I’ve always loved Fall. I love how the leaves turn all kinds of brilliant, especially the crimson and fire orange ones that I wish could linger longer than the Kansas wind. On the rare calm days, right after the leaves have just turned, it’s hard for me not to just stare and inhale the crispness of the air. There is simplistic beauty in changing seasons.
Most days, especially as of late, my days have been brimming with a laundry list of to-do’s. There has been loud, lived-out noise in the chaos of a constant stream of life. Most of it all wonderful things I welcome. Such as racing my sweet boy as we go “super fast”. He loves running, as do I, so we run. There’s nothing quite like the run of a toddler. They are free in so much they do, so much they express. I could camp in my son’s shoes and find absolute contentment there. Perhaps there in lies the lesson I need most to see and hear right now. Something that as an adult I miss far too often. There is a balance in this new season. An undeniable, hard-to-put-words-to need to STOP. My heart needs the space to exhale every once in a while. It needs quiet moments that are not so full of activity. Moments that allow me to think about dad, remember him, miss him. Moments allowed for grief. To be honest, it’s all too easy to just keep busy. Life will continue running at a crazy pace and if I let it, I’ll be swept naturally right along with it. The current of pain is hard. It stings with an overwhelming rush that can take our breath away. It’s natural to want to avoid it, compartmentalize it, or simply not acknowledge or vocalize it. We forget, or we ignore, that pain is also purposeful. Pain points to things in our life that need addressed. Like a boulder in a rushing stream it causes us to pause, even momentarily, and assess what needs acknowledged, fixed. Pain changes and re-directs. In the surgical hands of a sovereign God, it refines and redefines. That’s not entirely bad. Fun and enjoyable, not so much. Necessary, yes. It’s not only necessary but it is quintessential for moving forward.
With that in mind, knowing that this season is part of the journey on the whole, I’m convicted that I need to be taking some time out for what I call “soul-days”. Sacred, planned out moments in my days and week where I allow myself time to exhale. Allow myself the freedom to say “no” to a barrage of things its easier to say yes to so that I can spend more time at my father’s feet. I remember my dad, in his last moments, completely at peace and rest. He wasn’t fighting any longer. In fact, in his final moments, his hands turned from being curled and down to palms up and wide-open. I haven’t really vocalized that moment. For one, I get too emotional even thinking about it and for another, it was one of those moments, like when I saw my son for the very first time, that was just so sacred it stole my breath away as I witnessed dad release himself into God’s hands. That’s what I need to do. Stop fighting long enough to take clinched fists and open them palms-wide to whatever God may have or want of me, in the here and now. This season is a season of molding, shaping and re-building. It’s an exhausting season in some regards, but it’s also pivotal. In the hands of a sovereign God all things, the good, bad and ugly in my life, serves a purpose higher than myself. This life just moves far too fast. Today may just be the tomorrow I am putting things off to. So in the moment, time and space that is NOW, I will attempt to make the most of it. As the leaves are turning colors, I’ll be pausing in ways perhaps I wouldn’t have before. I’ll be breathing in some deep breaths, cleansing breaths, because I don’t want to miss a thing God may have me hear, learn, or do in this season of change. I don’t want to miss the colors that are everywhere in life right now. Winter is coming but Spring is right around the corner. Lord willing I’ll be ready when that first hint of green reappears.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace…He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11a.