I’m not so much sitting as I am reclined back, feet propped on suspended laziness under the maple tree, head resting against a pillow, listening to leaves rustle, sway and fall in the cool breeze of Autumn air, the warmth of the sun wrapping me in my cotton cocoon.
This is the dual season of fall and winter in the Deep South. The strong arctic wind blasts of snow are somewhere far away to the North. As I sit here (recline here), I notice the Spider Lillies are in bloom in our backyard. Lorna walks up to me and says, “Mama, the spider web flowers are blooming!” and my heart smiles warm.
It’s a full circle of life moment, when I recall all in one breath how my Mama, as a little girl, always enjoyed the spider lillies blooming in the fall, how Autumn has always been her favorite season, how as a small child, I brought the delicate spiny autumn inside for her to put on the sill, and how I, as a young girl, wrote poet’s lines about my favorite flower and pined for a love lost on leaves blowing in the fall.
Now my daughter knows the joy of them and their meaning–the ending of one season, sad as it is, but the beginning of something far greater than we could imagine.
God sees the bigger picture, doesn’t He?
We never fully see, but thinking that we can see, our perspective grows jaded and gloomy, like looking through a glass darkly, and we doubt and lose hope.
And we feel the pull and the dull ache as all the shallow, hard, dry places where seed has been swept away and not allowed to grow are carved and etched deep,
God’s mighty hand grasping, pulling, tilling, and gently plowing so none of the soil is lost but all is repaired, refreshed and He moistens the soil and awakens it by putting in new soil.
Something new–I can only explain it as the mystery of the blood pouring down, —
is birthing life in me, the light of that glorious sacrificial gospel spilling red and rich upon my heart.
Red and rich and delicate because all this frailness, this sin-wracked body that I live in, must be willing to receive like the thin webbing of those autumn flowers–and they shoot up, the blood liveliness–
that aliveness –from Earth’s fertile soil, that soil dark and dying, the depths of decaying rottenness giving life–like the life-blood shooting up from veins as nails drive into His hands and feet.
And the seed cannot reproduce less it die first.
Then, through suffering with Christ, we are awakened and all we have to do is accept the sacrifice on our behalf and the blood shoots up, alive in us, making us alive to Him.
And I’ve been grafted in–in the midst of a desert-wandering life–he has drenched me in the life-blood and called me His own.
I watch my children, all the golden halos of them, dancing in the flowers, running and laughing amongst the red webbed flowers, and I run after them, and I think this is how God sees me:
just a child brought home, all of us dancing in all this grace, soaking up the moments given, the seconds and hours and days birthed out of love for us and I stand grateful, for it is just a season, a changing, a dying so that something greater can be birthed.
And this, too, shall pass.
#399 this season of desert-wandering…and knowing that God has a plan for it all
#400 these hard two weeks of trudging while Mr. Simmons works overtime…sun up to late nights cooking suppers, baths, devotions, eating suppers all together and bedtime stories and putting little ones back in bed over and over when they hop out…can i say thank you, once again, even for this? can i really lift up a thank you to God–even now–when i’m exhausted? are the worn places that i feel really making me a velveteen mama?
#401 large cartons of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes
#402 a mentor-friend, so kind and gentle, keeps writing and checking on me, offering support, advice and comfort for me to lean into
#403 a few loyal friends who keep writing, calling and just keep being there for me
#404 the way their smiles make the day seem brighter, the sun a halo on their heads
#405 a new exercise routine that has me feeling better and more like myself
#406 my sister, my mother and me all together at the movie late in the night on Thanksgiving…girl time and my mother’s “I’m glad we did this!”
#407 Older sisters wanting to give Christmas gifts to younger sisters
#408 these changing seasons…knowing that whatever comes, God is nearest in the hard times, in the pain, in the hurt. He is here.