All About The Roots

Don’t you just love flowers? Even as summer turns to fall I’m already looking forward to spring and all the beauty it brings! I love planting bulbs in the fall because it gives me hope that winter won’t last too long. Last fall I planted tulip bulbs in these pots with dreams of colorful blooms spilling over the sides.

Around April the leaves began to poke through and my excitement could barely be contained! I placed the pots of potential beauty on my front porch and checked them every day for progress.

Spring blooms on the way!

By the end of June I had lost hope.

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Still waiting for more than sprouts…

My grandmother with the green thumb sent me some iris bulbs. I planted them the same time I planted the tulips. As the weather grew warmer my hopes for beautiful irises also began to fade. These pictures were taken on the same day.

My neighbor's irises~ aren't they gorgeous?

My neighbor’s irises~ aren’t they gorgeous?

My irises.  Can't you see them? They're around the pole... yeah... not encouraging.

My irises.
Can’t you see them? They’re around the pole… yeah… not encouraging.

Since bulbs did not seem to be working, I decided to take some of my birthday money and buy some of my favorite flowering bushes to add to my yard. While visiting my family in North Carolina I found some very healthy plants at a local nursery. I brought home a crepe myrtle and a gardenia and planted them carefully, dousing them thoroughly with Miracle Grow… hoping for a miracle.

Neither Miracle Grow or prayer could make this plant survive.

Neither Miracle Grow or prayer could make this plant survive.

What is the matter with me? Why can’t I get anything to grow properly! Some friends suggested that my irises weren’t planted deep enough, and others thought I must have had bad dirt in my flower pots. That made sense, but what about my gardenia? What’s wrong with the dirt I planted it in? Their conclusion? The dirt is wrong because it’s in Illinois. Oh. Can’t do much about that. Guess I’ll have to find new favorites in my new zone.

But just to show you that I’m not a complete horticultural failure. Here’s the gorgeous willow tree I planted at the parsonage in Kentucky. It is 9 years old and already so tall it’s threatening the house! How is that even possible! Almost everything I planted in that yard died as well. But this tree not only survived- it THRIVED!

My willow tree in Kentucky! Isn't it gorgeous?!

My willow tree in Kentucky! Isn’t it gorgeous?!

I discovered the reason unexpectedly at a church business meeting a few years after I planted the tree. I hadn’t actually asked permission to plant the tree or asked for advice on its location. I simply found a spot that needed shade and started digging. The trustees were not thrilled with my choice of locations, though. Seems I had planted my willow tree right on top of the septic tank. No wonder it was growing so well! 🙂

My motto has always seemed to be “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” I’ve wanted my life to be filled with joy and peace and love no matter where God has called me to live. Sometimes I’ve been planted in bad dirt. Sometimes it’s been cold and lonely. Sometimes it’s been way outside of my comfort zone. But I’m learning that it’s all about the roots. What are my roots grabbing hold of? Where does my strength come from? Is my life rooted in my circumstances or in something more constant? We can’t always control where we’re planted or the storms that come our way. But when we sink our roots deep down into a relationship with God, we will do more than just survive our situation- we will THRIVE!

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7

Blooming where we're planted- central Illinois 2015

Blooming where we’re planted- central Illinois 2015

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