Good Roots

by | May 6, 2024 | Church, Family Life, Prayer, Society, Spirituality

We have the responsibility to plant ourselves where we can grow good roots.

My husband and I love to garden. We have a lovely bricked-in flower bed in the front of our house, but it doesn’t get much direct sunlight. We have to carefully select flowers for it that can bloom in minimal sun and mostly shade.

It’s a fine spot for flowers to grow. The soil is good, we keep the weeds out, we water it regularly. Plenty of flowers are shade-lovers. There’s nothing wrong with the flower bed in our front yard. But a few weeks ago we planted marigolds that should have been fine for the spot, and they nearly died. As an experiment, I moved a few of the marigolds into a sunnier spot. I cared for them the exact same way with water and weeding. The ones with more sun started to bloom and thrive, while the ones in the shade continued wilting.

We can’t force ourselves to grow good roots.

Flowers need the right combination of soil, water, and light to grow good roots. My marigolds in the shade didn’t root, while the ones in sun spread healthily. The same is very true for people. We need good communities, personal relationships, and spiritual health to grow good roots. Removing any of those factors removes our ability to root, bloom, and thrive.

As we head into the month of May, some of my friends are graduating with master’s degrees. They are preparing to move away and step into new lives. For some of them, the idea of setting down new roots is overwhelming. It can sound like a lot of work: find a good church, find good friends, build a relationship with God that doesn’t involve praying for good grades. The same is true for entering married life. Married couples need healthy marriages around us. We need a deeper relationship with God to weather the challenges of marriage. Sometimes, we need a new church community than we had in our previous stage of life.

Once we root, it’s easy to stay.

My husband and I had to go through this transition about a year and a half ago. Our college parish was not the place we wanted to root. We wanted a church with other families, with activities and community. Some of our college friendships continued to grow into adulthood, but we needed friendships with couples and young parents. Our spiritual habits in college were no longer sustainable with a growing baby. We couldn’t go to daily Mass and weekly adoration so easily. We had to find other places to grow our roots. It took some time and transitioning, but now I cannot imagine our lives any other way! It’s not a chore to maintain these good roots.

Are you rooted on good soil? Or do you need to be replanted?

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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