Thursday, October 15, 2020

We Don't Think Less of the Trees

by Emily Conrad 


We don't think less of trees for losing their leaves every winter.

This thought occurred to me as I walked a long, straight road, surrounded by fields of grass and trees.

Earlier that August day, I had strained to write a blog post. I was still uncomfortable about letting the blog go bare, but my ideas felt as sparse as leaves in winter.

Was that my fault? Or was God calling me to let go, to move on?

I sensed it was a calling, but my very name means "industrious," and pulling back on an endeavor tends to feel like a failure.

Walking that tree-lined street, I remembered that dying back is sometimes part of the cycle.

How silly it would be for us to run around gluing fallen leaves back on the trees.

That day, I sensed God telling me to put down the glue stick and step away from the tree.


I wonder if there's a tree you're also called to step back from, to celebrate as it changes, to learn from as it hibernates.

As Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us, there is a time for everything.

Just as there is a time for hard work when we'd rather not, there's a time to let pretense fall.

There's a time to embrace the quiet of winter, to trust the growth God causes in quiet, private spaces, to value changes that are not for public show.

When I let the blog fall, He quickly ushered in summer to a new area of my fiction writing. The new short story email subscription is up and running. (You can sign up to join us here.) It's been a lot of fun, and this process has served to remind me that change can be good.

But we don't always get to move so quickly from autumn to spring. 


Seasons of life are harder to predict than those in nature. We don't always know how long they'll last or what the landscape will look like when the snow melts away.

In July of 2019, I did not foresee how October of 2020 would look. What I would lose, what I would gain.

Even in the smaller scope of discontinuing a regular blog schedule, I didn't know how the next project would bloom.

When change comes, we might hold our breaths and wonder what the season will bring. Or maybe, we fight to keep those leaves on the tree.

But looking back over seasons of change, despite the unknowns and the confusion, I knew enough. I knew then and know better now that God is faithful.

Even the leaves fall, He is with us. He will not fail to guide us or fulfill His purposes in our lives as we continue to lift our hands, our faces, and our hearts to Him.

Whatever the season, the sun continues to rise and set. The Lord continues to provide and lead.

Moving forward means trusting we weren't created to do all the things all the time, and there's beauty in the seasons. In change. In following the call to let go, even when we're unsure what is coming next.

Summer and winter, happy and hard, we can trust the God who is over all.

What season are you in? What are you letting go? What's just now blooming?



 

Summer and winter, happy and hard, we can trust the God who is over all. #change @emilyrconrad

Moving forward means trusting we weren't created to do all the things all the time, and there's beauty in the seasons. In #change. #Godisfaithful @emilyrconrad

Looking back over seasons of #change, despite the unknowns and the confusion, I knew enough. I knew then and know better now that God is faithful. @emilyrconrad

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

The End of a Season - And a New Project!

by Emily Conrad 


If you've been waiting for new fiction from me, the wait is over! But first, I owe you an explanation...
 
I had a dream that I moved away from a garden I'd planted just as the zucchini and cucumber were finally flowering. But only as I moved away did I realize I'd planted the garden without permission on my aunt's property, where I'd been staying short term.

Why had I planted a garden there at all?

When I woke and tried to recall the fuzzy details, I thought of this blog.