glorious springtime. I like all the flowers and greenery. It signals being "re-born and renemwed" to me.
    I just shake off all the cold, blustery snow flurries of this past winter. :) Its wonderful to bask in the warmth.
    enjoy! and thanks for sharing another great blog.

  9. Hi; Donna & Everyone. I have been thinking very hard about this post . And I find sometimes pruning is hard but not as hard as cutting off. Overtime I have had to pull back from alot of things and change and adjust many things as I grow older and need help with my boy. It was hard to let other people come into my home and start doing things with him and for him that I have always done. And with death of loved ones you have to cut of or let them go in peace to the Lord and know you have to move on and life will carry on and as in prunning new growth will come. As long as you keep your faith and listen for the Lord and to the Lord.
    soon you will feel peace and will enjoy the wonders of spring time.
    God Bless Everyone Cysradill

  10. I have, as with Cysradill, found it hard to let others do the jobs I used to do but age and health, well I have to "prune" but now expect new growth of a different type.

    It is now going to be using my new opportunities as I enter what I guess is what is called the "sage" stage. (see Fathered by God by John Eldredge). Today I hired out some work to young college students in our area to build me a new wooden path and ramps. Yesterday, my daughter and son-in-law asked if they could clean out the garage and rip-off my old tool-shed extension so it could be
    replaced by a new potting shed or place I could use and access with a walker!

    I have been too reluctant to let stuff go. I am trying your wise pruning back thoughts and hoping to enjoy seeing the next generation help and that can be my joy, rather than trying to do it myself when I just cannot do it, or at least should no longer be doing these things; new things, writing, reading enjoying the kids and our soon to arrive new grandchild.

    He is blessing all!


  11. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's Boy! it is sure great to be a Mom. The rewards of the big smile and love in their eyes . Is worth all the worry and work that goes with it. Thanks Lord for choosing me to have a special needs child.

    God Bless everyone.

  12. Hope Donna, you have been celebrated at Mother's day!- My thoughts are; we can celebrate the Mother's always. We do not need a special day. A lot of "children" do it on this day and the rest of the year they do not think of celebration. - I went with mine and Dad for a meal in the restaurant and a nice walk at the edge of the wood. - Blessings, Rose


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