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)