“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth.” Ephesians 3:14-17

Have you ever experienced that weird thing where you read a Bible verse—and it’s brand new? Like, you can’t believe THESE EXACT WORDS are in the Bible, even though you know you’ve read them dozens of times before?

My dad shared the Bible verse Ephesians 3:14-17 with me last year. My parents and I were meeting for Bible study while I was writing Family Trees & Olive Branches. When we studied these words (every family in heaven and on earth is named according to the riches of God’s glory), they changed me. They changed the way I understand families and they changed the book I was writing.

Then, over the months while I was working on the book, a few dear friends were struggling with family drama: miscommunications, hurt feelings, really hard conversations, and old habits that keep probing at there family’s deepest bruises.

As these friends suffered broken limbs of their family tree, we texted this verse back and forth to each other. We would write this to each other….

“Don’t forget. Your {broken, lovely, struggling, brave, grace-filled} family is named after our perfect Father.”

“Everything will be fine with your {hurtful, hurting, weak, frail, weary} family because you are rich with God’s glory.”

“Your {ugly, tarnished, jacked-up} family is also the place where DEEP DOWN, the Holy Spirit is dwelling in your hearts.”

Every time I read and shared  Ephesians 3:17, I felt encouraged and inspired. Everything would be just fine. Our families are rooted and grounded in love. My prayer was that I would be able to share THAT message with the world.

Fast forward a few weeks to a video chat with my publishing house. After reading Family Trees & Olive Branches, they asked an artist to paint an image that represented the book. They wanted to give away this print as a free gift for those who ordered the book. They held up the artwork (pictured above) for me to see.

Ephesians 3:17. Of course.

Of all the Bible verses about trees and olive branches and family in the Bible, they chose this EXACT SAME verse.

Because God. And because this is the theme of the book. This is the message of what God is doing in our lives.

This is the miracle of what He’s doing in our families. We are rooted and grounded in love.


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