To Stand Firm {& a Crossway Review}

He was standing outside our front gate when I opened the door to step out onto our porch.

He looked lost.

Forlorn.

Incredibly sad.

The lines on his face etched as deeply as the grooves on the bark of the tree he was staring at.

His hand rested on the latch as he slowly turned to face me, the sadness in his voice tore at my heart.

Please don’t cut down your cherry tree too? Please? Please leave this one?

They’ve begun to cut down all the old trees on 4th Street – the ones that were planted after my house was built in 1908.

The ones that have provided shade for us in when the temperature climbs higher than 100F, those branches that cradle snow when winter settles in.

He stood beside the old knotted one out front of our neighbour’s home – the one that my older girls used to climb up in and play house with the girl next door. The ribbons hung on for months after they were too “grown up” for such things.

Time moved on, but the tree still stood.

This man tried to convince the city workers to not do their job, but he walked away with shoulders slumped.

And the tree fell.

It means our trees are next.

The stately maple with the branches that sweep low over our lawn. The one that has never flamed red, but instead turns the softest yellow in Fall.

It feels silly to grieve, but I am. There’s something grounding about being surrounded by markers that have withstood storms and heat and snow.

I see a dear, young mama at Costco yesterday with two sweet toddlers as I’m running through the aisles trying to find *that one thing*.

She comments on my lack of children surrounding me and I joke that at some point, they ask to stay home.

The oldest of her two holds up a hand – a precious hand that bears good testimony to playing in dirt and being all boy and he gives me a high-five and my heart catches.

I look at her and say how quickly it all goes and I see the disbelief in her eyes – I recognize it because it’s exactly how I felt when I heard the same thing.

Another mama sends me an email in the morning telling me of graduation prep and reiterates that emotion of time passing so quickly – and the words she used to finish her sentence carried the weight of time etched deeply in the gift of mothering,

It’s all going so fast since high school, but it’s all good!  God is so good and faithful!

As I got ready one morning, listening to the thoughts here, one thing was said that has stuck with me ~ It’s along the line of being amazed at how fast time goes…and the reason it goes so quickly is not because it speeds up, but because we have *so very little of it*.

This is why we are to be purposeful.

This is why we are to live our lives with Christ as our foundation and allow the Holy Spirit to bear fruit in us that spills out for God’s glory, not mine. Not yours. But for Him.

Those trees that stand strong on our corner, will be lying on the grass in just a few short hours – I’m torn between wanting to look away and stand near. How quickly 100 years has gone.

How quickly my time will go…

I think of all the places that seem to have died, cut down and left for the wood pile. How easy it is to despair at times.

But God, in His goodness to us, in His faithfulness to His own, remembers we are dust yes, but He also took at stump cut down, lifeless and dead, and a shoot came up from it.

He’s the God of resurrection, of new life – nothing is ever dead when it is found in Him.

We’ll plant new trees.

We may be gone before they reach the heights of the ones around us now, but my prayer?

My prayer is that someday, there will be someone finding shade under the branches of what was planted down and their hearts would be lifted to Jesus in praise and thanksgiving for His faithfulness in every season.

Abigail Dodds has written a book called (A)Typical Woman and I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to think about it.

When I finally sat down with it, I ended up reading the first 150 pages in the first day, highlighting much of it.

This is a book that calls Christian Women, from all walks and stages, to what a life lived in Christ Jesus looks like.

This book doesn’t pat your hair and tell you your sin is okay. It doesn’t make light of a woman’s role or call us to superficial living that grows no root.

This is a book that makes much of Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation and the *privilege* it is to bear His name in all that we do.

Please read this book. Read it with your Bible open and with praise on your lips. This is something I believe *all* women, who claim the name of Jesus need to read, and to live out.

How different would our communities and places be if we did?

We would be like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit… (Jeremiah 17:8)

(Crossway provided me a complimentary copy of {A}Typical Woman to read and review. All thoughts are my own.)

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