Our Spiritual Tree

A couple weeks ago, we were at my in-laws house and the family tree was pulled out. My nine-year-old daughter was fascinated by all of these people who came before us on this scroll of many names.

My mother-in-law’s father had roots back in the Netherlands and we enjoyed conversations about what their lives would have been like and speculated about what propelled them to move to England. We all agreed that there are many questions which can’t be answered, and we pondered how nice it would have been to be able to ask our ancestors about their lives.

I returned home thinking about my own ancestors—wondering about their circumstances which brought my dad’s family to the California coastline from China and my mom’s family to the farmlands of Illinois from Germany. It still amazes me at their bravery, going to faraway lands with a different language, not knowing how their new lives would turn out, and truly saying goodbye to extended family in the mother country without the technology to readily keep in touch. Though I don’t know much about them, their legacies are packed with perseverance, hope, determination, strong work ethics, and faith.

Beyond our physical family tree, my thoughts continued with the idea of a spiritual tree as a faith legacy. So much of trying to understand my ancestors’ everyday living has been lost over the years, but one thing that I especially treasure from my grandparents, on both sides of the family, is a steadfast faith in Jesus.

A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.

Proverbs 13:22a

I never really talked with my Papa about his life or faith, but his faithfulness to God and his family was evident. When he passed, my mom and dad found a vast amount of Bible study notes written out and saved in his office. He loved Jesus and was disciplined to properly study God’s living Word.

My Chinese-American grandparents were so faithful as well, serving God and loving people in their church and the elderly community. As a child, I knew to wait to take a bite of food until after Grandpa had prayed and given thanks for our food. And I still remember my last conversation with him before his passing—reminding me to wait on God’s best husband for me and not just settle for any man. *I met Charlie just three months later!

Now as a mother myself, I want to be aware and strategic in the spiritual legacy that I leave to my children. More than anything, I want to point them to the One who loves and understands them the most. It is God that we were all designed to have a deep relationship with and to travel together with Him along life’s journey. My little ones will have to make their own decisions as they grow up and who they will live for, but I hope they will remember all of the many seeds of Truth that we parents have been sowing in them all along.

Singing worship songs, memorizing scripture through songs, praying together at meals and bedtime, having chats about the Bible and God, and living out our faith in love, forgiveness, gentleness, and patience are all ways that we are training our daughter and son to understand their place in their story and God’s greater kingdom story.

Maybe your spiritual tree starts with you! If so, that is amazing that you get to be the trailblazer in your family—to start sharing with your children about living for God in numerous ways. Perhaps, you’ve never thought about the idea of a spiritual tree and the roots and branches that are grown. Wherever you are at on your faith journey, God can use you to help build up a lasting spiritual tree of legacy stretching from this life into eternity.

Dear God,

Thank you for our families, imperfections and all.

Thank you that beyond just knowing our family tree, You desire us to be part of your family, our spiritual tree.

Help us to grow our roots deeper into your heart and may our strong branches blossom with the fruits of your Spirit.

As parents, guide us as we lead our children in knowing You as their Heavenly Father.

Protect our children and allow them to make good decisions within their lifetimes.

And when they mess up, as we all do sometimes, welcome them back with loving arms and help course correct their path.

Thank you for the legacy of our spiritual tree and for the faithful ones that have gone before us.

Continue to grow us and use our lives to bring glory to Your name.

Amen.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

Deuteronomy 7:9

7 thoughts on “Our Spiritual Tree

    1. Thanks ChuHui! Yes, on my dad’s side! That’s wonderful to hear of Jesus touching the different generations in your family too. Long May it continue with your own children. Blessings to you! ❤️😘

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  1. Love this! Was just thinking about spiritual roots recently. I came from mostly a messy family on both sides…I’m still in awe of how my mom gradually grabbed onto her mother in laws faith over the years and is now just as strong of a Christian herself, and how then in my later 20s I finally grabbed what my mom processed and now I have claimed Jesus as my Savior, then leading my children and my husband to follow suit! I pray our faith continues to expand when the day comes for my children to marry and start their own families.
    Beautiful, reflective blog post, Joy!!

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    1. Hi Alicia, Thanks for sharing some of your journey to faith story! We serve an amazing God who truly comes to redeem us. That is amazing how God has worked in your mom, then you, your husband and children! Yes and Amen! I am praying with you for those roots of faith in your family to keep growing deeper into the Father. So good! ❤️😘

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  2. Love the post Joy. I have thought about the spiritual legacy I want to leave for my son. It is so very important. When they are young they will not grasp what it means but I reflect on how my grandfather spoke about scripture, the life he led and after he passed when we found all his bible study notes, I hold all of them very dear in my heart and cherish how his faith impacted us all. I can only imagine how much he and my grandmother must have kept all of us in prayer.

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    1. Thank you Manu! What a wonderful legacy that your grandparents left of their deeply rooted faith in Jesus. That has shaped you and you are helping shape your son! It’s such a beautiful legacy of what really matters. The prayers of grandparents are precious, for sure! 😘❤️

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