People and relationships fascinate me.  How we connect with some people, but then don’t connect with others?  Sometimes there is no clear rhyme or reason to it.

While I value relationships, I’ve never been one of those people who felt like they had a “tribe.”  I don’t have this group of friends that I started out knowing when I was young and have gone through life with up until this point.  While sometimes I’m envious of people like that, the Lord has been showing me that it is much more seasons and shades for everything that happens in our lives—this applies to people as well as situations.  So while I may not have felt like I started with a tribe, I’ve definitely developed one along the way.

It made me think of the Wizard of Oz.  Small cliff notes if you’ve never read the book, seen the movie, or have just been rescued from living under a rock with the colony of wild bears you were raised with for the last 70+ years.

The story (both book and movie) starts off describing Dorothy’s life in Kansas—everything is gray.  The people, the surroundings, the mood; but Dorothy was this girl that in the midst of the past and present dreariness, could find anything to laugh at and enjoyed life regardless.  Her world is rocked by a cyclone carrying her to Oz and she sets out to return home through the help of the powerful wizard in the Emerald City.  While Dorothy has her dog with her as a companion, she otherwise sets off to see the wizard alone.

Along the way though Dorothy meets different characters that impact her in various ways.  But it is those that travel with her for the long haul to the Emerald City, the ones that help keep her spirits up along the yellow brick road, and go through mishaps with her along the way that she is so sad to leave in the end, but who have taught her so much about life.

Seasons and shades.

So much of our lives can get caught up in the cyclones, flying monkeys, and those who are out to get us (& our little dog too)—we can forget that’s not all there is.  One of the things that I love about Dorothy’s story is that she is brought from everything gray in Kansas to the rich color in Oz, and she doesn’t leave it there but brings it back to Kansas.

Part of the journey is learning to allow the seasons and shades to change us for the better—infusing vibrant color into our life where only gray once existed.  The other part is when we may have to say goodbye to those people who have traveled the journey with us, even when we are not ready to.

I say this both as I come out of processing the grief of past relationships, but also as I wrestle with the fear of losing those close to me.  One of the things that “seasons and shades” is bringing to mind is the value in thinking about people in terms of gratefulness for what they taught me, in the time that they were in my life.  This does not all of a sudden heal the wound that those people are no longer with me, but it honors their contribution to whom I have become and keeps them in my heart as I continue on in Masterpiece living.

For me, seasons and shades is also a reminder that my time on this earth is so short and making the most of the moments and the people is so incredibly important.

This may sound kind of depressing, but my encouragement today to myself, and also to you, is to take some time to savor the little things bringing color to what was once gray.  Also to embrace the people around you, not being quiet to how they have affected your life for the better because today may be our last day to do that.  May we be grateful for those who play a part in the journey of our lives for however brief a time.

Until next time…Live as a Masterpiece!


  1. God’s timing can be amazing can’t it? This is actually exactly what I have been thinking about for the past week, with a friend leaving work today it could not have been better timed. or better said. thanks Amanda!


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