About jasonbyerly

Writer. Children's Pastor. Husband. Dad. All around lucky guy.

Leaf Collection

Autumn Leaves

I had two major problems helping my daughter put together her fall leaf collection for school.  First, we only have three trees in our yard.  Second, those are about the only trees I can identify, and that’s because I planted them.   

The way I figured it, she either needed a smarter dad or we needed to get some help.  We didn’t have time for the first option, so we had to get creative.

Fortunately we have a fantastic park in our town with a wide variety of trees, and they are all labeled with tiny signs.  I have a suspicion the trees were planted to help kids like mine get a good grade on their leaf assignments no matter who their parents might be.

Labels are a fantastic resource.  They can help you make sense out of things you don’t understand.  Hmm, what is that tree with gigantic leaves?  It’s huge!  Oh, it’s a Bigleaf Magnolia.    

They can also help you differentiate between two things are similar.  Hey, is that a Sugar Maple?  Nope, it’s a Red Maple.  They kind of look alike.  

And labels make it easy to identify an object without having to carefully examine it each time.  How many lobes does that thing have?  Do the veins go all the way to the edge?  Who cares? Just read the sign!

It’s no wonder as humans we love to categorize and label things.  It just makes life simpler.  This is great when it comes to helping your kid with a fall leaf collection.  Not so great when we try to apply the same principle to people. Continue reading

The (Not So) Perfect Pumpkin Pie

les-jay-223471.jpgNot just anyone can fix a good pumpkin pie. Oh I know the recipe is simple enough, but you have to be paying attention or you can ruin it. That’s what happened on my daughter’s birthday a few years ago.

See, when you have a fall birthday in my house, you don’t always get a normal cake. Sometimes you get pie, which is not an altogether bad deal, unless, like I said, someone messes it up.

My wife meant well, but she had a lot going on. We were packing to leave town for a few days, and she was just trying to do too many things at once. When she pulled the pie out of the oven, the edge of the crust was almost burned.

She thought it was fine, but I couldn’t let it go. This was my daughter’s birthday cake for crying out loud. I wanted it to be picture perfect. “Don’t worry about it,” I said. “I’ve got this.”

Continue reading

Holiday Road Christmas Devotional Now Available on Kindle & Nook


We just released Holiday Road: A Christmas Devotional on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook earlier this week. Now, not only can you read it on your Kindle, phone or tablet but, for any of you who are in the same stage of life that I am, you can also adjust the font to create your own large print version!

I love this option because it’s a great way for me to pretend like I’m not hitting middle age. Who needs bifocals when you can enlarge your ebook to a 72 point font?

Hooray for technology that allows me to live in denial!