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I Am a Tree

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When my husband and I were still newlyweds and, as you’ll soon learn, a bit naive, we bought a little “fixer-upper” with great potential in an old city neighborhood. We imagined our future: the white picket fence, flower beds, a dog and cat, and a huge oak tree with a tire swing for the kids.

Because trees take time, we planted our dream oak right away using nothing more than the map of our eager imagination. 

Time went on. We grew up. We improved our “fixer-upper” with new doors, windows, and flooring. We planted more trees, flower beds, and vegetable gardens. We started our family.

But our growing oak didn’t turn out to be what I’d hoped. It looks shabby. Its branches are top heavy, its leaves droop, and its color is dull. When storms blow, I wonder if it will fall. 

Sadly, we discovered some of our early and naive mistakes. In our youthful eagerness, our dream tree had been poorly placed, poorly planted, and poorly rooted. It now has to come down. How I wish I could rewind time and tell myself there are no short cuts to growing a healthy tree. 

I may not be as young or naive as I used to be, but I still tend to make hasty plans based on nothing more than naive dreams. I plow forward without considering those I may damage along the way.

Young Mistakes

Tearing down our tree is a lot like dealing with young mistakes I’ve made in my relationships. How I wish I could rewind time and tell myself there are also no short cuts to healthy relationships. 

Just like a tree, my life’s foundation and roots are vital to the health of my trunk, branches, and limbs. Where I am rooted influences my thoughts, my attitude and my character. By laying my foundation in the grounding force of God’s love, I hope to become more like the tree mentioned in Psalm 1:2, 3.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruits in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.


If I was a tree, I’d want to be that one. 

Thanks to the grace of Christ, no matter how old I am, I still have time. I have the choice to be born again, daily; to leave my mistakes at the foot of the cross and start fresh this moment.

I long to be a shady place in summer where friends and family come to rest. I want to be strong enough for children to climb or swing from my branches. I want my roots to be so deep that the blowing storms of loneliness, fear, and inferiority cannot crack branches from my trunk. I want my roots founded in God’s soil, in Jesus’ grace, and nourished with the quenching cool waters of the Holy Spirit. 

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By Liesl Vistaunet. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®.

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