Tuesday, November 19, 2013

leaves fallen & seasons spinning wild.

The leaves are now on the ground and there is barely one leaf awaiting the wind to blow it slowly or violently to the ground.

The trees are empty. Yards are looking bigger. Streets are looking wider. We now anticipate the snow to come in an innocent fog of snowflakes to fill in the quiet gaps.

What we praised the Lord for so much for months ago is now gone.

The colored leaves we were thankful for will most likely be grumbled over                                                                                                            when we bring out the family's ol' rake.

In life, we love a season so much we're scared to see it go. A situation or person or feeling leaves us dreading a change.

Once we surrender and imagine life without that season in our years anymore - there is freedom.

There is freedom in being willing to let go.

That season - it may come back.

If the joyfulness found within that season is not restored as it was, the Giver of joy will stitch up all the broken pieces of what's left - all the broken pieces of you left.

There is a love for life when you know that it's still abundant when the season you want doesn't come in perfect time within your own calendar. There is an expectation for when the snow will fall. In between now and then, you rake the blessings that are right here - anticipating a new beginning. No matter how much we love a certain season, we can all probably agree that we look forward to every new season for just that - to start over in all things. Turning the pages of my calendar can be all I need to take a deep breath and remember to cherish right now. I'm loving wearing my TOMS and my scarves. I also know that when summer rolls around again soon enough, I'll be just as ecstatic to pull my favorite running shorts {no, I do NOT run} out of the closet. Every season change is exciting.

Surrendering also makes the situation, the relationship, and that specific season even sweeter for you when He grants that you can have it once again. Maybe differently. Maybe even better than before.

Autumn is still lingering; it just looks different.

As your situations change, don't grumble over what you once praised Him for, what you once prayed for.

Don't praise Him for colored leaves when you are going to soon grumble over them because they require something from you.

Blessings don't come as leftovers. They come brand new from the Lord directly to you. Sometimes, they come in odd shapes and sizes.

Blessings come in a million different ways.

In bringing out your winter coat, in sharing joy over a red cup from Starbucks, in receiving letters from camp besties, in your sweet doggy resting his head on your leg while you work on English, in living the life of a Greek student, in listening to Christmas music already, in those messages on silly little screens that make you smile real big, they come in planning an all-nighter with one of your very best friends... in all this crazy mess - we find Him covering every situation - and every season - with His grace in ways that others cannot comprehend.

I sat at the youth retreat with my girls on either side of me. The cross was before us and the stars were shining brightly. A blanket covered our legs and our arms circled around one another's. In the words of Skeeter in The Help, "We sat close because we were {are} close." We admired His creation and we shivered from the breeze. The lack of our cell phones, if even for just 24 hours, was allowing us to take a deep breath and ponder everything going on around us. We didn't cry tears, but our hearts were heavy with all of life's burdens - and the awe of Him taking everything upon His shoulders. The only reason I really cried all weekend was because I was laughing so hard. The Lord portrayed Himself to us in many different ways that Friday night. Our conversation centered around how everything had changed {shout out to TSwift!}, how fast things were going to continually change, and how His love would never... change. We promised to one another. We promised that we would not forget about each other when hours and crazy college schedules got in our way. When friends became boyfriends and boyfriends became husbands. When we started a family and who knows how many miles would separate us.  We also promised that we would disappoint one another, but that the Lord would give us grace for one another.

Just like November is, and just like every year - life gets full and time speeds by.

Days seem long and years seem short.

We can't stop time, but we can slow time - by cherishing. By treasuring Him more than anything else in the world.

So -

rake your blessings and jump in them.

Surrender all those seasons and situations that need His grace and not your agenda.

Be grateful unto Him right here - and start changing the world one little act of love at a time right now.

Don't wait for the 'perfect time'. If I did so, I wouldn't publish a single word of mine.

"What if the question wasn't what are you so grateful for? But how are you changing the world because you are so grateful?" --Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience.

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,

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