Pruning Petunias

The petunias in the hanging chicken feeder containers needed pruning last night. So the clippers came out and I clipped. My hubby questioned me, “Why are you cutting the flowers??”

connecting experiences

Funny how different experiences can connect themselves. This morning while I journaled through a reading from the devotional “Streams in the Desert” along with this passage from Job, I thought about the petunias that had become lanky and sparse looking.

You’ll arrive at your grave ripe with many good years, like sheaves of golden grain at harvest.

Job 5:26 The Bible

of value and worth

The author, L.B. Cowman, wrote about how wood from ships ages and becomes very valuable. The wood is reclaimed and used for various building projects like furniture. The furniture is of great value because the wood itself is so valuable.

How and why is this wood so valuable? She explained that it is valuable not just because of it’s age, but also, and maybe more importantly, what came along with that aging process.

“The straining and the twisting of the ship by the sea, the chemical reaction produced by the bilgewater, and the differing cargoes also had an effect.”

Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowman

the so-called negatives

Bilgewater is dirty water that collects in the lowest area of a ship. I am sure it didn’t smell all that well. But it is one of the factors that help to age the wood to the point that years later it is considered valuable and of great worth.

The other two factors that help in the value of the ship’s wood is the twisting and straining that comes from years of torrential storms on the rough seas along with the heavy loads of various cargo that is carried across the waters.


Interesting. The very things that we think would ruin the value and worth of the wood are instead the very things that impart value and worth to it.

Much like our own lives. But only if we allow that to happen. We have two choices: resist, squirm and run from the so-called negative experiences in our lives or learn and glean from them.

Hopefully and prayerfully, I choose the latter.

As for pruning the petunias? The blossoms must be cut off so that the plant can become more fruitful. If I leave the blossoms on the plant, soon it will stop producing blooms at all.


To grow to our fullest we must learn to embrace the storms, the heavy loads and the pruning. Then we can echo the words of Victor Hugo:

I am like a forest that has been cut down more than once, yet the new growth has more life than ever.

Victor Hugo

Blessings to you. I am going to prune some more petunias.

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  1. What a beautiful post, Cindy…not just your gorgeous photos and vintage style, but also your words. I enjoyed reading it. I hope we all see the value of weathering the storm. Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Crissy! Learning from the hard things in life is so difficult. But I truly believe that these are the experiences that deepen our faith and character. Blessings to you?

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Michelle! Faith and a positive outlook are so important as we face the hard things in life?

  2. Hi Cindy!
    I love this post – such a great analogy! We indeed have to “prune” the negative experiences from our lives so that we can move forward and flourish. Thanks for the reminder. And thanks for sharing at Homestyle Gathering!
    >>> Kim

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Kim! And thanks for hosting HG!!

  3. Julie Briones says:

    Love this, Cindy. Streams In the Desert was a study I went through with my mentor when I was 16 years old. I still remember many of the biblical analogies I learned from it. Great booklet, and great to read your post!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Julie! I have been through this devotional a couple of times and each time the Lord reveals even more wisdom to my life. I’m so grateful for it?

  4. Ema-Leigh Rust says:

    This is such a great post and such a great analogy. I’m going to prune some petunias tomorrow. <3

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yay for pruning for new growth!!?