Beyond the Boundaries

Jan 12, 2013 by

Beyond the Boundaries

I was walking downtown the other day and came across this:

The roots of a very persistent tree

The roots of a very persistent tree

By “came across” I mean nearly tripped over.

There, in the middle of the sidewalk, protruded the robust roots of a very tall, very confident tree. Its age was betrayed by the cement buckling on top of it. Clearly, when this tree was first planted, it must have been more agreeable with its surroundings. I imagine that at one point in its life it behaved and lived peacefully within the 4×6 plot of land it had been given. But then, it just kept growing—spreading wider, reaching higher, living freer—until its boundaries became more of a suggestion than a rule. Its pursuits undoubtedly spurred on by Seattle’s abundant rain and occasional sunshine.

I’m feeling a little bit like that tree these days. I’m growing in ways that buckle some of  norms of my life. I’m taking chances that require expansion . . . of my thinking, my actions, and especially my courage.

I’ve written a book that will be published by Booktrope sometime this year. That excites and scares me. I’ve shared the early manuscript with a select group of friends and family and have appreciated their encouragement, input, and critique. While that caused my knees to knock a little bit, I found comfort in knowing that these people were my friends and would, gently, advise me in improving the work that has been my passion for the past two years. Well, as I’ve gotten closer to publication, I’ve shared my manuscript with strangers . . . strangers who review books for a living.

THAT scares the crap out of me.

What if they hate it?

What if the book sucks?

What if I’m like that girl on American Idol who warbles like a loon but thinks she sounds like Barbra Streisand because her momma ‘n ‘nem told her see can sing?

What if me and my little book get the Simon Cowell treatment?

Will I be okay?

The answers to those questions have yet to be unveiled so I have some choices to make in the meantime, which brings me back to that tree.

Just keep reaching, stretching, growing, and being a tree

Just keep reaching, stretching, growing, and being a tree

I bet that old tree has seen life come and go. My guess is that it has witnessed countless families move in and out of the apartments it shades. It probably has seen businesses come and go from the building just to the right of it. Still, the tree stands, firmly rooted in the ground beneath it while the world changes all around.

As unapologetically free-spirited as I am, lately I’m finding new value in consistency, stability, rootedness. I want to choose to remain me—stalwart in my convictions, my loves, my desires—no matter what anyone says, including book reviewers. I believe in doing so, in stretching, reaching and growing beyond my boundaries, I can challenge and exceed them, and maybe even make room for others to grow along with me.

Well, that’s my intention any how.

This girl is reaching for the sky, come what (reviews) may. Who wants to reach with me?

Peace and Blessings,


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  1. Nicole takes a fantastic journey to Pandora’s Jar where not only must she find the strength to unlock her courage, but also to open the fated jar itself. After all, there is one spirit that remains inside—the spirit of Hope—and that is what she, and the world so desperately need. <3

    Job 13:15

    Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

  2. Renee

    Great comment, Jennifer! I concur… ABSOLUTELY! Keep growing Nic, and know that Father has given you everything you need to withstand the wind. That’s the great thing about firmly rooted trees… “Like a tree planted by the waters that brings forth it’s fruit in due season….” They bend, but they won’t break! Selah.

  3. Haha I hate tripping over those things. But it’s kinda funny when it happens haha 😉

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