For the month of January, I am following a writing challenge with prompts from Beth Morey at She of the Wild. I’ve written mostly poetry and posted on Instagram. Today the prompt is the following phrase: about a treeAs I thought about it, I began to think of the trees I remembered from my childhood and into the present. 

 

trees

 

Trees have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Click To Tweet

 

There was a large pine tree at the back corner of our yard when I was a kid living in Florida. I can still see it in my mind. We had a swing set near it and a basketball net on it. My brothers and I and our friends spent lots of time playing there.

 

There were woods behind the house until someone cleared it out. The land was later used to grow sugar cane. I thought the palm tree in our front yard was pretty neat, but my dad finally got rid of it. (It may have died.) In the back yard near the house there was an oak tree, but I don’t really remember its leaves changing color or falling, though I know they must have. It wasn’t until I left Florida that I got a real taste of the changing seasons.

 

 

Moving to the North

 

I loved our little house and land in New Hampshire. One reason may be that it was the first house my husband and I owned. We had lots of trees on that small ¾ acre property. I counted over 70 white birch alone, not to mention all the other trees growing there. I remember being surprised by the burst of color during that first Autumn. As the leaves fell, there was a carpet of red, yellow, orange and brown on the ground. We lived there for three years.

 

Afterward we spent time in Florida again, then South Dakota, several places in New Jersey, and finally ended up here in South Carolina. South Dakota did not have many trees, and it seemed like the wind was always blowing. The sun would still be shining brightly in our picture window till after 9:00 at night. I missed the trees.

 

 

 

Back to the South

 

We’re back in the south, but at least we are far enough north to experience the seasons as the leaves change color, fall and grow anew in the spring. Here we live on the border of a woodland and there are so many trees. Even our house is made of logs. I love it! I often take walks and photograph the trees at different times of day. It’s fun looking for interesting marks or growth patterns on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter which direction I look from my house I see an abundance of trees. They are majestic reminders of the God who created them and so much more. Standing below them I feel small, yet I know that the very hairs of my head are numbered by God. 

 

The oak is in the center of the picture.

 

Near the house we have a large oak tree. I can see it right outside my bedroom window. It always stands up straight and tall whether dressed in leaves or with bare skeleton limbs. Its roots grow deep, and every year the leaves come back providing much needed shade for our house.

 

Somehow, in the midst of all the vastness of creation, God notices me. Click To Tweet

 

He loves me, has chosen me to belong to Him and is always with me. When I focus on who I am in Christ, I don’t have to worry about what other people think. I am free to explore, learn and follow my dreams. When I fail I don’t need to worry, because God will always be there to put me back on the right path.

 

Like a Tree

 

Spending time in His word and prayer I gain wisdom and strength. Like a tree my roots go down deep. If I am firmly planted and nourished in the soil of truth, I will grow into the person I am meant to be. Using my talents and strengths I can encourage others and point to the One who is above all, the One who is full of compassion and offers grace to all.

 

I will stand tall and strong confident in God's love and care. Click To Tweet

 

May God bless each one of us granting strength, wisdom and grace. May we stand tall like trees always growing and sharing our lives with others. Psalm 1 is a great illustration of how we can be like trees near the water. Our roots will grow deep and we will blossom and flower, producing fruit at just the right time. I love the way it reads in the following translation.

(Psalm 1 The Voice)

God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
When you avoid sin’s highway,
when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse.
For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness.
It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.
You are like a tree,
planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time;
your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.

For those who focus on sin, the story is different.
They are like the fallen husk of wheat, tossed by an open wind,left deserted and alone.
In the end, the wicked will fall in judgment;
the guilty will be separated from the innocent.
Their road suddenly will end in death,
yet the journey of the righteous has been charted by the Eternal.

 

The Tree Song

Some  years ago Ken Medema wrote a song called The Tree Song based on Psalm 1. I hope you enjoy this recording of it sung by Evie Karlsson

 

I’m linking up with: #TuneInThursday, #TrekkingThru, #InspireMeMonday

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts about Trees and Our Lives

  1. Dear Gayl,
    Oh thank you for your beautiful poem and thoughts about a tree! You brought tears to my eyes tonight–as I was reading, I kept thinking of that Evie song, and was going to comment about it–and there it was, feeling like it was meant just for me! I needed this so much tonight, my friend. Not feeling so well after all the Holiday activities, but yet the Lord is still making me into what He meant me to be, His own strong tree. Love and Hugs to you my poet/sister/friend! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie,
      I’m so glad this spoke to you tonight. It has been so long since I wrote a blog post and when I started writing about the trees words just kept coming. Sometimes I don’t know when I’m going to write a post and then it happens. God’s timing is always best. I was trying to find the Ken Medema arrangement that we had but came across the Evie one and remembered it from long ago. So many blessings to you, dear Bettie. Yes, even when we aren’t feeling well, He is still making us into what we are meant to be. Love and hugs right back to you my poet/sister/friend! xoxo

  2. Reflecting on this reminds me of when we moved to LA and how we only had each other and with time we have built a community with friends. Wow, how our roots have grown the last 4 years. I’m sad to leave and say goodbye, but excited about the next adventure God has planned for us. Standing tall and growing. A great theme.

    1. One thing I found when we moved around so much is that we made friends in so many places and God taught us so much. It’s hard to say goodbye, but thinking of the next move as an adventure makes it somewhat easier. We just keep moving forward as God leads and look for the beauty and joy of each place.

      Blessings to you, Amanda! Thanks for visiting!

  3. Oh yes… I LOVE Trees! We live technically in a desert –but we are surrounded with trees… fruit trees (of course!) and douglas firs and due to my love of Fall, I am oh so thankful to have so many varieties around us that show off all that glory! I love Palm trees, too! I’ve only seen those when we headed down the coast to California or went to Vegas or the East Coast! And you wrapped it up with Ps 1… which I was just spending time in this morning! I love The Voice translation!

    1. Thanks so much for your comments, Karrilee! I love Fall, too, and so am delighted we have so many trees. I’d love to have more fruit trees around. 🙂 This is the first time I read The Voice translation of Psalm 1, and I loved it!

      Blessings to you! xo

  4. What beautiful and unique tree shots you’ve captured! I love the thought of being ‘like a tree planted by the water’ and getting my nourishment from God.

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