In March 2010, Dan and I bought our first house in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We were so excited to own a home we could put our mark on. We had big dreams of what that house would be and quickly started dreaming of LOTS of projects.
When we bought the house, the yard was covered with snow, so we had no idea what plants would grow in the Spring. It was a wonderful surprise to see what plants popped up. The landscape wasn’t terrible, but there were things I was dying to change. So in the Spring of 2011, we pulled out all that we didn’t love, and planted beautiful new plants.
The walk-way from our driveway to our front door was a L-shape with flower beds lining the entire L. In the corner of the L, we planted a beautiful flowering bush. It had the brightest pink flowers that I loved. I don’t really remember planting anything before those flowers, and I was so proud. The corner bush bloomed all Spring, and each time I saw it, I just smiled.
Fall and winter came. Winter in South Dakota is hard. There are months of freezing cold temperatures. We would spend several weeks in the single digits, and often would have weeks were the temperature didn’t get above 0.
When Spring came, the flowering bush we had so loving planted in the corner of the L-shape didn’t grow back. I was heartbroken, but determined to find a bush that would work. So, in the Spring of 2012, we found a bush we loved and planted it. Again, I was so proud. I was sure this one was going to stay forever. However, the winter came again, and the plant really never recovered.
Dan and I chose the word “rooted” as our word of the year for 2018. (You can read more about our word of the year here.) For the last several days I have been thinking about the word, and the silly plant in our L-shape entry way in Sioux Falls won’t leave my head. The fact is, neither plant lasted winter, because neither plant grew strong roots. As I was thinking about those plants, the Lord lead me to Jeremiah 17:7-8:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
There have been several times in my life in the last few years that I have felt like we have walked through the winter. Losing two babies and waiting nearly 7 years for a baby has for sure felt like a long winter. However, the bible promises trusting in the Lord creates strong roots that help withstand the greatest winters. Those hard “winters” won’t kill us, if we are rooted in the Lord.
Not only will the “winters” not kill us, did you catch what that scripture said? “Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” If we are rooted in the Lord we will never stop producing fruit. We cannot have abundance without being first being rooted.
So today I challenge you to grow some roots. Make time to dig into the word of God. Read a new translation of the bible (I highly recommend the Passion translation). Turn off the TV, put your phone down and pick up a book (I have several recommendations listed here.) Set aside some extra time to seek the Lord. Plant yourself in the Lord, so when winter comes you can stand firm and can continue to thrive.