Friday, November 2, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Roots

My first 5-Minute-Friday. Read about it here or click on the badge on the sidebar. I'm hoping I can be intentional enough to do it every Friday.

This Friday's word is ROOTS

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photo from mike_tn at

I think of roots and I think of family trees and the roots that hold the tree together. I'm missing my main root, my mama who will have died 6 years ago this next Tuesday, November 6th, and I have written about her so much these past 6 years, about her death and her life and my mourning and my healing so much these past 6 years, that it is blooming into my first real poetry book in 2013, God willing.

So much written about my Mom and yet I can't reach her. I have lost my grasp. I try and I try but I cannot recall what her voice sounds like and it shatters my heart. It shatters my stepmama-heart because I need my mama so much this year as mother-daugher/mother-son issues have exploded into my life, as I have truly morphed into these kids' other mother. I wrote about this on my stepmother blog that often goes untouched these past years. I wrote about how I wasn't a mother and then I was and now what do I do when the roots these kids began with are not my own? I do not share them, yet I feel these kids are my own. God gave me these kids and these years are the labor pain years.

But it is in these years that my love has blossomed for them. Why does it seem to take strife and pain to grow our love? I feel like their mother though I would never declare myself such a name to them, particularly the oldest who wants to put my name and the word "mother" as far away from each other as possible.

My roots are not theirs. My mother was a gentle, kind woman. She taught me about gratitude and acted very Christ-like even if she never openly professed herself as a Christian. She gave me forgiveness and grace and love. And when she died my life up to that point died along with her. I don't know how I survived. I almost didn't. But look at me now - I am married with three stepchildren who I consider my children (Husband and mine) and yes, I even call them "my kids" when talking about them. So does this increase in love through pain and hardship, this forgiveness and grace, make my roots intertwine with theirs? Maybe I can use that word-picture. Their roots might not be from my tree, directly...but I am certainly influencing them. I am making an impact that they will carry with them forever. So maybe roots aren't strictly blood-related. Maybe roots are love-related. Family trees don't just grow by water; they grow by love. And though we all certainly have our stressful days (years!), I am certain I love them as if they came from my womb.

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Okay, so that was a tad more than 5 minutes. I remember doing timed writing exercises a la Natalie Goldberg, my great writing teacher and mentor from my high school/college days, and I'd always go over because I couldn't stop the thoughts from pouring out - nor did I want to.

May this 5-ish Minute Friday be the first of many.

Thank you for your eyes that read and thank you for your heart, that I pray is full.


  1. Perhaps you should see what God is really trying to reveal to you in these 'root times.' See, the roots you're trying to hold onto (how your mother was) wasn't actually HER roots but God's (the gentleness, kindness, etc. Gal. 5:20-26). In actuality, they were the fruits of His Spirit. So, it's not that you lost them but instead are trying to grow into them as He shows you how to. Yes, He uses people in your life to demonstrate but His Spirit leading you into all things is always best to use because the Spirit is in union with Jesus (John 16:13-15)...the ultimate Root (Isa. 11:1; Rev. 22:16). You have not forgotten your mother, you just are able to remember the fruits that she was able to pass onto to you that was good...the fruits of God's Spirit.

  2. Anonymous, I want to thank you for your wise words. They are a great comfort.

  3. I LOVED this post! Great food for thought. I know what your mom has blessed you with is continuing to grow as you parent your kids now. I agree with all the above person said! -SNJ


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