About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Anna,
    Hmmm…very thought provoking…that we are at our most beautiful when we are dying to self. I love the theology of the trees. Why do I fight against it? Trying to hold onto my green when I’m tired and worn from being parched in the summer heat? There truly is beauty in the letting go…letting the junk, like leaves, fall from my life. Letting go of what I struggle to hang onto in place of trusting Him. You’ve really got me thinking this morning…thank you…beautiful!
    Bev
    Bev

    • As always, Bev, thank you for the encouragement. You’re such a consistent, constant encourager and I so appreciate you!

      “There truly is beauty in letting go…” YES. And amen.

  2. Anna, this is so beautiful. Your post really encourages me because my family has relocated from our home in the MidEast to a new one in Texas 9 months, and the change feels good, yet it’s so hard. And I know that just when we’ve adjusted, it’ll be time to go back! A special season of CHANGE, but you’re encouraging me today to dye to self and embrace God’s way for me.

  3. Wow…I didn’t realize (in)courage had a fellow Minnesotan as their social media coordinator…kind of cool that you are from “my neck of the woods”. 😉

    I wonder if we are close or far apart….always curious when I read that the author in from Minnesota.

  4. I was just thinking about trees, anna. our seasons are so mixed up here on the coast of CA. some trees in our yard finally decide to lose their leaves around january. it can be disheartening for this Fall-girl who’s too much of pansy to actually live in the Midwest.I like the IDEA of seasons. I am glad our trees remind me they are praising God in any season -just read that somewhere in Psalms–and that I need to do the same. Love your words about bursts of flame and color – so silly we hold back when God’s got all that color waiting for us and our world. Bring it on, Creator and Redeemer and Friend.

  5. Anna,

    Good questions Anna! How do the leaves know when to change color and what color to be? God said to die to self and live for Him. The only way to do that is to rid ourselves of “junk”. Trusting God is hard very hard because he requires you to change & change is never easy! There is a calming peace when one lets go of junk & worldly stuff. So let’s all choose to take hold, to dig deeper, and to look beyond our everyday mess and frustration into the wild of what God has in store for us!!
    Blessings 🙂

  6. I love this analogy, Anna. Dying to self, yet bursting to color. Thank you for this encouragement. I always feel sad seeing bare, seemingly dead trees, but then I think of the necessity of it to supply more nourishment to the roots and make them grow deeper and stronger. May our roots grow ever deeper and stronger into Christ!

  7. Love, love, love your words today Anna! I love that God has put such lessons for us in the midst of His creation!

  8. What is even MORE amazing…is that trees do not display their TRUE color until Fall. During the summer, the leaves are filled with chlorophyll which is what makes the leaves appear green. When they are dying…the chlorophyll dies off, and the leaves show their true colors. When we die to ourselves… then we become what God meant for us to me. The fall leaves are singing “Glory to God!”

  9. Anna,
    Beautiful……this dying is so true, it’s hard. It’s what love looks like, Christ’s love. Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor from Romania who made the world aware of persecution in the eastern bloc, said the rose is most fragrant when it is crushed. The beauty of the trees is most blazing with color when they are dying. God is trying to get my attention today, I heard a radio broadcast today of dying to self too. I often want my comfort because it seems easier when I am weary. And I am weary. But, doing the hard thing is what would be best. I do trust God, and I will have to change my thoughts.
    Joanne

  10. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3, I put the whole verse it is one of my favorites.

  11. Anna, it reminds me of people dear who have died well. In their faithful, joyful dying do they demonstrate how to live well to those of us who are turning from green to blaze-orange. We see in the fire who shines…and ultimately, it’s the One shining through us that receives the deserved glory. So beautiful. Thank you.

  12. In the midst of mess and frustration and Living Colour is so desirable. You have inspired me.

  13. Inspiring post, Anna! I always try to listen what the trees say. But they are ancient and take long to speak. We are usually too busy to wait, to hear. I’m glad you took the time to listen, to ponder, and to share 🙂