Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Windstorms and Willows

Mother Nature is awesome! Brilliant and beautiful and messy and amazing and inspiring and dangerous and on and on and on. There was beautiful storm last night. One with lightning and thunder and wind and rain and gray clouds in a gray sky. I was wishing I had a huge porch so I could sit out and safely watch it in all its glory. And just as quickly as it would wind up, it would wind down and leave me wondering what was the mastermind behind all the damage I could see.

{The wind was a funny thing when the kids were little - especially Nathan. It was something to be feared and it's been humorous to see what a genetic issue that fear of wind is. But that's all a story for another post.}

It actually wasn't until this morning that I was able to see all the storm had left in its wake. I think this is probably the worst collection of downed tree limbs we have had in one occurrence since we moved here and chose to plant willow trees. Yes, I said "chose". When we were planting the yard, I wanted a foresty front yard. Kind of to hide us from the street but mostly just because I liked the ambiance of it. We weighed the pros and cons of the kind of trees we'd plant. We wanted fast growing. We wanted shade. We wanted trees that could be climbed in. We wanted trees that wouldn't blow over in the winds that Tremonton is famous for. Willows fit the majority of our requirements and, because of that, we felt that a little bit of mess from weak branches would be livable. And, truth be known, we actually chose three (3) willow trees. One in the backyard and two in the front yard. It would be interesting to see what things would have looked like this morning had the drunk driver not upended one of the willow trees from the front yard years ago! 

So, yeah, we chose.

What I saw this morning was such a vivid analogy of life. Maybe my life more than anyone else's. And I wondered the whole day. I wondered if, after the storms of life, I am a branch who is still on the tree or if I am one of the many weak ones on the ground. Or, on the broader sense, am I weak like a willow tree who can't hold herself together when the storms get scary and wild?

The backyard. Fairly normal after a windstorm for the backyard. Some pretty big (weak) branches but not more than usual.

One angle of the front yard. Some really big (weak) branches and many more than normal.

Front yard by the fence. I don't think there have ever been branches smashed up again the fence. Reminds me of the

sage brush in Delta. If I actually am a willow tree, I certainly fell apart big time!

Another angle of the front yard.

The biggest of the branches piled up. They were probably up to my waist at the deepest part. Absolutely amazing!

What an amazing image of weakness to me. Of not having my armor on tight enough {if I even have it on at all}. Truthfully, I probably am a willow tree. I'd like to think I'm strong and can do anything but deep down in my roots, I know I'm not. I'm weak and fragile and fall apart after three sneezes, let alone a wind storm. I'll own that. But, I guess my question now is, can the Atonement make this frail willow tree a mighty oak? Is that what Christ's Atonement can do for me? Second question would have to be, do I have the faith to allow Christ's Atonement to make me into an oak tree? Can I believe {rather, know} that when He causes a strong wind to blow and I lose branches, those branches needed to be lost? So the wind is His way of pruning me and cleaning me up and shaping me into a mightier, deeper-rooted, stronger-limbed tree? That's what I'm to believe and trust in?

I guess I need to not just sit on an imaginary porch watching the storm. I need to get out in the storm, look forward to the wind, knowing I will come out on the other side a better, stronger tree.

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