Plants, Stumps, and Nose Rings


When we moved to Alabama several years ago, we bought a house where the former owner had a green thumb and took great pride in her plants. I think she was secretly competing with her neighbor who had a paradise-like backyard complete with goldfish pond and garden.


But then, we bought the house, and all competition ceased to exist because I don’t do plants. If Jeff weren’t around, our yard would look like one overgrown brown mess of weeds and toys. When we bought that house in Alabama, the owner left us one of her plants. I still am not sure what kind of plant it is…I think I knew at one time, but I fail to remember now, and I don’t really care, to be honest…I just know that it is one hardy plant.


My husband is relatively good at watering plants…better than I am any way. He also tends to notice when our cat needs food. I, on the other hand am oblivious to plants and animals. The reason I have kids and not plants, not that there has to be a choice, is because kids can cry out to be fed…plants, however, are not on my radar. They sit silently screaming, waiting to be watered, but I never seem to hear those silent screams until I see the brown leaves falling on the floor of a shriveled up, way-past-watering, dead plant.


Against all odds, Jeff had somehow managed to keep the plant alive during our six years in Alabama. And, when we moved to Nashville during the summer of 2007, we brought this amazing plant with us. But after we moved, it was in bad shape. Its leaves were brown and shriveled and falling off, and the vine or two that was left on it was even brown. Jeff kept watering it, and it looked as if it might make it, but it was still too soon to tell. 


I had a friend that came over a few months after we got settled into our new house, and there was our 4 foot long shriveled, mostly brown plant sitting on top of the armoire that holds our TV, and she said, “You might want to cut that all the way back.”


So I cut it back…all the way, just like she said. And Jeff continued to water it, and now its green, healthy vines hang almost to the floor. There are still occasional brown leaves that hang on it and fall off, but it’s healthy, healthier than it has been in a long time.


When we moved to Nashville, I along with my plant turned brown and yucky. I had been healthy through our drama-filled move, resting and trusting that Abba was taking care of everything and gratefully watching Him work out all things according to His plan. But then, when we got here, I became angry…angry that Abba would bring us here and seemingly throw us back into something that I felt like we had been set free from 7 years earlier…set free from the type of Christianity where it was more important to look and act a certain way than to really know Jesus. And everything in me rebelled against that kind of façade that I had once been a part of.


So, being the rebel that I am, I felt the need to make a statement…so I got a nose ring. I had actually been talking about getting a nose ring for a couple of years, probably due to some sort of early mid-life crisis. But at this point, I wanted to say to the people around me that I was not the same person that I was ten years ago…that their perception of me probably wasn’t reality. Because in essence I was trying to say, “Go deep with me. Look beyond who you think I am or think I was and really see Jesus in me.” And even though most days last year it would have been hard for others to see Jesus in me, He was still there, and I was in the process of growing deep with Him.


Recently, my mom asked me how long I planned on having my nose ring. I told her maybe ten years or so and chuckled. She’s not particularly fond of it, but she doesn’t have to be…it’s not her nose. For the first time in almost a year, someone asked me why I got it in the first place. This person didn’t seem to like it, but she wasn’t offended by it either.  And her question led to a deep conversation about how Jesus was working in both of us.


Last year was a significant year in my life, because just like that plant, I was cut all the way back. Abba stripped a lot away when He moved us to Nashville…friends, church, familiar surroundings. But because He stripped away the familiar, I found that all I had was Him. 


There’s a passage in Isaiah that says, “Every tree cut down–Every tree a stump, a huge field of stumps. But there’s a holy seed in those stumps.”


I am a stump sitting in the middle of a field with all the other stumps who maybe don’t even know that’s what they are, but there’s holy seed in them…a holy seed in me…and that is hope.


“In Christ alone my hope is found…”





9 Responses to “Plants, Stumps, and Nose Rings”

  1. October 29, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Great post!

    I got my ears gaged and people have treated me so differently since… Even your own father and mother in law! I wish they understood that it is a spiritual symbol for an inward commitment based off of an authentic jewish custom.

    Either way, this battle, this civil war is taking a huge toll on how people in America perceive Christianity…

    I like your nose ring!

    tim kurek

    I just started a new blog, the Evolution of God. Please check it out!

  2. 3 Laura
    November 1, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    You always write the best stuff and I think the nose ring is great.

  3. 4 Anna
    November 3, 2008 at 10:39 am

    i will never forget our nose ring adventure, it was one of my fondest memories with you! im glad you did it, and we did it together. also, im the hopeful stump sitting right next to you 🙂 i love you kim!

  4. 5 RachaelC
    November 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I hardly ever notice your nose ring! It looks so natural on you, I would have thought you had it since high school!

  5. 6 Ashley
    November 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    We’ve never met…but I’m glad a random google search let me stumble across your blog. I spent 13 years at PCA – in fact, Mrs. Darnell was my very first music teacher. 🙂 I like the ideas that you’ve expressed here, and the fact that Pioneer’s future has been entrusted to people like you makes my heart very glad.

  6. November 17, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Yea Kim! I love you…wish we didn’t live so far. How good is God that He sends Ashley to your site just to encourage you and tell you that you are right where He wants you! I for one can’t wait to see the nose ring! I haven’t yet have I? I will in one month….can’t wait!

  7. 8 Alicia
    December 14, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    OK, I must say… I was totally blown away when I found out you have a nose piercing. Actually, I have been thinking about one myslef for the past few months. Just a little history here… I just received my second divorce on Friday. Both of my husbands cheated and ended up leaving for the other woman. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t fautless, but I don’t think I deserved that either time. However, life is what it is, and we are who we are. I’ve struggled with my spiritual committment for several years. Not my faith mind you, just my committment. I’ve NEVER doubted my salvuation, but have not been the child of Christ that I should be.
    After my first divorce, I got a tatoo on my right ankle. I love it! and have wnated another. But this ride on the Merry-Go-Round left me wanting a nose piercing. I have found that my tatoo opened up conversations with people that I never would have had before. I have been able to share my faith to someone who would not have even given me a chance before.
    I’m now working on my MBA and have decided that I wanted to do something to symbolize my own personality, my own uniqueness, and how I feel. I wanted to do something out of the norm and say HEY, I’m still me. You loved me before the piercing, why would you feel differently now? Christ loves me no matter what, why can’t you!?! I’m truly not wanting to be rebellious (although I will admit that rebellion is in my nature). I just want to be me and break down judgemental stereotypes that we all seem to have of each other.
    Anyway, thank you for your message you sent me. I appreciate it greatly. LOVE your nose piercing. And yes, I still love the girls we used to be, and even more, the women we have become.

  8. December 15, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Alicia, Your last sentence left me with goose bumps!! The girls we used to be, the women we have become…all part of the journey!! And for that I am very thankful!

    That’s awesome about your MBA. So sorry to hear about the men in your life…it stinks, but, girl, you got courage to get up and move on!

    Go for the nose ring! It is definitely a symbol of my breaking free! You def can’t hide it! Maybe we’ll have matching nose rings at the prom!! 🙂

    I’m teaching 5th grade now at a Christian school with a nose ring!!! lol…I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo. It takes me a long time to finally do it. I’ll talk about it for a while…good to see ya!

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