Living Above the Tree Line

Living Above the Tree Line

by Hannah Keeley

One summer, when I was a kid, my dad decided it would be a great idea for the whole family to go camping for a couple of weeks. Of course, my dad didn’t want to look like a beginner when it came time to put the tent up at our campsite, so he bought a large tent and held practice sessions in the front yard. He and my brother got it down to an art form. After practicing over and over for days, they finally got the tent set-up down to less than ten minutes and did it so well that it became an art form. We were finally ready to embark on our journey into the world of camping!

We headed off to Stone Mountain, Georgia, looking pretty groovy in our VW bus with flowers and peace signs all over it…

When we arrived, my dad and brother set off to work, ready to impress all the other campers with their sweet tent-raising skills. My dad gave that first stake a hearty whack with his hammer and felt the reverberations quake through his entire body. This wasn’t soil; it was stone! Hence the name, Stone Mountain. All that work was in vain. They couldn’t drive a single stake into the ground! The ten-minute process turned into hours. Finally, they rigged up a tent by tying ropes to the few scraggly trees and benches surrounding the campsite. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!

Often, we can feel this same way in our lives. We work and work and think we’ve got it all under control and then it comes time to execute something and it feels like we’re driving stakes into stone. Nothing seems to go right and we’re stuck. It’s not a great feeling.

On a mountain, there’s this thing called a tree line. It’s that line where vegetation stops growing because of the temperature and air pressure at that level. Nothing can flourish because it’s too high (or in the case of Stone Mountain, it’s too hard). But that’s the level where God wants us to live. He wants us to step out of where we feel comfortable with our skills and abilities, and rise higher. He wants us living where we need to depend on Him and His miracle-working ability because that’s the only way to live there. When you get to a place where you have to let go of what you know about what you can do, and step into what you know about what God can do, that’s faith, and that’s living above the tree line. In our own human minds, we can’t see how it can happen. But in our hearts we are trusting that God is Who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. We need to believe that He can and will do it.

Psalm 72:16 tells us, “There shall be abundance of grain in the soil upon the top of the mountains [the least fruitful places in the land]; the fruit of it shall wave like [the forests of] Lebanon, and [the inhabitants of] the city shall flourish like grass on the earth.”

When we let God step into our lives and do a mighty work, one that only He can do, then He breaks through the stone of our hearts and anoints our efforts. He causes us to flourish in places where it seems impossible to do so. Isn’t that amazing? He doesn’t just cause our lives to grow and produce fruit, He causes our lives to be abundantly fruitful in the places where it seems least likely. Step away from the confidence in yourself and take the plunge toward God. Let Him work through your faith, and you’ll find life is pretty good, above the tree line.

~ Hannah


Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!

Check out Hannah’s Website Here!

Want more help to create your Crazy Blessed life? I got you! Each episode of my podcast, Crazy Blessed is created to help you live the life God designed you for—a life of abundance. LISTEN NOW!

And if you’re a mom, then you could probably use a little help now and then. Here are some of my free resources that you can use anytime you get a hankering (which is southern for, “when you feel like it”).

Are you a mom who is totally overwhelmed? Feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Do you want to get organized, take control, and create a life you love? Check out my 21-Day Mom Rescue.

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