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Fall is my favorite time of year. But those feelings stem from fond memories of growing up in New York.  I treasured those months of cool temperatures and beautiful colors bursting on the trees. In Texas, Fall is…well…disappointing, with warm days and dull brown leaves.  But the beauty of the Fall season will have to wait for another blog. Today I want to talk about the hope Fall can bring.

When we moved into our home over 20 years ago, there was tall Sycamore tree in the front yard. We wanted more shade, so when our first daughter was two we planted a Red Bud in her honor.  Unfortunately, not long after that the Sycamore tree died.  We decided to plant a Live Oak nearby in honor of our second daughter. But both the Red Bud and Live Oak eventually grew sick and died also.

My theory was that there was a layer of limestone under our yard hindering the trees from sending roots down deep enough to survive the Texas heat and droughts. My husband had different ideas. He asked for a Burr Oak for his birthday this month. His mother was able to find a nice one.

When my husband first suggested the idea, I thought of that conversation that goes “How do you define insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Obviously I did not think he was insane, but I did wonder at the wisdom of planting another tree. It seemed pointless given our front yard history. I mean it seemed more like a burial ground for trees rather than a place where they could thrive. Folly. I did not want him to get his hopes up. But after all, it is his birthday and he wants a tree. The nursery said Fall is the time for planting trees, so they came and planted it last Saturday, the first day of Autumn.

Glenn is not ready to give up. He is full of hope. He believes that the right tree planted in the right spot and given the right care will not just survive, but will indeed thrive in our yard. He sees the potential of this young five foot tree now standing in its new home. He talks about the wonderful shade it will bring. He tells me that I will have an abundance of large acorns to remind me of New York.  He talks as if it is a certainty that this tree will grow big and strong. Hope.

And that is the real issue here for me. It is not a matter of whether or not the tree ultimately survives. Though I believe now it will. It is a matter of possibilities, of never giving up, of knowing that some things come hard. I think for Glenn it may be just a tree. But for me, it is now a living representation of hope.  Guess who is going out each day to water it, check its leaves, and pray over it? I can’t help myself. Each time I pass the tree I think not only of the hope of life in my front yard, but of the hope I have in Christ and the love He has for me. I consider how amazing it is that God sees my potential and that He never gives up on me.  He chooses the right place to plant me and meets my needs as He encourages me to grow strong and faithful.  I love that little tree, my heart is tied to it now. I imagine a time when it is big and strong and I tell the story of the day it was planted and Hope was rekindled.