"But now are they many members, yet but one body" (1 Corinthians 12:20).

Summer vacation was a great learning adventure for our homeschooling family. As we took trips to the mountains, my children experienced lessons from nature that made both science and Scripture come alive. One lesson in particular came from a large stand of beautiful aspen trees. As we hiked past their white trunks, my son shared a fact he had learned from his schoolwork. "Mom, my science worktext says that aspen trees grow from one common root. Is that true?"

"Yes," I replied. "Every one of the individual trees you think you see is actually one big tree."

Excitedly, he ran from one tree to the next and cried, "Mom, look! This one tree must be over two miles long!"

Talking further, we discussed the similarity between the aspen tree and the body of Christ. "Each believer is like the individual aspen tree and plays a unique role in God's family," I said. "However, we all grow from one common root, Jesus Christ, and we must work together in the body."

Smiling, my son replied, "Yeah, I get it Mom. If we all do what we're supposed to as Christians, we'll show God's beauty like this bunch of trees . . . I mean tree," he laughed as he quickly corrected himself.

Do you know where God has placed you in the body of Christ? Although some gifts may seem more important than others, they're not (1 Corinthians 12:23-24). Each believer contributes to the well-being of the body by faithfully using the gifts God has given. Whether your spiritual gift is teaching, serving, or showing mercy, you can bloom where you're planted and give God the glory as you depend on the life-giving root of Christ's forgiveness and love. "Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:7).

Father, thank You for my place in the body of Christ. Use our homeschooling family for Your glory and let us praise You with lives fully committed to Your purpose and plans. In Jesus' name, Amen.