Looking through possessions, pictures, and letters at my aunt’s house stirred so many memories and turned my thoughts to my ancestors and various types of life roots. Maybe signs of an early spring played into my pondering of roots. Or perhaps walking the yard with a landscaper and seeing trees that have anchored themselves deeply on the sloping lot shifted my thoughts to roots. Whatever the impetus, roots that anchor our lives are the focus of this week’s post.
Many search diligently for their hereditary roots in an attempt to anchor themselves. Others spend their lives distancing themselves from the mistakes, abuse, and negativity of past generations. But for those of us who know our ancestral tree, and that tree possesses strong, good roots, we are blessed and grateful.
Many search diligently for their hereditary roots in an attempt to anchor themselves.
Growing up, I’m not sure I fully realized the gift of good generational roots, maternal and paternal ancestors who worked hard, loved each other deeply, and honored God with time, talents, service, and giving.
As an only child, I saw the way my parents loved each other, their parents and siblings, and I felt that love as well. I saw their generosity and acts of service. Those hereditary roots trained, influenced, and shaped my life.
Perhaps you see hereditary roots in physical likeness to those of past generations. Or maybe hereditary roots are anchored in actions, good or bad.
If you weren’t blessed with good hereditary roots, commit to changing the course and replant your roots firmly in good soil. It may take hard work to change ingrained patterns, but it’s worth the effort to re-root and grow stronger in the process.
I am grateful for deep locational roots. I live in the same state and town where I was born. In our transitory society, that is often not the case. But like a plant that has been uprooted and moved, you, too, can thrive in a new location.
Let your roots grow deeply into your new place through engagement. Find a church that feeds you spiritually and provides a strong sense of community. Volunteer and enhance your connectivity to others. Instead of looking back, foster forward motion by loving, and serving, where you live.
As a grandparent, I’m more aware than ever the importance of setting an example that helps my grandchildren grow strong roots. Everything I say and do is observed, heard, and remembered.
One day when my granddaughter was in the car with me, I blew through a yellow light. From the back seat I heard, “Glam, green means go, yellow means slow down, and red means stop. You did NOT slow down for the yellow light! You did not obey the rules.”
Now, this girl is very into knowing the rules and following them, so she immediately called me out on breaking the yellow light rule! The positive rules she learns now will help her in the future.
What we learn as children sticks with us, even if we later choose to ignore. I still remember what I learned from parents, grandparents, other family members and teachers. Many of those lessons were spiritual.
I learned the principle of tithing from my aunt Chinkie. She took a large wad of cash from her wallet on pay day and separated what looked like a lot of money to my childish eyes. Then she said, “Let me take out this money that doesn’t belong to me.” I was confused. Why didn’t that money belong to her? Then she placed that money in a church giving envelope and explained tithing to me.
What kind of exemplary roots are you planting? Is your example a positive one?
Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in our church listening to organ music and gazing at stained glass windows. I also hold fast to the memory of my father sitting at the kitchen table in the early morning, head bowed over his open Bible in prayer and memories of kneeling to pray during family devotions.
I am thankful for my deep spiritual roots, because without them I would be anchorless, sliding down the muddy banks of life when torrential problems and unexpected storms overwhelm.
Spiritual roots are important, although many in today’s world do not view them as necessary. But when trials come, deep spiritual roots keep you firmly grounded, even when all around feels like it’s been uprooted.
“Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful” (Colossians 2:7 CEV).
Deep spiritual roots keep you firmly grounded, even when all around feels like it’s been uprooted.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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