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Five reasons why I am living in a ten gallon pot



I couldn’t pull the black pot off  the roots of  the tree I planted. The roots had circled around the inside of the pot, bound by the plastic. I had to  cut off the black plastic pot.

If I planted the tree immediately after cutting off the pot, the roots would continue to grow in a circle inside the ground even thought the pot was cut off. The roots were free to grow anywhere, but they wouldn’t change direction.

I said to the plant as it lay on the ground waiting to be planted, ” Hello roots. I cut off the plastic. You can stop growing in a circle now.”

The roots didn’t answer me. They just lay on the ground growing in their circular motion right in front of me. The roots didn’t change what they were doing. The roots needed someone to help them. I cut the roots and pulled them apart.  The roots would grow out into the soil now.

I know that I am smarter than the root of a tree. I know I have brains and am able to reason. I realize I have opposing thumbs and I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  If I have the ability to think and reason, why do  I continue  to walk in circles staring at my feet?  Why do I  feel like the roots in the pot I just bought? Why am I living in a ten gallon pot?

I just asked you a rhetorical question. Now I will answer it.

Five reasons why I am living  in a ten gallon pot

1. I do the same actions over and over again expecting different results.
2. I spend my day thinking about the mistakes of yesterday, and  my fears of tomorrow
3. I do not live in the moment enjoying the day I have been given.
4. I keep looking at my feet, and not at the sky.
5. I pretend I have no wounds that need healing.
6. I do not ask for help.

I know I said I would give you five reasons. The sixth reason is an extra one, like bonus points on a quiz, or an extra lollipop from the bank.

Five ways to get out of the ten gallon pot I am living in

1. Try  a different action and I should get a different result.
2. Accept my past, I can’t change it. I won’t fear the future as it hasn’t happened yet.
3. Smile and enjoy today.
4.  Stop looking at my feet. Stand up straight and look ahead  so I don’t walk into the tree I just planted.
5. Admit my wounds and find healing.
6. Ask for help.
7. Pray

Are you living in a ten gallon pot?

Do you feel like you are living in a ten gallon pot? Is it hard to ask for help? I pray you find healing. I pray you stop living life with roots that are bound by your past and your fear of the future. I pray you cut off the plastic pot you are living in. I pray you would smile today and find joy in the moment.

Please share in the comments how I can pray for you.





About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Dear Pamela, great text
    I did not know that the roots would stay bound. What a great analogy, for me number 2 and 6 are the most meaningful, 2 drop the fears and start doing what needs to be done I proccrastinate a lot when I fear something and 6 Call for help, when I do I am always amazed at how helpful most people are, though I always hesitate to ask for help.
    I always have to remind myself that the worst that can happen is a refusal. There are tons of other people to ask to.

    Thank you and keep on writing

  • Enjoyed … I was teaching this concept to my 8th graders (using a quotation from Alice in Wonderland) and the idea of insanity where you do the same thing over and over but expect different results.

    • pamelahodges

      Amy, did the students understand the concept? How fun to live where you do. Do you do the same thing, expecting different results? Silly me, I do it often.

  • lee

    What a great post! I will be thinking about the questions all day.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Lee. Please let me know if you came up with answers to the questions.

  • Robin Patrick

    Loved this Pamela. And it was educational since I did not know that if you had planted the tree the roots would have continued to grow abnormally. I too live in a ten gallon pot and realize that it doesn’t even help to change the size of the pot if I’m not willing to change myself.
    Keep on writing girlie, you’ve got good stuff to say!

    • pamelahodges

      Oh dear Robin. Do you need someone to cut you out of your ten gallon pot? Yes, changing the pot won’t make a difference if you are not willing to change yourself.
      Thank you for your kind words. I totally see you publishing a story. Loved your VBS plays. Hugs for you.

  • Of your five reasons, I particularly love number two. We look far to often toward our feet, don’t we? Goodness. And repeating bad habits over and over again? Insane. I’m with you.

    My prayer need: More remembrance, tireless belief, of how God pours out much healing and can turn around (by our standards, what seem too many) “bad hands” dealt.

    I’d be honored to pray for you as well, if you have a request.

    Thank you Pamela.

    • pamelahodges

      Dear Rachel. Thank you for commenting. Number two is often where I get stuck. You would think I had a time machine the amount of times I think about what happened in the past.

      I am praying for you. I pray for healing. I pray for joy in the midst of pain. Please pray for me to accept the things I cannot change. Thank you for asking,

      Sending you a hug, Pamela

      • Pamela,
        My pleasure. Oh I think I borrow that time machine, too!

        Thank you for this continued prayer. Thankful there is always joy. We tend to be amnesiac children, don’t we?

        I will be before Him for you.


  • Katina Vaselopulos

    Great rherorical questions! Great answers – advice!

    Our fig tree does that with its roots. Just like us, it likes the comfort of being snuggly contained instead of wandering. Exploring the unknown, though, and taking risks is essensial for nourishment and growth!

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Katina for your encouragement. Yes, I agree, exploring the unknown is essential for growth. Sometimes I am like your fig tree. The Tribewriters writing class we are taking is a risk, but it is worth it.