Reach for the Sky and a Good Friend

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My fascination with trees is ongoing. When I pondered my first post title idea, “On Being a Tree” I found that I had a short memory

So one good tree story deserves another I suppose.

Last week I heard a fact about redwood trees that stuck with me. As old (think several centuries to a decade or more) majestic and grand as those towering trees are (some are like giant natural skyscrapers) their roots are surprisingly shallow.

In reality, redwoods are strong not because their lone tap root goes miles deep but because their entire root system spreads wide and interconnects with the roots of other trees enabling them to support each other and grow exponentially. Kind of reminds me of the way our walk with other believers helps grow us up in the body of Christ.

For years I tried to do this life on my own until I realized how much more deeply I needed Jesus. So I doubled down in my pursuit of more of Him. And strangely more of him led me to share things with all of you. Which is sometimes easier online because I have spell check and edit and undo…unlike real life when my words can sometimes be less than regal. It took a step out in faith to become a prayer partner with just one friend and suddenly I realized the blessings waiting from casting a wider net.

Contrary to popular belief (and my own selfish pride occasionally) we need other people. Sure sometimes other humans are well, human, and as a result full of quirks and kinks but when nature proves that being connected brings benefits, and Jesus invites us to get along, forgive and foster love in spite of all that how can we argue?

Those colossal timbers don’t envy or put others to shame. Their focus is reaching for the sun, holding each other up and using their canopies to capture the fog and make water. They are not easily moved by small annoyances. Their bark is thick and they are actually nourished by the fires that sometimes roll through the forest floor because they thrive on the richness the ashes leave in the soil.

I can’t think of a better piece of creation I’d love to be more like.

God’s greatest glory and inspiration is displayed in the beauty of His handiwork everyday and reinforced through His word.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how WIDE and LONG and HIGH and DEEP is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:14-19

In what other systems can we reach magnificent heights without the love and support of our Father, faith and friends?

But how to start stretching out our roots? Start with hello or my favorite go-to, a compliment (just be sure you really mean it- because there’s nothing to gain with a lie) It’s awesome how just a simple gesture can lead to conversation, invitation and ultimately salvation. And at the very least you’ll find saving grace in knowing you’re not alone. Every woman has something in common whether it’s balancing work, home, faith, family and dreams for the future…. or just surviving the demolition derby that’s called dinner.

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{image via The Graphics Fairy}

And if you struggle with making friends in the season where life has you at the moment, start praying for those friendly opportunities to be revealed and don’t be afraid to think outside the box or the decade.

Wise supportive friends usually don’t come with an age limit.

Finding those friends is like finding our own little love letters from God here on earth- they’re the shot of encouragement at just the right time, the dose of comfort and hilarity on a dark day and the battle ready partner helping you hold fast to the shield of faith. And who couldn’t use a few more confirming witnesses in their life especially when they’re outfitted in cute shoes?

Tell me about your friends? What has you rooted together?

Though I may never gaze upon a redwood in real life, the next time I see a tree I’ll be reminded to thank God for all of you, my friends.

11 thoughts on “Reach for the Sky and a Good Friend

  1. Heather,
    First, I love the vintage photo of the girlfriends! What a wise and wonderful post! Stretching our roots, casting our nets wider — that is just what I needed to hear today. Sometimes I like to think I don’t need many friends and investing in friendship is well, messy and inconvenient. I know I need growth in this area — and I’m thankful for YOU! You are truly a treasured friend and I learn so much from your sweet insight! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks! The photo was purely a mercenary effort– I couldn’t find any vintage redwood photos so I opted for girlfriends at the last minute! We are truly better together. Thanks for your encouragement– I wish I was as wise in other areas! LOL. ♥ Thankful for you too Valerie!!

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  2. Well, friend, I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone fascinated with trees! But your story about the redwoods and the interlocking roots is something that will stick with me. How we need each other, how we are called to support and encourage each other so we can grow strong and vibrant and well-equipped for our calling.

    What a wonderful lesson this morning. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Miss Linda… I know I couldn’t get it out of my head when I heard it — it just took on such meaning for how the bible calls us to live. “Strong, vibrant and well-equipped for our calling” <– I LOVE that! ♥

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  3. your writing is a breath of fresh air (no lie – white, or otherwise)
    i just reviewed talk III of IV for a retreat I’m speaking at next week in Santa Cruz (want to come? you would have to fly…) at a Hilton, no less. that should help your decision – ha! – anyway talk III is all about our tools for spiritual fitness which includes those broad roots you’re writing about so beautifully. I may have to quote you – community and ironing together as in as iron sharpens (and encourages) iron.
    pray for me – march 4-6 – thanks, friend.
    PS does you church do women’s retreats? i fly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Sue you’re too kind : ) It sounds lovely and I cherish the invite ♥ Love to be some iron for you… though I’m not nearly as strong as you may think. Thanks for the sweet encouragement every time you stop by! We have never done any women’s retreats- but sounds like something to pray over : ) And I guess living in the west you have first hand knowledge of those lovely trees. Maybe I will gaze on them one day ♥

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  4. What a great post – love how you uncomplicate things that us girls too often make complicated. Small friendly steps towards befriending and making friends and with the basis that yes we do all have something in common. Such good stuff. Truth be told I’m still chewing over your last post which just so happened to ask every question that had been simmering away below the surface for me when it comes to the “whys” and “what am I looking for” with blogging. I can’t help but write – but the rest of it – searching for significance, to be liked? Oh you’ve had me doing some soul searching. Love a post that gets me going to God. Thank you for your good words Heather.

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    1. Oh Tracey how I cherish your sweet comments– always full of encouragement ♥ Happy to be able to point us both to God and simplify (though I struggle myself with over complicating things often!) — and I’m still in soul searching mode too with my reasons for blogging… maybe it is simply to connect on a deeper level with lovely people like you! Wishing you a wonderful Leap Day! Thank you for stopping in ♥

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