I’ve decided to change professions. Again. Starting this fall, I’m going to be an orchard grower.

Actually, I’m going to be the CEO of an orchard. Superman will do all the actual work. My job is to tell him where to plant the trees. And to pick the fruit when the time comes. I find I’m much better suited to a CEO job description than an actual laborer job description.

We’ll have apple trees, peach trees, and a pair of pear tree. I’m hoping Superman—AKA my true love—will give me a partridge to hang out down there, though I don’t know what I’ll do if the silly bird prefers peaches to pears.

I’m really pumped about all the pies and preserves and fruity salads I’ll make. Or, I may not actually make them, but I can daydream about making them, wearing a frilly apron and impressing guests with my Martha-Stewart-esque abilities. Maybe I’ll even get my own cooking/talk show where I can humble-brag about my organic, homegrown goodies and the benefits of hard work and clean living. In reality, I’ll probably struggle to get the fruit off the trees before the birds eat them or they rot, but nobody has to know all that.

The conditions have to be right in order for those trees to produce fruit. They require plenty of water and sunlight. The soil needs the correct PH level. And even then, there’s a bit of the divine in an actual fruit-bearing tree. The fruit itself doesn’t come from the tree’s willpower, or even from the determination of the farmer. It comes from correct combination of excellent nutrition, proper care, and God’s blessings.

That’s interesting when you think about how much God likes fruit. He even compares His favorite character traits to fruit! The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Talk about a yummy fruit salad!

Yet, like those trees, I can’t produce any fruit by my own willpower. As hard as I try, I’ll always fail. I’m hopeless without the correct conditions in my life. Like those trees need good soil, water and sunlight, I need to plant myself in God’s Word. I need to saturate my life with prayer. And I need to soak in His presence. When I do those things, He is faithful to produce the delicious fruits I mentioned above. And the cool thing is, when He develops those sweet character traits in our lives, everyone around us gets to feast on the bounty! Not sure if that makes me a salad or a fruitcake . . .

I can’t wait to bake—and eat—fresh apple pies and peach cobblers from my own orchard. Except, I keep reminding myself that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. And I’m gonna need a lot of it.

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.