Survival and Parenting

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They may be hard to see, but there are nine tiny little trees planted in this picture.  We had two trees die in our front yard and am hoping their replacement will thrive.   My father had been a member of the Arbor Club.   He passed in March of last year and the next month 10, actually 11 tiny sticks came in the mail for him from the Arbor Club.  They had sent him free tree starts.  My mom knowing I was wanting to plant some new trees gave them to me.   I planted them in a safer place by our tiny garden as directed.  Seven of those actually survived and I decided to go ahead and put them in a permanent home before they grew too big for me to handle this year.  There are two other trees that seeded in a flower garden that I transferred last fall.   I had counted those trees as dead because the tops of the trees completely died.  Low and behold this spring green springs of life came from lower on the trunks of those trees and they appear to be thriving.

The odds are against these little trees.  My husband and I are not even close to being arborists or arboriculturist.  I know I have made a thousand mistakes in caring for this gift of life already.  My prayer is that they will grow into beauties despite my mistakes and lack of expertise.

This has reminded me of parenthood.  God has entrusted Mike and I with two young lives.   We are not perfect parents.  We have already made thousands of mistakes.  My prayer is that their lives grow into beauties despite the mistakes and lack of expertise.   The trees and our children were created by God.  They are his to begin with.  We are just the stewards.

Like the trees I planted last fall sometimes children can be slow to blossom, make mistakes, seem like they are giving up.  Our job is to be patient, love, encourage, train, provide, and just wait to see what God will turn their life into.  They may have weak branches, but wait to see what the roots they have been given do.

I am so grateful that my creator God is patient, loving, encouraging, trains, and provides for me despite my mistakes.

Beauty from Life’s Deepest Wounds

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When cleaning up the yard this spring I actually contemplated retiring this old planter. If I move it the bottom is going to literally fall out. Actually finding beauty in the rusty decay of this small metal wash basin, I decided to try to make it last at least one more year. As the weather grew warmer a green sprout started to grow from one of the large rusted cracks. It didn’t really resemble a weed so I made the resolution to wait and see what the green sprout grew into. Much to my delight it is one of the annuals I had planted last year. How exciting it has been to watch the bright yellow puffy blooms from last year appear completely unplanned by me. There was enough of a remnant of a root or possibly a seed that survived a harsh winter in this old decaying pot. As I have watched this plant bloom from the brokenness of my old planter it has made me think a lot about our broken messed up lives. No one can escape life’s trials as we all have them. Sometimes it is the consequences of our own choices causing our wounds. Sometimes it is the choices of others that wound us. Then add life’s normal progression of losing loved ones. Learning that this world we live in is not fair is an addition to our brokenness. The amazing thing is that before God even created the world He had each and every one of us planned. Within each of us He planted a seed of His glory. When that seed becomes rooted in Jesus, God’s only Son, there is a beauty that blossoms out of our brokenness. As we turn our broken lives completely over to Jesus’ love and forgiveness. When we turn from our sin and set our eyes on Him. The seed of God’s glory that He planned so long ago becomes rooted in Jesus. That seed then begins to grow and to blossom. As we allow His purpose and plan for our lives to play out there is a beautiful peace that is beyond description. God can turn any ugliness of our lives into beauty. No one is too broken or messed up that God cannot bring life and hope from the deepest of wounds. Eventually this pot will have its final day and will no longer be able to stand. As our bodies will one day take the final breath. It is at that time that if our seed is not rooted in Christ that it dies, forever separated from God. Until our final breath we have the opportunity to accept Jesus and become firmly rooted in Him.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Isaiah 61:3 “and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Colossians 2:7 “rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Jeremiah 17:8 “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”