We live in a neighborhood of houses surrounded by towering trees.  This is our first fall here and my husband is already disenchanted with the task of raking and bagging leaves.  A few days ago, I looked out the back door and noticed a huge stump by the steps.  It was partially covered in leaves and I immediately considered how dangerous it could have been if I’d stepped off the step in the dark.  When I got back inside, the image of the partially obscured stump stayed in my mind.  The stump is in an odd place so I figure maybe the tree was too close to the house to be safe.  From the looks of it, it was no sappling.  The stump is wide and the roots run under our house.  Getting rid of that thing will be no easy task.  Is life like that?  I think so.  My experience has proven that it’s easier to chop down the tree and leave the root.  Problems arise, situations face me, issues confound me and it can be easy to just take care of the obvious.  If I’m not being conscientious, then I will just do what makes the landscape look clear.  It helps me see, and it even takes care of the imminent danger, but it leaves a potentially dangerous stump with very deep roots.

It’s better to do the work all at once when possible.  It’s wise to deal completely with issues when the opportunity is there.  Until last week, I had a niece who I hadn’t spoken to in many years.  I had done my work to get over my hurt and anger over the situation that had caused the rift in our relationship and for a while I’ve really wanted to reach out to her.  After talking to her, I found that she’d done the same. So both of us had taken down our tree.  At the same time, neither of us had reached out.  We’d forgiven each other, our landscape was clear, but neither of us had taken care of the stump.  So, in our conversation we dealt with the generational curses that bring confusion and seperation to our family.  I am so glad to say our conversation destroyed the stump and the roots connected to it.

With the New Year approaching I’m determined to check out the landscape of my life.  I want to see clearly and I’m checking for potential hazards.  The stump at our back step is going to be ground to wood chips this spring.  We’ve decided that our planned backyard oasis requires it.  I’ve decided that the stumps in my life are coming out too.  I have 35 days until the New Year and I’m breaking out the heavy machinery.  I encourage you to do the same.  I refuse to be stumped!

Dear God,

It’s time to clear the landscape of my life.  Thank you for getting me where I am today.  Thank you for where you are taking me in the coming year.  God I want to clear out everything that is blocking my view.  I’m determined not to leave behind the root of bitterness, hate, self pity, division or anything else that hinders my relationship with you and those you have placed in my life.  I love you and I want to have the life you have for me.  In Jesus name.


Be encouraged,




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