It is well with my soul.

The Irvine Family Crest is three bunches of three holly leaves and the Latin motto is “Sub sole sub umbra virens.” Under the sun, under the shade, ever flourishing. I like that. It reminds me of my Christian faith, that in Jesus, whether I prosper or whether I am in the storm… it is well with my soul.


We have spent the last six months rescuing  seedling trees, potting up, and planting out. We have planted over 500 small pines and hardwoods which will one day provide a good screen and sound barrier for our house from the new Aberdeen bypass which is 100 yards from our front door.


No one is without trouble in this life. We all struggle with something, whether that is loss of a loved one, children who don’t follow Jesus, an illness, financial difficulties, addictions, weight problems, loneliness….boredom!!


For me the greatest gift is to be able to go out into God’s creation and be with Him there. To work with the soil, and see His hand in all things growing.


When I plant a tree and imagine what it will look like in 10, 20, 100 years time…. I realise my life is but a breath and I am in awe of the Creator who watches over His Creation, that He should have revealed Himself to me! It is enough to make me drop my spade and jump up and down and whoop and shout!! Or lie down

in the long grass and weep at his tender care for me.


There is a Greek proverb that says…..”A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ¬†I may not live to sit in the shade of the oaks we have planted, but I hope my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be glad that their granny planted trees. I hope that the people yet to come will know that through all the generations of Irvines, there were those who cared passionately, those who knew what it was to walk through dark valleys but to fear no evil for He is with us.



Hazel Irvine-Fortescue.
Happily married to Henry for 28 years, mother of two wonderful adopted children. We are part of City Church Stonehaven and lead one of the Mad teams. I love God’s written Word and I am passionate about my family and everything creative.