Tree Rings: A Year in Review

First Principles

It is hard to believe a year has passed since I first pressed publish on The Cedar Life. When considering my ‘Why’ for starting the blog, I posed a theory. Over the last few years, I have discovered that there is more to life than what I had experienced before that point. The theory I put forward was that there are many of us looking for more. My hope was that in sharing my journey it would provide hope and encouragement to others.

After encountering a more personal Christian faith, I made the decision that I wanted to live a life deeply rooted in relationship with God. To seek His will for my life daily and not be consumed with constant pursuit of success as the world defines it. The objective is, as Morgan Snyder puts it, “to live in the day and measure in the decade”.

The process of building a life using the metaphor of a Cedar tree is slow and deliberate. There are no shortcuts in the process of becoming. This has become evident over the last year. Looking back, I have learned much about myself and have taken important lessons that I can apply for the rest of my life. At the same time, I am just getting started and that there is so much that remains to be explored and excavated.

When I published this blog, my intention was to publish an article every two weeks for a year and then evaluate at the end of the year. I was not always sure that I would make it this far, but here we are. The first chapter is complete.

Last Year

The Cedar Life was launched at the end of a very challenging year for all of us. The circumstances on our planet have remained challenging over the last year, but there has been so much good that has come as well.

My first post, Staying Rooted, was a reflection on where I placed my security during tumultuous times. Over the last twelve months, the need to continue to press into deep roots has only intensified.

As I have explored different themes relating to marriage, fatherhood, and masculinity, being rooted in my relationship with the Father has been a thread that is woven throughout my experiences. The act of writing and publishing posts has been one of trust. In the moments when I am unsure about what I am writing or feel the temptation to hold something back, I place my writing under His care and trust it to Him.

Each act of trust has helped me to build confidence. Sharing personal stories is somewhat intimidating. I face the constant fear that I am speaking to an empty void, or that nobody cares. Or that people will read my posts and ridicule me. There have been few of the latter, but not zero. I am grateful that the majority of the feedback I have received has been of the encouraging type. The theory has held.

Support

The most unexpected benefit of writing for my blog has been the regular feedback and support I have received. Some of my close friends will reach out on Tuesdays when a new post comes out or drop me an email to let them know something I wrote resonated with them. These messages are fuel to keep writing and I am thankful for them.

I am also very encouraged every time I hear from an old friend or colleague that I haven’t spoken to in a few years. This has happened far more than I would have expected, but it is such a pleasure to hear that something I have shared has touched a part of their life and story. To learn that something I put out there sparked a conversation between a husband and wife or gave someone pause to look at a particular challenge in a new light is incredibly humbling.

I have even heard from people I have never met, in different parts of the country and beyond it. The world can seem like a vast place, but there is community everywhere.

What it all tells me is that there are more of us out there. Those who get the sense that there is more to life than what the world is offering up. It tells me that we need to keep going, keep digging, and keep supporting each other on the way.

To anyone that has taken the time to read one of my posts over the last year, thank you. You have made the effort worth it.

What’s Next

The Cedar Life was started without a fixed plan. I felt a desire to write about and engage more deeply in a journey. The journey of writing had no fixed destination, only a commitment I made to myself to keep it going for a year. Most of the time when I published a post, I quickly encountered a feeling of dread related to not immediately having an idea for the next post.

I feared that at some point, I would run out of ideas. But if the blog is meant to be about the journey of a lifetime, then there will always be more to write about. Just as there are new challenges and opportunities presented in the day-to-day. Writing has helped me to become more aware of this and to capture some of the ideas and themes where I might have missed them before.

I have not yet run out of ideas to write about. I hope that I never do, whether I write about them or not. I have enjoyed writing and sharing over the last year and have decided to continue The Cedar Life in its blog form for another year.

I will continue to post on the blog and support it with media on Instagram. I also plan to try out some new things in 2022 in terms of content. More to come on that, but I am excited to experiment with different forms of communicating.

I expect that 2022 will also be more structured in terms of themes and blog topics. I want to keep things flexible enough that if an exciting idea comes out of the blue I can write about it, while trying to weave a common thread throughout the year and plan ahead (at least more than a week at a time).

Sharing The Cedar Life with you has become a joy in my life. I love hearing the stories of how it interacts with others and, once again, I am humbled by the responses I get. If you do read a post that strikes you, I encourage you to pass it along to others who might benefit from the message.

The message of The Cedar Life is not mine to own. I have benefited from learning from others, incorporating their shared wisdom into my life. The process is slow and deliberate.

The Cedar Life can only be measured in decades, through the seasons and through the storms. It is for those who want something different and deeper – something more. It remains an invitation. Join me as we move to the next chapter.

– Sean

If you enjoy reading these posts, please comment below, share with a friend, and subscribe to the blog to receive the latest updates in your email. You can also stay updated by following The Cedar Life on Instagram@thecedarlife

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: