The tale of two trees

We have this cedar tree in the back yard right next to the house.  We'll call it our wishing tree because we wish we could cut it down.  It's probably four hundred years old.  It's not the prettiest of trees.  If you use your imagination it looks a lady who is well endowed both in the front and back.  Now, that you have "Baby Got Back" stuck in your head, come back to me.  As much as I hate to take down such a piece of history, in addition to its unsightliness, the tree just doesn't need to be that close to the house, so be on the look out for a post in a few months with cedar products for sale.

On the subject of wishing, we have this beautiful property, with so many magnificent trees (pecans, a few oaks, pines) and I catch myself wishing that this cedar tree was gone and replaced with one of those sprawling Spanish oak trees.  It's like I was disappointed that we didn't have one of those on the property somewhere.  I guess I should have been more specific in our list of prayers for our future property.  Selfie slap - how ungrateful am I?  Sure, those oaks are magnificent, but so are all of the trees on our little farm and I should be grateful and appreciative instead of wanting something more.

But honestly, how many of us (including me, repeatedly) do the same thing each day.  I wish my husband/wife would be more attentive to my needs, I wish my kids would have better manners, I wish I hadn't have burned the bacon.  I wish I had this car or this shirt...  Wishin' and hopin' instead of noticing the good things in others and ourselves and counting our blessings.

Now for the story of another tree....

A few Christmases ago, we gave Audrey the Giving Tree book.  She has gotten into "reading" lately and will talk through the books she is familiar with.  (If you're viewing in email, switch to browser to view video.)

How cute is that? If you're not familiar, the book talks about a tree and a boy.  The boy develops an innocent friendship with the tree while young, but as he grows older he wants all of these things to be happy - money, house, boat.  The tree gave her whole self (apples, branches, trunk and all) and she was still...happy.  She was thankful.

Some days, let's be honest, most days, I walk around our houses - the one we're living in and the one we're fixing up - and I look at all of the mess...the toys that I didn't have a chance to clean up that day, the food stuck to the floor, the dirt stuck to the tape stuck to the floor, the boards that aren't hung yet, the massive layer of grime and dust on my future kitchen counter, the laundry I forgot about and left to sour in the washer.  I catch myself wishing I had accomplished more, wishing the projects would be done, wishing for a live-in maid...   But thanks to a change in perspective and a daily dose of grace I have been changing my wishing to giving.  Giving thanks. If not for our three beautiful children, I would not get to pick up toys or food (all. the. food.).  We are going to be living in our little dream farmhouse in a few I'm thankful for the grime I'll have to wipe off my counter because that will just mean we'll be moving in soon.  And I'm thankful for magic eraser and bleach and that we have clothes to wash in the first place.  (Don't ask Brett about the bleach - I'm thankful it was only one blue shirt this time). And thankful I got the eggs and toast right - two out of three ain't bad?!

The Bible says in Psalm 105:5, "Remember His marvelous works which He has done."  Remember.. Give thanks... And the mama was happy.


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