This year has held many changes for us. I thought I was prepared. I thought I could handle it all. I thought…
Yeah, I was wrong.
Not completely, mind you, but in the “I thought I…” part of things. There is nothing I can do to make anything happen. Try as I might, I can not think something into reality. What it does bring is anxiety as you see things around you not going as you want them to.
This came to a very clear reality after my surgery in March. Physically I healed fine and quickly, with little pain. Emotionally I was brought to my knees. Once I figured out it was anxiety and not low iron, blood sugar, blood volume, or internal bleeding (sitting on the couch with orders to not do anything for a few days can lead your mind down interesting paths), I knew what needed to be done. I also knew it was not going to be a quick fix.
Part of my self-imposed routine was to start the day off well. In the past this meant me getting up at my regular time, having two breakfasts (the first to get my stomach convinced it was actually hungry and not sick), and getting dressed. This time however, I found myself waking up super early, unable to fall back asleep.
Unable to fall asleep one morning, I went out to the back deck to watch the sun rise and listen to the birds sing. Within minutes I felt better. Not perfect, but better. I went back in to get George off to school, but then back out to the deck I went.
For a few weeks I spent hours out there every day. We even did home education outside. The fresh air, sun shine, sound of birds and wind rustling in the tree tops…it was peaceful and what I needed. Well, peaceful except for the occasional emergency vehicle siren and sound of traffic during morning commute times; at those times I focused on the nicer sounds and prayed for where those sirens were going.
Another part of my time outside involved a morning devotional. At first, reading made me nauseous, so I used an audio version of the Bible on my phone. After being able to tolerate printed materials, I added in Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson.
Not only was this book an encouragement, but it also spoke to my love of plants and nature. Most importantly it spoke to the “I” part of why things were not working out – it was pride.
For years I thought that my sense of peace depends entirely on me. – Hannah Anderson, Humble Roots
Daily devotionals are not something I usually seek out. I have gone through a few different ones over the years, but find I would rather read from the original text than from someone else’s opinion of what was being said. This is where I felt Humble Roots deviated from other devotionals – it does not read or feel like a devotional. Instead, it felt more like a talk with another gardener, one who has been where I was at.
Humble Roots is half plant book and half Christian devotional, each half complementing the other to help demonstrate the point being made.
After spending hours out-of-doors, and not solely in this instance of healing, it is hard to not notice details of nature and take them to heart:
- The dry creek bed filling up with water in a few minutes time, yet days after a rain storm upstream.
- The birds singing in the middle of a rain shower.
- Flower stalks righting themselves after being laid flat by the wind.
- A plant, growing from a tiny seed which seemed unimpressive and unlikely to survive.
There are lessons all around us, examples of the goodness of God and His providence.
These are also things which we, ourselves, could not make happen.
Humble Roots does not come across as an author talking at the reader, but someone who is also on the journey to find peace and understanding in one’s day. This gentle approach and easy read was much appreciated at a time when I was already being hard enough on myself.
Toward the end, I found that I did not fully agree with some of the conclusions which Hannah Anderson presented. They felt a bit forced or abrupt. This did not mean I could not gain something from the writing, only that I think the last chapter or two could have been edited better.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links.