For the oh-so-alive and life-sheltering trees, I praise You, God.
May their roots be mine, grounded in the humility of earth.
For the green, green, life-exploding leaves, I praise You, God.
May the shade and beauty of my life comfort others.
For the rough, strong, never straight but crooked trunks, I praise You, God.
May their strength be mine, weathering storms, not seeking straight lines.
For the out-shooting, light-seeking branches, I praise You, God.
May I like them reach up to Your glory and out to the world.
For the woods, the underwood, and all that is over the woods, I thank You, God.
May I be who You made me to be and no one else.
The featured image is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and is used here with her glad permission for Cultivating.
Sheila Vamplin learned early to love God through words, music, and people. Her English degree, piano study, and choral singing somehow led her to Italy and then to Croatia. Landing back in the U.S. after three years of war, she earned a counseling degree. Now a licensed marriage and family therapist with a DMin in spiritual formation, she has concurrently taught piano students and has sung with the Memphis Chamber Choir and the Rhodes Mastersingers Chorale. Her current focus is translating the Italian memoir of beloved friend Tosca Barucci Chesi. As a counselor and spiritual director, Sheila has a heart for artists and those in professional ministry. She loves Gerard Manley Hopkins. With her husband she plans to return to Croatia, anticipating more surprises and trusting that the Holy Ghost will continue brooding over the bent world, even and perhaps especially there.