A Beautiful Tree

A Beautiful Tree

Washington is nicknamed the Evergreen State, and there is no better time to appreciate our evergreen glory than December. Shortly after Thanksgiving, the U-Cut farms begin to advertise their wares, and we head off, ax in hand. Some years I select a majestic Noble for the long arms that allow my ornaments to be freely displayed. I’m also fond of the Douglas. Its bushy green beard and pinched pine scent fill the room. I love, too, the Grand; its gray under-needle is sophisticated and vintage. Each has a unique beauty.

Despite that, once the tree is home, a decision must be made. Which side will face the wall?

Usually, it’s the side that appears a little thin or misshapen or has an unsightly hole or a dry patch. Sometimes branches hang so awkwardly that I can’t tie them back with twine to fake lushness. The side that I perceive as weakest or least attractive is pushed toward the wall, hidden from view. The best branches must face out.

I’ve recently realized that I sometimes present myself to the world, and to the Lord, in the same manner. I do the emotional equivalent of a tree-branch comb-over; I take my best, healthiest bits and use them to hide my bald spots. And if necessary, I use a wall to my advantage. I don’t want others to see my unsightly habits or where I have been singed, or where I’m spiritually dry. I want to be loved, and I mistakenly think I’ll find that by being lovely.

Artificial Christmas trees are perfectly lovely, but they are plastic. Even the best always seems a little unreal. Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree is the iconic unchosen leftover. Yet the reason we love his tree so much is that in its weakness, its vulnerability, its smallness, its beauty is found.

It is real. And so are we, you and I.

God sees your bald spots; he understands your weaknesses. He made you just as you are, and as the saying goes, he doesn’t make mistakes. There is no side of you that needs to face the wall. You are beautiful and beloved from every angle.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Purchase The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional.

Purchase The One Year Home and Gardens Devotion.

Purchase The One Year Be-Tween You and God: Devotions for Girls.

Giveaway: Enter to win a copy of my The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional! If you already own a copy, I’m happy to send a signed copy to whoever you choose! To enter, leave a comment below letting me know if you have trimmed your tree and home for Christmas or if you wait till closer to the holiday.

Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US residents only. One winner will be selected at random. Void where prohibited.

9 Comments On This Topic
  1. Sarah Gordon
    on Dec 2nd at 9:54 pm

    My tree(s!) are up and ready to go so that I can spend time being at rest and enjoying the beauty of the holidays.
    Merry Merry Christmas to you!!!

  2. Lori Thomas
    on Dec 2nd at 11:01 pm

    Yes, we have decorated the tree and inside/outside.

  3. Lane Hill House
    on Dec 2nd at 11:14 pm

    We decorate mid-month and my husband spends many evenings making his Christmas candy specialties for friends and our family mailed packages. Our grandson got an early start asking how Grandpa makes them so he can make them for his family. So sweet (no pun intended, until I typed it). I would love, love, love your new devotional!!! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  4. Kathleen
    on Dec 3rd at 12:42 am

    I can’t decorate much anymore, one because I don’t have the desire to do all I did when the kids were little, two I just can’t do it, lucky I can walk without severe pain. I do miss it though.

  5. Tammi T.
    on Dec 3rd at 1:26 am

    Our family usually puts up our tree and decorations during the first week in December so this coming weekend is the beginning of our Christmas celebration.

  6. Vanessa Sterling
    on Dec 3rd at 9:33 pm

    Yes, I have my tree and decorations up, except for my nativity. I’ll do it soon, because I love it.

  7. Monica Albright
    on Dec 4th at 8:28 pm

    My tree is up and decorated! Living Room, bathroom, family room, kitchen, and porch are all complete.
    I just have to complete the dining room of snowmen!

  8. Jennifer K
    on Dec 6th at 9:00 pm

    Our tree is up and it looks great! I did your devotional Experiencing God’s Love and it was wonderful, full of great word pictures.

  9. sandra
    on Dec 9th at 7:51 pm

    Congratulations to Sarah Gordon, who won a copy of the Experiencing God’s Love devotional. Please pop over to this week’s devo for another chance to win! http://www.sandrabyrd.com/our-way-maker/