near-balmy days intersperse with snappy cool ones, sunny skies with charcoal. i wanted to name my girl autumn, and it’s because this season warms my heart as it begins to chill the air. we’ve begun unpacking school books in earnest, and we’re checking off the first of the autumn bucket list starting tomorrow.
you can click here to get your own printable version.
i intend to fully, completely immerse myself in these days with our “people.” we’re going to put on sweaters and i’m going to find magic golden light reflecting off leaves and dance in it.
how about you? what must you do to celebrate autumn?
death to me, life to love. this is the mantra, i’m convinced, to prepare my heart and mind to build a stronger, more joyful, more loving marriage. the further forward we walk, though, the more aware i become that the more i fight for me, the less it seems my husband is motivated to do so. this love and marriage thing begs me to dig deeper, learn more, give more.
the thing is, i’m married to a man who’s naturally pretty sacrificial. the whole “laying down your life” thing never seemed hard for him. he’s more than willing to wash dishes, scrub floors (on his knees, no less), take out garbage and wash laundry. without being asked. still, i complain that he doesn’t step up enough. doesn’t lead the way i envisioned when, starry eyed with young love, i said, “i do.” so i stomp my foot, and i demand what i want. i demand that he “step up,” and free me from overcommitments, and say out loud where we’re going next, and tell me how much he loves me, and how pretty i look, and what a good job i did on my latest project.
even further, i tell God what i want – nay – i demand it. like my once-preschool-kiddos, i pout my bottom lip and i let Him know that i want answers, and now, and when i don’t see them i’m angry and quick to lose trust.
remember when you were a little kid, and you had to learn the word, “share?!” “NO, MINE!” screamed your little heart, because you wanted to hold on to the sticky candy in each fist, or the raggedy ann doll, or the barbie… this, i do still, when i make clear to my husband, to my Papa, that my wants and “needs” must be met, and now. only what is truth? that the harder i hold on to “mine,” the less happiness there is for the hoarding. when i loosen my fists and offer my gifts, my love, my service, my heart, great joy abounds. and it seems multiplied for the sharing.
we are eating from lime green plastic plates and we stretch that with throw-away bowls for the visitors playing cards on the back deck. i’ve simmered a pot of hot and spicy southwestern chicken soup and there’s a bit of avocado and shredded pepper jack cheese fresh home from the farm market. the kids have invited the two-weeks-a-summer neighbor grandkids who share kindred hearts and they’re creating a ruckus that echoes off the raw wood of the new construction on either side. this neighborhood still bears the scars of a long-past storm, fresh in the hearts of its residents. most are only here a few days or weeks a year, and so the neighborhood is largely ours.
in our little cottage by the sea, we feel foreign and temporary, tripping over each other and the unfamiliar spacing between doors and walls. our “things” are not all here, but take residence in a storage unit miles away. our hearts are somewhat unsettled in this space, and still somehow we are connected in our lost-ness.
we cannot doubt, either, that we are mutually called here, and our eyes and ears are open to answer that call. how can we help it? everywhere we turn, though they express it differently that what we are used to, His people and those that do not know Him have welcomed us. maybe over a shop counter and perhaps in a church fellowship hall, sometimes with a big smile and sometimes an awkward first conversation with a potential new friend, the people we meet have already shown us that our Papa has us in His arms, even in a new place. in it all, the new world outside our door is wide open and begs us to explore.
and so explore we will, and dig new roots for fresh growth for this little family of vines, vines that must stay close to our Father’s nourishing help so that we can grow into this bright new land.
now i pray for patience to be right here in this place, to not wish away the temporary when it is all temporary. to not rush headlong into what may come ahead, but live in this moment of rest, and of healing, and all things being new.