In 2009 a sweet friend, and incredible artist, created a beautiful painting on canvas for our family of two.
At the time, Justin and I desperately longed for children, and although it was not a promise in scripture, I believed in faith that one day God would bless us with children; little “oaks of righteousness, for the display of His splendor” (Isaiah 61:3b).

The painting was my idea- I needed a tangible reminder of this verse. Not only would I pray this verse over our future children, I lived understanding that if anything was to become beautiful of my life, that I MUST be planted, rooted, grounded in the Lord; in Christ alone, in His Word.

And now, all these years later, we have our three little oaks, and I’m just as desperate; even MORE desperate to be planted, rooted, grounded in His Word, as I know with every fiber of my being that being rooted in the Lord is the only way to stand upright in the storms of life.

My story is so wrapped up in this scripture, which has become our family verse. Each word holds weight and meaning for me. For us.

And today, as I consider this next turn in our “divine adventure”, I look back for the first part of Isaiah 61:3— “to grant to those who mourn in Zion, to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of GLADNESS {joy!} instead of mourning; the garmet of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified”

Rooted– it all starts there In the hidden work of the Lord that no one but me + Jesus can see. Any good fruit starts at the ROOT. The hidden places. That’s how we trade the ashes for beauty; as our mind is transformed in HIS WORD. Exchanging the eyes of this world to seeing with the eternal perspective of our Lord through the washing of His Word.

Rooted — it’s my one word for 2017.

Do you need to exchange your ashes for His beauty? Start here. His Word, His truth, His character. Get rooted in Him, and He will grow you up into a mighty oak, unshakeable; immovable, no matter what storms of life for ahead in your life

No one has a life of complete ease.  Trouble looks different in al of our lives, but the common thread is that this life is broken  Suffering intersects all of our lives.  What Hope that we can live for something higher than this broken world

Here we are Jan 3, it’s not too late. Consider picking a bible reading plan. Get into His Word DAILY.  Let me challenge you–You do have time for what is important in your life. Set your alarm 20 minutes early, cut out one TV show, read on your lunch hour or the carpool line. Just get in His Word. Daily. Not to check a box but to get a new heart, deeper roots, a transformed perspective…. and therefore you WILL receive hope, peace, joy.

The FRUIT starts in the ROOT.

I am reading through a two year bible plan through The Gospel Coalition with some close to me. This is a wonderful plan which offers manageable readings each day.

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/tgc/files/2010/12/TGC-Two-Year-Bible-Reading-Plan1.pdf