Our Humble Roots


For those still trying to figure out what this rootedandgrowing website is all about, I know this — it is not about me. But it is posted by me. So a little background: Long ago in a far away galaxy, I wore the hat of an art director, which is kind of like a movie director. (They get the big picture vision of how they want the movie to turn out, then they “direct” everyone and everything to make their vision a reality.)

Directing people, otherwise known as bossiness, is second nature to me. Since my kids are grown, and no longer needing to be bossed around, now I like being in charge of things. This website is one of those things.

Some dear website “followers” have been around since the summer of 2013 when this space began to serve friends in our local Community Bible Study (CBS) and reinforce the content or text of our study. (I may leave little messages HERE for my McLean Women’s CBS Class from time to time, kind of as a public service to thank them for sticking with me, so check back often to see if there’s a cancellation or a reminder)

But one dark and stormy night, I received an ominous call. OK, not really. But I was asked to remove the association to CBS because CBS had its own fabulous website already.

What to do? Any good mom knows that after you birth your children, you don’t just abandon them. My training as a mom, and my background in bossiness kicked in and, with a tweak here and there, the website was REBORN! (It does bear a family resemblance to the old sight BUT the content is, well, a lot less restrained or responsible to reflect a certain point of view.)

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Hidden in Plain Sight


It’s true, the “look of love is in your eyes.”  From the lingering gooey gaze signaling the smitten, to the affectionate study of their “person” by a much-loved canine, eye contact conveys, “you are noticed, you are special, you are loved.” But when there is very little eye contact from other human beings, we feel ignored, unimportant, unworthy. I’ve been thinking about how eye contact has a humanizing effect ever since this summer’s jump-start on our CBS study of The Book of Acts. (thanks to a fellow learner for introducing me to the Journible, which caused me to slow down my reading and reflection of scripture, helping me “see” more in His word.)  I noticed something in Acts 3:1-10and was convicted. Then this landed in my inbox, timed by God to propel me from conviction to action. (Be sure to follow Alicia Bruxvoort’s writing with Rooted in Truth ScripturesGrowing In Love Practical Application, Listen and Watch.)

Giving When We Have Nothing to Give


“So Hagar gave this name to the Lord Who spoke to her, ‘You are a God Who sees.’” Genesis 16:13a (NLV)

I was on my way home from the store when I saw her standing there, feet planted between two dingy piles of melting snow on the corner of a busy intersection.

The cardboard sign in her hands broadcasted her desperation, and my stomach churned with empathy when I read the sloppy scrawl. But what could I do? I had three gallons of milk in the trunk, two $1 bills in my wallet and a pack of pink bubble-gum on the dashboard.

When the traffic light turned green, I turned my head away from the quandary on the corner and steered my van toward home.

I’d driven no more than a mile when a thought lodged in my mind like a holy whisper and refused to leave: Go back, and let her know you see her.

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Never Been The Same

Back in high school, I saw the blockbuster summer thriller, Jaws.  I have never been the same. Summer camp on Lake Saranac revealed my irking irrational fear that some crazed person had caught and released a shark into the lake to wreak havoc on us unsuspecting campers.

Years later when my new husband and traveled by boat into deep waters to snorkel in the Florida Keys, I noticed a woman on board reading a book about sharks. Then the snorkel guide reassured us not to worry if we saw a hammerhead shark while we snorkeled because thus far, he had never hurt anyone.  I was so filled with fear that I insisted my new husband paddle one handed so he could use the other hand to hold mine!

Fear is a powerful force to contend with because there are so many different kinds that assault us: fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear that the things we hold dear are falling apart — just to name a few.  Fear often starts with discouragements turned into nagging thoughts then into worry; one of the phrases I heard frequently while living in London was, “Well now, that’s a worry, isn’t it?”

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I Love Beer and Jesus


“I like to have fun and a lot of Christians seem like duds.”

I could have written that quote.  As a high school freshman, I wanted nothing more than to have fun.  45 years ago, when I boarded the bus headed to Young Life‘s Saranac Village, I was hung over from the night before.  And like the headline, I loved beer!  But I most certainly did not love Jesus.  My sole purpose for going to camp was to meet cute guys.  So not drinking and hearing about Jesus all week was just something I would endure.  However, I was totally blindsided by how much fun I was having without being drunk.  When I finally figured out that my new friends were completely amazing not because they hailed from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but because they had the abundant life of Christ, well, I was suddenly all ears to hear about “this Jesus.”

“I have a deep faith in God, I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and while the negatives listed above may make it seem otherwise, I try to live my life for Him.”

I could have written that quote, too.  But I didn’t.  So thank you, Scott Sauls, for sharing Jeff Hays’ personal reflection — chiefly written for his children and his spiritually curious friends — about why Jesus and the Christian worldview make so much sense to him.”  “I find Jeff’s thoughts to be fiercely winsome while also being true to my own experience.”  I could not agree more!  (Original post from Scott’s website found here)


By Jeff Hays

I really like beer and drink too much of it. I yell at my kids way too much. I love beautiful women and admire them too closely and too often. I am crude, blunt and often times my sense of humor is only funny to me (and that is really all I care about anyway). I am a control freak, can blame and be critical. I am cynical, can be grumpy and, more often than not, people annoy me. And last, but not least, I constantly judge everyone I come in contact with — weird hair, ugly, geek, bad clothes, loud mouth, bad parent, and those are just a sample of the kind of things that have crossed my mind walking through the airport this morning. The list goes on but I think I have hit the highlights.

On the more positive side, I am fairly generous. I eat healthy and exercise regularly. I am a pretty good husband because Leeann makes it so easy to be and I adore her. I am confident, organized and fairly intelligent in a common sense sort of way. I am aggressive, competitive, and a risk taker. I am loyal to my family and close friends and a secret is safe with me. I am a very involved father and husband. And finally, I have a deep faith in God, I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and while the negatives listed above may make it seem otherwise, I try to live my life for Him.

So Why Jesus?

The question is complicated as the information needed to address this question starts for me with ‘is there a God’ and ends with ‘when confronted with all of the religious options available, why do I side with Jesus?’ Continue reading