Only the Godly Have Deep Roots

Every summer when my oldest granddaughter comes to visit, she loves to pick black raspberries with me. Usually we have enough to keep our tummies full while picking, pile them high on our morning cereal throughout the month of June and still are able to freeze about 30 pints to enjoy throughout the winter. We’ve done this since she was born–about a decade ago. Two summer ago I noticed that about a third of my plants were dead so I pulled them all out, bagged them and hauled them away. Last summer half my plants were dead and we only got enough berries for the month of June and a dozen pints to freeze. I discovered that we had an orange rust that hides in the roots during the winter to ruin the spring crop. Fruit experts in the area that I have spoken to tell me there is nothing I can do, but plant new plants in a completely different area of the yard. There is nothing that will kill the fungus that they know of.

Saturday my son came to visit me with two raspberry plants in his hands. He told me that they are the first of my new patch. I smiled. He doesn’t want his daughter to lose the memory of picking raspberries at his grandmother’s house. I smiled back. In the background my husband was already planning where and how to begin a new patch. While I was at work the next day, my husband got his gardening tools out of the little shed we keep them in and he dug a hole for the two raspberry bushes. My mouth hung open when I saw the hole!

The plants have to be two to three feet apart and set in soil at a depth of 9 inches. We will be filling the hole my husband dug with very rich topsoil to replace the two inches of topsoil, half a foot of ashes and another foot of shingles and garbage that my husband removed while digging the hole. He was quite surprised what was underneath our grass! Our new raspberry plants should be very happy far from the orange rust and in their new rich topsoil! Our plan is that they be anchored securely so they can grow and spread around the south side of our house.

This morning’s devotions ended with Proverbs 12:3b (NLT), “Only the godly have deep roots.” I presume that Solomon was seeing rootedness as a symbol of strength in this verse. Mark Buchanan in his book Spiritual Rhythm says rootedness can present a mixed picture. ” Sometimes rootedness is an alibi for doing nothing, going  nowhere. Sometimes it’s a failure to dream and take risks. Sometimes it’s a way of justifying a life of complacency….(p. 260) Yes, sometimes there is orange fungus in those roots. As I look to Jesus during this time of Lent and realize that He’s made me “without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1: 22) through the blood He shed on the cross that paid for my sins, I want to use the rootedness He’s given me to bear much fruit. I want there to be enough fruit for now, for the next meal, for tomorrow and even some stored up for the winter. I want Him to show me if I have any lurking orange fungus that would limit my yield, and, if so, be willing to make the changes needed and begin again.

Today I am thankful :

#61 for my son who treasures family traditions

#62 for my granddaughter who shares her summer with me

#63 for my husband for doing all the foundation work to make family traditions a reality

#64 for healing in my body (both physical and spiritual)

#65 for the change of seasons

#65 for blog friends whose comments help me grow and nurture my soul

#66 that Ann Voskamp’s book is a bestseller

#67 that I am finally able to say the verses in Colossians correctly that I kept getting mixed up

May you have a sense of victory in one area of your life today,



16 comments on “Only the Godly Have Deep Roots

  1. Wow, Dawn. Powerful thoughts for gaining courage to walk to the cross with Jesus these weeks. Roots: Unseen – Forgotten – Buried; but without strong ones, we die. Thank you for sending me to prayer.
    P.S. I have an 11 year old granddaughter 🙂

  2. Dear Liz,

    I wasn’t even thinking about how roots are hidden and buried therefore so easily forgotten. Wow right back. You’ve made my thinking soar!

    Here’s to pre-teen granddaughters!
    Love you,

  3. Have you been able to figure out how to add the Mulitude Mondays button into the blog post on wordpress? I can’t :(, but I do have it on the side column.

  4. Dear Andrea,

    For my blog’s design, I went to the dashboard, clicked under Appearances and then clicked on Widgets. Once I clicked on Widgets several columns of lists of them appeared. I chose the Image Widget and had to drag it over to the place on my sidebar where I wanted it to be. When I did that, the Image Widget opened and that is where I placed the button information from Ann Voskamp’s web site. It was tricky transferring the information because I had to break it up and place it in the appropriate places on the widget. I even had to delete some of the button information to use just the http:// parts.

    I hope this helps,

  5. Dawn, your title says it all, and your post says it well. It is challenging me…which means I have orange root rot somewhere. That’s how these things work, isn’t it-when they really speak to us its because somewhere there is ‘fudge’ in our personal brownies. It is kind of revealing…like, “OK, since THAT really spoke to YOU, then we all know where YOUR rotten spots are.” I am chuckling, self-consciously- as I write this because that also reveals Pride. So many ouchies here. And no place to hide. Just confide, because confession is good for the soul-even to blog friends. So, thanks for teaching me and for letting me confide, and thanks for your very last statement-because I would be grateful for even one victory.

    “Mark Buchanan in his book Spiritual Rhythm says rootedness can present a mixed picture. ” Sometimes rootedness is an alibi for doing nothing, going nowhere. Sometimes it’s a failure to dream and take risks. Sometimes it’s a way of justifying a life of complacency…” This really speaks to me because I have been nearly immobilized by some very difficult circumstances in my life in recent times. I feel like my boat is slowly-very, very slowly beginning to creep forward again. What you have shared here confirms that nudge. I am also grateful for the grace you speak of afterward-the freedom from condemnation in Christ. We need that, too, to begin or deepen the rooting process.

  6. A.,

    How do you do this? You take me from laughing out loud with the “fudge in our personal brownies” line, and then weeping with empathy as you share your personal struggle. I am so happy you drop by now and then. I am always the better for your visits and conversation.

    I may be in just such a place as you describe right now myself. I posted of the difficulties of my situation in an earlier post entitled “A Lesson in Nursing Administration — from Exodus?” posted February 24. I ended that post with the choice to be immobile. It’s been a month since then and I’m trusting it’s been the right (non)move. Being in the midst of this immobilizing situation made Mark Buchanan’s observations resonate within me. I so understand what you are saying above.

    Thanks for your comments, Dear Fellow-Traveler,

    • Dawn, I just finished reading your Feb. 24th post-what a horrible challenge! I will pray for you in this. I have a close relative who is a nurse and has shared some of the very trying circumstances that resulted from both under-staffing and very dysfunctional leadership/administration. Yours sounds like an absolute nightmare with the physical abuse aspect added in the mix. I can only pray for the Father’s intervention and for His provision for those like you who are choosing to somehow hang in there.

      Our Abba’s blessings to you, too!

      • I would really appreciate your prayers, A. I told my head nurse that I was going to pray that she would see the (heaven forbid) next incident so she would have enough evidence.” Right now she says it is the victim’s word against the accused’s word. When I asked about the pictures, she said she didn’t “have enough evidence.”

        Thanks for being one of my prayer warriors,

  7. Oh – that’s a good son. Must have had a god mom. Deep roots – like trees – like weeds too (◠‿◠). And today my favorite from your list was 67 that I am finally able to say the verses in Colossians correctly that I kept getting mixed up – before I saw that Ann was doing Collosians I had already started memorizing Philippians – so I’m not along on the same train – but I do get the confusion – the sleep thing makes the memorizing and retaining hard – but it is still so good. {smile}

    And I didn’t come my via Ann’s link – just came by to read – I had forgotten already that this is the way our words crossed paths. Need to add that to my thankful list (◠‿◠)

    God Bless and keep you and yours Dawn
    May His face shine upon you…
    and all of yours.

  8. Craig,

    You have a gift for gathering people together. You roam around cyberspace leaving your notes of encouragement and blessing and then, there it is, another friendship. I’m glad you happened by dschondog. My life is far richer knowing you.

    You mentioned my son in your comment. Samuel has always been a family person. His family was always important to him growing up and we spent many hours together hiking, biking, tubing, playing board games…Now that he has his own family he’s a family man with his own, but he’s still intentional about making the 4-hour drive to see mom and dad once a month. This month he brought raspberries. I think you would like him. He’s a Trekkie (big time)! He’s also invented a board game called Vanished Planet. It’s a cooperative game that has players work together trying to save the earth from destruction. There is a website for it if you’re interested: He’s our gamer.

    Oh, I wanted to mention, too, that I loved the picture of the Ark of the Covenant in your blog. My husband and I are reading in Exodus about the craftsmen and the requirements for the construction of the Ark and the Tent of Meeting. It was really serendipitous to have a picture and so God to have you provide it.

    Bless you, My Friend,

  9. I just came in from pulling weeds from around my blackberry bushes. Some came right out by the handfuls, others wouldn’t budge at all. Our soil is very sandy, and we do tend to get the “root rot” thing here a LOT! Your post sure made me think deeply. I am a “root checker” and like to make sure my roots are rooted in the right things. But as you pointed out, sometimes I’m afraid it keeps me from moving and that I’m unbudgable, like the weeds I couldn’t pull out today. Thank you for that! It’s been great to be here and you have given me a lot to think about!

    • Cora,

      It is so good to have you pass by here. I tagged this particular blog raspberries hoping I would get another berry person to comment and here you are! Thanks for your comments. I’m always amazed what people take away from a post. You said, “I am a ‘root checker’.”..If one has berry bushes, should one be checking the bushes’ roots periodically? Can you tell by pulling weeds from around berry bushes if the berry bushes are having problems? Do you typically check for root rot in your blackberry bushes? If so, how? I can see that an experienced root checker would see a lot more in this metaphor than the average person. I thought Mark Buchanan’s rootedness analogy was thought-provoking, but you’ve stretched me even further. Thank you.

      May the good Lord bless you with many berries,

  10. Dawn,

    It is so, so good to cross paths with you.

    I see we are on the same memorization track with Ann. I have the first chapter of Colossians down, but have fallen behind with these verses in the second chapter. I need to catch up, but am also trying to remember this: It’s not about me conquering the Scriptures. It’s about the Scriptures conquering me.

    So very nice to meet you.

    – Jennifer Dukes Lee

    • Dear Jennifer,


      I’m glad you came by to visit. I am right with you on the memorization. I have the first 4 verses of Chapter 2 under my belt, but when I tried to say the 1st chapter I stumbled around a bit. I have to do it every day and sometimes I run out of minutes in the morning. I am writing two other things right now and they are distracting because I would rather work on my Scripture. Being pulled in 3 ways immobilizes me. That is why I wrote about mountains and immobilization. It’s right where I live.

      Discovering it is so worth it, though,

  11. Hello, Dawn. I’ve followed the path here from GDWJ. I love how God takes us on this journey and plunks us down to pick raspberries for awhile with other travelers.

    We are deep into Colossians in our Bible study, memorizing portions. And Mark’s book is in my am-reading pile right now.

    I, too, want to bear fruit, more fruit, much fruit!

    • Dear Sandra,

      Thanks for stopping by. I am hoping to get a few raspberries this year. The rot really killed the big patch I had. We are beginning another, however, so it shouldn’t be too many summers till we’re back in the berry business again! It seems like the Lord is getting His people ready for the big harvest, though, doesn’t it?

      Bless you,

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