Autumn Parables

Autumn Parables

I first wrote these words a few Octobers ago. Since then, I’ve written a memoir embroidered with stories of trees. That book will come out in March–just in time for green spring–but it seems I’ve been paying attention to the trees for a long while.

 

 

Autumn is announced by the seedling trees. The baby trees. They are the first to abandon their green in favor of orange or red or yellow.

Driving these country roads, they are like lit matches. Small, flickering flames against the general greens and faded browns of early autumn.

They are children embracing the arrival of something new. They wear their faith like Joseph’s multi-colored coat, and we cannot look away.

Soon, even the staid elders will shake off their summer sleep.

Until they blaze.

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

I observed the brilliant, baby trees, and I immediately thought of Jesus’s words. I imagined I could write out the connection. That I could find some moral in what I had seen.

But trees are living things. They are not convenient object lessons.

Maybe they are parables. Easy to decode but almost impossible to comprehend. Truth so tall and deep, it avoids our grasp, seeking instead the deep well of our hearts.

I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world. (Matthew 13:34)

Yesterday, I saw a strange sight. Walking to shut up the chickens for the night, I saw a line of geese heading southeast. They were black silhouettes against the slate gray backdrop of the sky.

I stood perfectly still watching them, captured by some mystery that wasn’t immediately apparent. Then it came to me in two parts.

First, the geese traveled in a single diagonal line, but there was only emptiness where the other half of the V should have been. Was this a picture of loss and grief? Or only the notice of job vacancies in the sky?

Second, they were quiet. I could hear nothing. No flap of wings, no honking calls.

Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. (Zechariah 2:13)

I read my Bible, and I watch the trees. I stop to consider the birds. I am learning to collect hidden things. To store them up for the winter day of my need.

And on that day I will know exactly what it means to be a young tree wearing a blaze of color.

I will understand just how much depends upon chasing the far horizon in complete silence.

 

Ep. 5 – How To Know When You’ve Had Enough

Ep. 5 – How To Know When You’ve Had Enough

This is the story about being full.
Really it’s the story about understanding the difference between being empty, being full and then being stuffed to feeling sick. And we’re not even talking about food.
This is an honest conversation about what we hunger and thirst after. How do we fix our cravings?
This week we dig into the idea that enough might be a life goal worth pursuing. But to do so we need to know when we’ve reached enough, in a culture always hungry for more, more, more.

Out of the Ordinary

The podcast for anyone who’s ever felt the nagging frustration of wondering if her life is too small, too boring or too ordinary to make a difference. Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy, longtime friends and bestselling authors, explore the surprising ways that cultivating ordinary life leads to extraordinary stories.

Visit our official podcast page!

Christie Purifoy

Christie Purifoy

Co-Host

A writer and gardener, her favorite ordinary things include strawberry jam, homegrown flowers, and old books with someone else’s notes in them.

Find Christie’s books here.

Lisa-Jo Baker

Lisa-Jo Baker

Co-Host

A reader and writer, her favorite ordinary things include hot tea with milk and sugar, a good movie, her mom’s hand-me-down books and Sunday afternoon naps.

Find Lisa-Jo’s books here.

RECENT PODCASTS

#outoftheordinarypodcast is on Instagram!

Ep 4 – How Our Show Got Its Name

Ep 4 – How Our Show Got Its Name

This is the story about strawberry jam and Wednesday night parenting.

Because this is the story about how our podcast got it’s name. Buried deep in the thick of the most ordinary things we could think of was the surprising discovery that everything we valued most might easily be described as ordinary, if not even boring on some days.

It was an unexpected person who pointed out to us the obvious name for our show that we’d totally missed. Which in turn inspired us to start looking at these small, seemingly ordinary traditions as landmarks in a family.

Because we believe that ordinary life is inherently more than enough to make a difference at the cellular level of our lives. In a culture that worships bigger, faster, more, here is the story of how we aim to push back and dig deep into the spiritual truths that the Kingdom of God has always been best reflected in a grain of wheat, a mustard seed, a widow’s mite, a small jar of oil, five loaves and two fishes.

We want to offer our listeners permission to find value in their everyday lives again.

Out of the Ordinary

The podcast for anyone who’s ever felt the nagging frustration of wondering if her life is too small, too boring or too ordinary to make a difference. Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy, longtime friends and bestselling authors, explore the surprising ways that cultivating ordinary life leads to extraordinary stories.

Visit our official podcast page!

Christie Purifoy

Christie Purifoy

Co-Host

A writer and gardener, her favorite ordinary things include strawberry jam, homegrown flowers, and old books with someone else’s notes in them.

Find Christie’s books here.

Lisa-Jo Baker

Lisa-Jo Baker

Co-Host

A reader and writer, her favorite ordinary things include hot tea with milk and sugar, a good movie, her mom’s hand-me-down books and Sunday afternoon naps.

Find Lisa-Jo’s books here.

RECENT PODCASTS

#outoftheordinarypodcast is on Instagram!

Ep 3 – The Good News About Broken Dreams

Ep 3 – The Good News About Broken Dreams

This is a story about the search for a black barn.

Today we dig into what it feels like to watch your dream break into little bits and pieces you can’t make sense of. Christie takes us from Chicago to Florida to a small town in Pennsylvania that often reeks of mushroom farms and manure where she buried all her broken bits of hope and then watched them grow. If you’re like us then you already know that dreams usually look nothing and also everything like you hoped. There’s no straight road between what we dream and the realities we live and along the way all kinds of things we imagined, prayed, and hoped get broken. Let’s talk about that today.

Out of the Ordinary

The podcast for anyone who’s ever felt the nagging frustration of wondering if her life is too small, too boring or too ordinary to make a difference. Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy, longtime friends and bestselling authors, explore the surprising ways that cultivating ordinary life leads to extraordinary stories.

Visit our official podcast page!

Christie Purifoy

Christie Purifoy

Co-Host

A writer and gardener, her favorite ordinary things include strawberry jam, homegrown flowers, and old books with someone else’s notes in them.

Find Christie’s books here.

Lisa-Jo Baker

Lisa-Jo Baker

Co-Host

A reader and writer, her favorite ordinary things include hot tea with milk and sugar, a good movie, her mom’s hand-me-down books and Sunday afternoon naps.

Find Lisa-Jo’s books here.

RECENT PODCASTS

#outoftheordinarypodcast is on Instagram!

Ep 2 – The Antidote to Dissatisfaction

Ep 2 – The Antidote to Dissatisfaction

This is the story of eating a 3 course dinner soaking wet in the middle of a rainstorm in Zimbabwe.  And the story of yellow leaves falling in the middle of summer in Pennsylvania. And how we have often both been so desperate in our dissatisfaction it took us years to find the antidote.

But in this episode we share what that looks like, how to apply it in your own life, and the very best place to take all your longing and dissatisfied dreams. In this episode we share some of the biggest demands we’ve made of God and how He’s answered. It wasn’t what we expected.

Out of the Ordinary

The podcast for anyone who’s ever felt the nagging frustration of wondering if her life is too small, too boring or too ordinary to make a difference. Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy, longtime friends and bestselling authors, explore the surprising ways that cultivating ordinary life leads to extraordinary stories.

Visit our official podcast page!

Christie Purifoy

Christie Purifoy

Co-Host

A writer and gardener, her favorite ordinary things include strawberry jam, homegrown flowers, and old books with someone else’s notes in them.

Find Christie’s books here.

Lisa-Jo Baker

Lisa-Jo Baker

Co-Host

A reader and writer, her favorite ordinary things include hot tea with milk and sugar, a good movie, her mom’s hand-me-down books and Sunday afternoon naps.

Find Lisa-Jo’s books here.

RECENT PODCASTS

#outoftheordinarypodcast is on Instagram!

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