Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guarding Your Heart (and your white jeans)

It has been a long day. The children had a field trip today which I chaperoned for 4 hours. Four hours plus 68 preschool children in a very crowded venue left this Mommy with high blood pressure, a renewed appreciation for teachers of young children and a serious need for a nap. I settled for a cold Diet Coke.

After the Field Trip the children had golf lessons, haircuts for the boys and an hour of outdoor play (during which I made dinner, took out the garbage, disposed of three dead creatures our cat murdered, played with the children a bit and cleaned out my entire garage). It is too bad I did not stop to think about the inappropriateness of wearing white jeans for these endeavors until I took them off tonight and surveyed the damage.

Moms get so much grief for being frumpy, but seriously, anything remotely cute I attempt to wear either inhibits my interaction with the children or gets ruined. What type of outfit is multi-purpose enough for the many facets of mothering? Changing is not really a option, as I do the laundry and will stop at nothing to keep that to a minimum.

God did find a way to reveal himself to me amidst the madness. Again it was through these old oak trees that we are still having cleaned up.

The largest tree on our property was right off my back patio. It was an old oak which must have been 150 years old, judging by its size and its rings. When the tree man came to remove the ones in the front he could see this one towering over my home and suggested he take a look at it.

His assessment was that it needed to come down. It looked fine to me, but for one lead that did not have any leaves. Because it was only a dozen feet from my house it was going to be a very expensive job. A couple of folks suggested we wait and see. I was afraid I would fear wind and storms if we left it. We decided to trust the expert and have this oak that seemed 'mostly healthy' removed.

As I looked over the pieces left behind from its destruction yesterday, I noticed something astounding. That towering, established, 'seemingly healthy' tree was completely rotten inside. Most remarkable was the pattern of the rot. The first place it was visible was here:
On the opposite side of that piece of the trunk it looked like this:

And, unbelievably, look what the next segment looked like. This has not been altered in any way. It was shaped like a heart.

I was blown away by this moving metaphor straight from nature that God Almighty created. A rotten heart destroyed this tree...and by the time it was visible on the outside, major damage had been done.

"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)


Fruitful Harvest said...

Cool looking tree trunks! I love that kind of thing!

I can over from The Grasshooper blog (Trudy's).

I too had a pulmonary embolism (10 days post partum.) I also hemmoraged a few hours after my planed homebirth. May 2005
with baby #5 . I now have 6 kiddos
4 boys ages 14,12,9 and 6 the girls are 3 and 19mo.


A. Joy said...

Hi! I saw your post title via a couple of other blogs I read and really enjoyed your post here as the 'gaurding your heart' verse is a very important one for me. My husband and I are raising our 4 children to grow and serve the Lord and I enjoyed reading your journey with triplets! God has truly blessed you!

Joni said...


What a great reminder that those around us who look great on the outside, who look so put together, could fall down at any moment.

It's our love for others that can help prevent this tumble.

Bailey's Leaf said...

I'm an artist and before being a mommy, I just learned that if I wore something that could get dirty, it wouldn't. If I wore something nice, it would get funky. Murphy's law, yes?

Such a gorgeous tree, but what a wonderful hidden meaning within its trunk. I'm always so impressed how even the simplest thing that happens you can use as a learning tool. I wish that I was so gifted!

Thanks for sharing!

Angela said...

I love your message thru the tree. I also thought while reading your post today that God was also protecting you and your home! We can't always see why things should change or it's hard to make a decision, but at the bottom of it all, God is there and is protecting us! God bless!

Mary Lou said...

Your post was just beautiful. What you saw and taught from the tree is much to ponder on. Thank you..

Lolo said...

I love that verse and try to live by it but so often I make choices during the day that allows junk into my heart. I will be pondering this for a while.