About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Placed here in New England, I’m absolutely vibrating in tune with your words. Thanks for this invitation to praise God for the shade of autumn color He is bringing into my yard — and into my service for Him.

  2. Mary,
    Your words today spoke to me so very much! My name is Teresa but I have been called Tree since I was very young (it’s a tomboy thing and always living in the tree reading or writing) Your last words on the page were what really spoke to me. “You are exactly the Tree you were created to be.” I have been struggling with so many feelings of inadequacy in how I look, my age, my accomplishments in life or lack thereof and God spoke to me so very clearly this morning reading your post! Thank you for reminding me 😀 (by the way the orange ones are my favorites too.)

  3. Mary,
    Fall is my favorite time of year and, like you, I love the brilliant orange-red tree. We have one in our yard. I remember the tag when we bought it said “Autumn Glory”. I’ve noticed with it, however, that some years it is more magnificent than others. Perhaps whatever was leading up to Fall has something to do with how brightly he shines. In keeping with your tree analogy, we’re kind of like that too. Sometimes we have seasons or phases in life when we shine more brightly than others in our own unique ways. Sometimes life just wears us out and makes us weary and feeling “less than”. But, just like the circumstances in the trees life don’t take away from our tree being an “Autumn Glory” maple, the circumstances in life don’t take away our identity in Christ. We are labeled as being “His” for life. No one or nothing can take that away from us. So some of us may shine gloriously in our hand picked colors of yellow, gold, orange-red, or red….and some of us may feel a little lack luster this year – we are still His wonderful creation, created in His image to bring him glory – no matter what color or how magnificently we are shining…we still have beauty.
    Blessings and thanks for a post that speaks to my heart,
    Bev

  4. Mary,

    This gave me a lot to think about. It’s another example of how the Lord works beauty in to our everyday. And as you point out like the trees He created, we too were created to be unique in our own ways. The question is, what tree am I? I think if I had a choice it would be the evergreen. I absolutely love the way they drop their gifts of pine cones, stand strong sheltering us from the wind, and offer us much of what we rely on. But yet given the right circumstances they too can tumble.
    Thank-you for your thought inspiring post.

    Have a blessed day,

    Penny

    • Penny, I love the way you turned my words around in your heart to ask what kind of tree you want to be. Great insight and question for all of us!

  5. I don’t usually comment but this speaks directly to me. Everywhere I look its like everyone is getting pregnant. I don’t want to envy the orange tree, but sometimes it gets difficult.

  6. What beautiful metaphors, comparing trees and the need to be recognized in life. Thank you for causing us to pause today to think about the beauty of this fall season and the lovely trees in our lives.

    I think there are many brilliant orange red tree planted deep in the woods (small community)that only those who are near will ever notice. There are many amazing teachers and encouragers, And I thank God for each one.

    • Ooooh, that’s a great point, Diane. Location, proximity, opportunity – those are all factors that determine our “type of tree” as well. And none of it is an accident or a surprise to God!

  7. Thank you. This warms my heart this morning. Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. Last weekend driving, I of course, marveled at the beauty of the fall color. However, many times as we drove past what looked like a stunning tree from a distance, it often was misshapen or a bit more sparse than I would have imagined it to be. I couldn’t help but think that God uses each of us in community to display His glory, no matter what deficiencies we may have individually. I just had to think, what a great picture of the church and how it can bring great glory to Him when believers stand aside each other. Each one can help paint a majestic scene.

  8. God gave us an amazing gift in the colors of nature – we are truly blessed by his handiwork – thanks for reminding us to look up and enjoy!

  9. I have been re-reading one of my all time favorite books, Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The main character, little Much-Afraid, is on a long and difficult journey when she sees a tiny blossoming flower in the vast desert place. Tiny drops of water have kept the lonely flower alive and Much-Afraid asks the flower her name.
    The little flower answers bravely, Acceptance-with-Joy.
    We all experience varied seasons in life, mine happens to be a recent empty nest. And as I allow the drips of God’s love to soak into my aching heart…may I lift my eyes up and speak bravely…Behold me! I am Acceptance-with-Joy!
    “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” /Isaiah 55:12
    Thank you, Mary, for another timely reminder!

  10. Your words are just what I needed today. It is so encouraging and uplifting to know that God made me the way I am and He values me as His wonderful creation. God gives us unconditional love and more than any standards I pressure myself with, I am enough. Thank you for reminding me that God has placed me where I am and He has great plans for me if I trust Him with all of my heart.

  11. Writers have an introspection that comes alive with nature, I think. Notice’ers, we are. Last fall I spent the entire season taking pictures of each step in the process from the first flecks of color on the leaves to the barren trees. Nature is such a sweet, patient teacher. Love your tree analogy. I kind of think the “trees” we’re created to be might even change throughout the seasons of our lives. I can kind of see myself in all the trees, in different times in my life. Lovely post, Mary. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Yeeeeessss, “nature is such a sweet, patient teacher.” This is so true, Brenda! If I simply keep my eyes open, I can’t NOT be inspired when in God’s nature.

  12. This post makes me so happy! I am a senior portrait photographer and I am ALWAYS encouraging my clients to be who GOD mad them to be and let their unique gifts shine. I love this fall perspective on this important issue of self love. Thank you!

  13. Because 3 out of the 5 of us have orange hair in our family we often refer to ourselves as “Team Orange”. I was drawn in by the title …would I be an orange tree?? No, I am not but I loved your perspective on all……..never thought of trees like people before but how they do relate.

    • I love that you’re Team Orange, Kathy! And your response makes a good point – we might be the orange tree in one situation but a completely different “color” in another. So much to learn from God’s masterpiece in nature!

  14. Thanks Mary! I love autumn trees too and they are rather rare in Australia, so extra special. Thank you for sending God’s love through your post. I needed that right now…as I launched my project last night and part of me am feeling scared stiff, although I am so convinced it is something blessed by God.

  15. Thank you for this blog, this really spoke to me, I feel like I am in a season of waiting on several fronts. The analogy of the trees, their colours and timing was a great reminder to me of how this season will shape up for me. Its in God’s timing, and I am his master piece. I just need to lean in and trust. Thank you for sharing.

  16. I am defiantly a bright orange tree. Great analogy used here. It makes so much sense when talking about trees to see ourselves as different and unique. But when we compare ourselves as women, it is hard to be so gracious to our self and others. I hope your article helps us see our selves with new eyes. For when we compare, we lose our joy.

  17. Mary, thank you for this wonderful grace from the Lord, who reminds that its in looking at what He is doing in and around and through us that we can stand in awe and wonder at His loving creativity, peace, and hope. Thank you for bringing these words that He gave into a slowingly vibrant grace of healing 🙂 May we each see His work, His fingertip, tracing and creating us and our world each moment, one small leaf and color at a time 🙂

  18. Hey Mary…Autumn is my FAVORITE season and this post makes my heart smile! We serve a Mighty Creator who makes no mistakes. Every bit of His creation fulfills a purpose and plan. We just need to set our expectations aside to fully appreciate and rest in His sovereignty. It’s taken me years to receive this truth in my spirit and release my grip on comparison. This message came along to encourage me in that. Thanks again…and I’m with your daughter – I happen to love the red trees too!

  19. Mary,

    I’m not the bright red-orange dazzling tree. Would love to be the sparkling bright colored tree that everyone admires. My tree type is one that changes much later in season (late bloomer). Lately I’ve felt small and insignificant not red and dazzling. I envy other people who have good paying jobs they enjoy. Now I’m a stay-at-home caregiver for my aging dad. I know it is an important job, but I feel like I’m letting people down. Trying to use my gifts and talents as much as possible to bless those around me. Perhaps my time hasn’t arrived yet and God has bigger plans for me!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Blessings 🙂