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Girl Meets God

    by Melissa Mathews

The Superlative Means To Cultivate Trees
Date Posted: January 15, 2006

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -Jesus
John 15:5

I know it's already January 15th, but I still haven't decided what my New Year's resolution is going to be. There are so many possibilities; I don't know how I will ever choose!

If you read my column last week, then you could say I'm still walking around the nursery, trying to choose which tree I'm going to plant.

Will I plant a willow tree, and lose some weight before my 20-year class reunion?

Will I plant a magnolia tree, and practice my heritage of Southern manners?

Will I plant a spruce tree, and "spruce up" my house and my homemaking skills?

Will I plant a pine tree, and keep in touch with my family and friends that I miss?

Will I plant a honeysuckle vine, and be a sweet scent in my home.

Will I pick a papyrus plant, and write that book I've been talking about for the last three years?

Aghh!!! Even as I examine the possibilities, the decision seems harder and harder, not easier. I'm afraid if I pick them all; every tree I plant this year will die before winter is over.

My husband has suggested that I take a slightly different approach this year, the Psalm 1 approach:

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers."

Instead of choosing one thing to work on, I plan to choose the Lord. My New Year's goal is to be in God's word and have God's Word in me. Then He can grow me (and the trees I'd like to plant) the way He wills. He can choose the character and skills that will mature in me this year.

So I ask, have you gone to the nursery yet? I'm sure the Master Gardener would love to grow you this year too.

(We have a printable "Read Through the New Testament" plan on our church website if you would like to use that this year. Click here to see it:

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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at
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