I don’t even remember the man’s name. I know it was a Sunday night. We were at church for an evening program with a Christian comedian–nothing extraordinary. When we walked through the doors that evening, I had expected to laugh. What I did not expect, however, was to be hit to heart with an idea that would become the mission of the rest of my life.
In between the jokes about choir bus tours and fellowship meals, the comedian became suddenly serious. He began to tell a tale of his family history…immigrant great-grandparents who had to make their way in this vast, new land by the sweat of their brow. And, considering that they settled in Texas, they sweat A LOT. He spoke about the bush trees in West Texas, how they don’t provide much relief from the sweltering Texas sun. One day, when his great-grandfather was still a very young man, a neighboring farmer saw him out in front of the family home, meticulously burying dozens of acorns. The farmer approached the grandfather, laughing, and asked, “what in the WORLD are you doing?” “I’m planting shade trees,” the grandfather quietly replied as he continued dropping seeds into the warm soil. “Shade trees?” the farmer exclaimed, “Don’t you know it will take YEARS before these things are big enough to provide any shade? You’ll be long gone before then!” he stated smugly. The grandfather continued planting–determined. “I’m not planting them for me,” he said patiently, “I’m planting them for my grandchildren.”
That’s when my heart skipped a beat, and God took the words of a comedian I don’t even remember and began to reveal to me His plan for the rest of my life: PLANT SHADE TREES.
The comedian revealed that he had heard that particular story about his great-grandfather while sitting under some cool, refreshing trees during a Texas summer–the very trees planted decades before by an ancestor he never knew. Before that night, I never even had a concept of a multi-generational view of family. My own immediate family was no longer in tact; my parents divorced when I was nine. The brokenness from that affected me profoundly. Because of that, I DID have a deep commitment to my own marriage and future children. But I never thought beyond that. The thought of a grandfather worrying about his future grandchildren’s comfort was heartwarming. But the idea that he expected and planned for his grandchildren to BE THERE–on that same land, enjoying the family home many generations later–was extraordinary to me, a girl who never truly had a “home base.” There was never a tree–a piece of earth, a porch, a bed–lovingly prepared with me and my wellness in mind. As I reflected on this, I discovered in God’s word that a multi-generational vision WAS part of God’s plan, however. He even commanded it:
“Now this is the commandment…that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 1:1-9
And so I began to think of them, so much that I could almost picture their little faces. Generations of future Showmakers who would one day be here, God willing. And it all became crystal clear to me: I have a responsibility to them.
“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1
We live in a generation where women are constantly tearing down their own homes, willingly or blindly. I don’t want to be one of them. I must sow now–build now–so that my children (and their children and their children…) will come from a family history of joy, truth, wisdom, and love. I want them to have a heritage of walking with the Lord and living for His Glory, generation after generation. I want them to reap the truths that my husband and I have so lovingly sown.
And so my hope is that this blog will be a record of how I am attempting to do that. I pray that one day my boys will read it and know what truths I have sown–and why. My prayer is that there will be a day when future Showmakers will read this record of how I planted, watered, nurtured, weeded, and pruned little seedlings of God’s Truth–in my life and in the lives of my children–as they are resting under the protection of beautiful, glorious shade trees, living out the dream of my heart and fulfilling God’s promise in Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the one…[whose] delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”