God's Faithfulness

The Twisted Roots In Our Lives

Over a decade ago, I became intrigued with twisted tree roots. My brother recommended a trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because, along the way, one could stand behind a 25-foot waterfall. However, I would return for the twisted roots that dominated our path.

Grotto Falls 2012

Trillium Gap Trail

Last year, in the Rocky Mountains, I had more opportunities to admire the complexity of twisted tree roots.

Beside an alpine lake.

I saw those roots as evidence of a tree’s struggle to survive by forging a path to water and nutrients—a challenge usually hidden from view. Only a tall, majestic tree was seen until erosion occurred.

I wondered how many majestic people in my life had twisted roots hidden from view.

A little research taught me that root systems are complicated and shaped by a variety of sources. Still, when I see tangled roots originating from towering trees, I think of the strong, faithful people who bring joy to my life and wonder again about their perseverance and what is below their surface.

God's Faithfulness, Relationships

The Finish Line

July 4th used to be the day all my aunts and uncles called and sang Happy Birthday to me. Uncle Gene always told the same joke. He had called the White House and ordered fireworks for me.

Only one aunt remains to sing Happy Birthday, but the others left me with memories. Uncle Floyd also left me the contents of his house in Oklahoma. Except for a chandelier that I shipped, the items I kept needed to fit in checked airline bags or squeezed into spare space in my brother’s car.

Why did I choose the item below?

Precious Moments: The Finish Line

This figurine symbolized both God’s and Uncle Floyd’s faithfulness to the end of Uncle Floyd’s earthly Finish Line. It also reminded me that I was at the Finish Line with Uncle Floyd. Others had dropped out of his life—some due to pettiness, grudges, or greediness. Others were spectators and not participants.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Galations 6:7 (ESV)

When Uncle Floyd wrote his will, he would not be mocked either.

May we all finish well.

God's Faithfulness

Turbulence Ahead

I fear flying. While returning from my grandfather’s funeral, I consoled myself with the fact that I’d only have to make one more flight—to my grandmother’s funeral. Seventeen years later, I’ve made at least twenty round trips, each dreaded.

Two weeks ago, as I awaited takeoff, the pilot announced, “Turbulence ahead. Most likely the whole way.” As the plane jolted its way through the air, I was undisturbed. Why? Both air traffic control and the pilots knew what to expect. If they were undeterred, why should I worry?

A previous pilot warned, “We’re about to land, and we’ll bump ourselves all the way to the ground.” Again, the warning kept me from being alarmed.

Why couldn’t I always be warned about severe turbulence, not only in the air but in my life? If only God would announce, “Turbulence ahead.”

And then I remembered Jesus’s words.

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (ESV)

Even more than air traffic control and pilots who made take-off and landing decisions, Jesus knew whatever lay ahead was under his control. Why should I worry?

Turbulence ahead.

God's Faithfulness, Parenting

New Information, Please

You never know the kernels of wisdom you will learn when you attend a Bible study, I don’t remember the official topic, but I do remember the parenting advice I wish I had received years earlier.

Only bring new information in your pleas. Don’t tell me the same old stuff.

Children want parental decisions reversed, and wearing down the court is a familiar tactic. Karen gave the child a chance—with parameters for the battle. The child could only come back if he had information Karen didn’t know when she made her decision.

Even better, Karen made a spiritual application. “Doesn’t God think the same. Don’t keep confessing the same old sins. He has dealt with them. Bring him new information about your sins.”

God buries our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign that reads, “No fishing.”

Corrie Ten Boom

Thank you, Karen.

God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share

Stories I Share: My Neighbor

With each move, my husband and I pray specifically about many aspects. Not only have our prayers been answered, but we have also received more than we asked.

Thirty-two years ago this week, my husband and I signed the contract for our current house. While it was being built, one night I prayed, “If someone is supposed to be my neighbor and is about to buy another house, please stop them.” I don’t know why that came to mind.

Our next-door neighbors moved in seven weeks after we did. Weeks later, Terri asked if I would run a mile with her in the evenings. She was preparing for her Marine physical fitness test. I agreed. It gave us both exercise and good conversations.

During one run, we discussed choosing our neighborhood. She said, “We were ready to sign a contract on a house in another subdivision. We decided to sign it at home and told the builder we would be back. On the way home, we saw this new development. After we stopped and toured the model houses, we tore up the first contract.”

Thrilled, I told her she was the answer to my prayer.