“Thanks, Logan,” I said. I hugged my oldest son. It was his first visit home from college and he’d brought me a gift – Andrew Peterson’s new release CD - Counting Stars.
I held the smooth case in my hands. The gift was precious to me. Logan had grown up listening to Andrew’s older stuff. He knew that I loved the sweet, mellow sounds. He also knew that I enjoy the content – Peterson’s folk music is always rich in story and life lessons and God’s word.
“Maybe later I can watch the kids,” Logan said. “To give you time to listen.”
That didn’t happen – the weekend was full. But after he left, when the house was still, I pushed the CD into our player and made a cup of tea.
Andrew didn’t let me down. As always, the music was thoughtful and beautiful. My favorite song is called “Planting Trees.” Andrew begins by singing about planting maples. He shares about choosing the spot, laying the seeds in the ground, and praying that in the spring, the roots would grow deep. But it was third verse that pulled my heart:
She rises up as morning breaks/She moves among these rooms alone/Before we wake/And her heart is so full; it overflows/ She waters us with love and the children grow.
Then the chorus:
So many years from now/long after we have gone/ These trees will spread their branches out/And bless the dawn/These trees will spread their branches our/And bless someone
Andrew’s song captured what Lonny and I want to accomplish in raising our sons: to give them deep roots, to tend them with love, to one day have them stand as tall, strong trees ready to stretch their branches out – to bless someone.
Thank you, Logan, for the thoughtful gift.
Thank you, Andrew, for the reminder and the blessing.
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to raise strong trees. For you.