It’s been quite the year for trees. Last summer, I had to take 4 down. Then two more fell right after Christmas. What’s going on with the trees? I had to find out.

I learned that the type of tree that kept falling, a beautiful type of cypress, also had shallow roots, even at physical maturity. Although they’d grown tall and lush with evergreen foliage, their roots didn’t go very deep. Once rains and winds came for a few days, down they went. (My long-suffering neighbor has had two of them fall on her roof within 4 months!)

Those shallow roots are a sticky problem in all areas of life. There’s a stark spiritual parallel that may have already entered your mind. If our spiritual roots don’t go deep (even if we’ve been believers for a while), we’re vulnerable when the winds and rains pound on us. Some helpful precautions come to mind.

First, being well-saturated with truth, due to a regular habit of reading God’s Word, is crucial. As we allow his truth to give us a filter through which we view the daily events and inconveniences of our lives, that same filter will provide strength when tragedy or trials hit us. (In our culture, we might need to reconsider what we define as a tragedy. You probably know what I mean. . .)

Second, bookends for every day. Bookends of trust and thankfulness. Those aren’t just words. Trust pertains to things that haven’t happened yet. Unknowns. Thankfulness touches on what has already happened. Times when God showed his faithfulness, even in little daily ways. Together, those two practices will help us put down roots.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord (by faith), you must continue to follow him (by faith. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. . .” Col. 2:7  (also Col. 1:23)

“Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Eph. 3:17

My tree expenses aren’t finished yet. Knowing now how vulnerable this type of tree is, I’ll have to get rid of the remaining four before they decide to fall on my house or the neighbor’s. There’s got to be a lesson in that too. Maybe investing now prevents disaster later?

Book News

Good Gifts won’t be alone in the Brenner Falls series for too long. I just started the first draft of the second book in the Brenner Falls Series. This one is about Blair McCartney, an aspiring clothing designer. As I dive into this story, I’d love your input about Good Gifts, the town of Brenner Falls or anything else you think would help me move ahead in the new story (since it takes place in the same town.) What would you like to know or see in the series? I’m all ears, so let me know!

In the near future (very near, even!), I’ll strike out into the world of audiobooks. I haven’t done any yet, but these days, new tech possibilities are becoming available, making it easier and less costly for authors to create. My first platform will be Apple books. I’ll keep you posted!

The last bit of news is really a request. If you happen to buy direct from my website and encounter any tech problems or have suggestions, please let me know at I’m in the early stages of the direct sales author store and want to make sure there are no bugs. Thanks! Your partnership is precious to me!

So, I’m off on an unexpected vacation tomorrow. Some friends have rented a house in Hawaii and invited me to come. I’ll send some photos via Instagram and/or Facebook, so stay tuned! It’s my first visit there as an adult. I’m psyched! A perfect winter thing to do.

Happy reading! I hope to hear from you!