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Living Evergreen

So I was talking to a friend over lunch the other day, and she asked me a question that I get quite often. "Why did you name your business Little Evergreen?" It's either that or, "What does your tattoo mean?" (If you don't know me or don't follow me on Instagram, I have a tattoo on my right inner arm of 3 evergreen trees). So many people have asked me this question, and I thought, hey, I should just write a post about it. Gather your comfy blanket and your coffee and settle in! Just kidding, it's really not that long. Let me tell you the story....

I guess it really started with my wedding. Let me set the scene: it's 2014. 23 year old Jamison and 20 year old Mary Kate are planning their wedding (whew we were younguns). I am not the one to do things the normal way-I like to shake things up. So I did not want my wedding to be this long, drawn out thing where your mom's aunt's husband's daughter sings a song that is horribly off-key and everyone pretends to be moved and blah blah blah. I didn't want normality. I didn't want it to be an hour long. And I didn't want to light a unity candle. It just didn't fit me. Cue the evergreen tree. I don't know where I got this idea, but basically, during our ceremony, we planted a tree. Jamison had a jar of dirt from his childhood home in Michigan, and I had a jar of dirt from my childhood home in Kentucky (yes, I had to go to that house and ask the current owners for dirt. They probably thought I was crazy). And as we joined our lives together, we took our literal roots and blended them together in this potted evergreen tree. That tree is now planted in our backyard--our first home.

I love everything that trees represent: shelter, deep roots, dependability, strength, life. And even more, evergreen trees are just that: they are ever green. No matter the season, no matter the weather, no matter the storms that come, they stay green, vibrant, alive. That is exactly how I want to live my life, so we chose an evergreen.

And then I went through depression. Yikes. That is just, the freaking worst. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It was a terrible season of doubt, fear, anxiety, and feeling blind. I hated it. I mean, who wouldn't? I'm so thankful for Jesus, because I don't know how people can make it through without Him. That isn't me trying to judge or have any arrogance. I just truly believe Jesus is the best Father and Friend, and that without Him, I could not live. Cut to me finally finding my way through the fog and coming out on the other side (wow, is that a long story short). And then basically, I got a tattoo. And guess what it was. Yep, you got it: an evergreen tree. Because even though I felt lost, scared, and like I couldn't see anything, I knew that God had my back. I knew that I just needed to be ever green. I needed to believe in every season that He is good. Even in the storms and valleys, I needed to know that my God had always been faithful to me, so why couldn't I be faithful to Him? It's like I was tying a rope around my waist, tying the other end to Jesus and saying, "Lord, I don't feel like I can even move right now, but I'm going with You no matter what. So even if I have to be dragged along, I'm going with you." That, my friend, is faith. So I had 3 evergreens tattooed on myself so that I would always remember that (3 for Father, Son, Holy Spirit). And that is why I named my business after evergreens. It's who I am. It's what I strive to be. It's what Jesus spoke to me when I was in the dark. Evergreens are, well, everything.

I want a life full of adventure, full of happy moments spent gathering with the most important people, full of shared meals, full of bonfires and laughter, volleyball games, hiking the world, cooking with family, and creating beautiful things. I want to be alive. Vibrant. A shelter to those who need me. Deeply rooted in love and compassion. Strong enough to face what is before me. And that in every season, I would be me. I want to live ever green.

Thanks for reading


Mary Kate

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