Sunday, September 30, 2012


I have often used the phrase, 'out of kilter', as a description
of something askew.  The thought occurred to me that
I did not know the dictionary meaning of the word 'kilter'.
And that led me to question whether it is a real word or just
slang.  I searched and found the phrase is authentic and means,
'out of proper condition'.  Like the row of trees in my picture.

At the front of my house is a tree that presents problems
on many fronts. It is far from an ideal shape and form. 

Branches jut out in an unbalanced configuration which
bothers me.  The birds don't mind.
But I see that it needs major carving to mold it into a
symmetrical proportioned beauty.

Years have taken their toll on the trunk leaving it marred
and scarred by the ravishes of wind and weather.
It is an object and a picture of the disfigurement
and rugged scraggy terrain of my life's journey.

Leafy branches attest to the fact that life is present ...
segments are sculpted precisely so to provide
shade and shelter under the boughs.

Do I have it cut down or can it be saved?
Can I live without the shade it provides?
Many years ago the wind split the trunk and I thought
it was going to die ... but the foliage continued to grow.
The roots are very old and very deep.
In a way it is a part of me and I love it ..  flaws and all!

 God allows suffering and pain, heartache and deep valleys
in peoples lives.  Some of us have been buffeted and tested
beyond what we ever could have imagined or desired.
And just like my tree, we were empowered to withstand storms and
earthquakes.  Our roots determined whether the 'out of kilter' experiences
would mold us into pillars of faith and strength. 
God loved me .. even when I was 'out of kilter'.

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:1 - 5


  1. Beautiful post, Judy. Love your parallels you draw between the tree and true. And I love the tree, out of shape or not.

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you taking the time to comment. I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about my tree. It is in my sights constantly and I could not ignore it. I finally decided I really liked it in spite of its imperfections. God has taken good care of it all these many years.

  2. Isn't it amazing how God can turn our less-than-perfect lives into something beautiful...only for His glory? Thank you for the amazing post Judy! You should write a women's devotional booklet :)

    1. Hi anonymous,
      Yes, it is amazing when I look back and see the hand of God in a jouney that was less than ideal in so many ways. Without Him I would not have survived in the way I did! Thank you for your encouragement.