I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, doing some leaves-are-turning, temps-are-falling, daytime-is-shortening introspective thinking. The fresh start-ness of this time of year has me wanting to purge my whole life, getting rid of clothes and toys, decor and kitchen things. I want to clean house constantly, and it feels like when I’m about 8mos pregnant and nesting for all I’ve got. Only this time, the babies are on the outside and getting all up in my way of cleaning with their cuteness. =) I want to remove closet doors and replace them with fabric curtains, and use my grandma’s table linens, and store everything in mason jars with zinc lids.
Every year I wax poetic about the changing leaves, something about their beauty striking me deeply. The orange ones, when the tree is full of radiant and lighter-than-air orange leaves, look nearly ethereal, and all I can think when I stare at them is that they are stunning in their dying. The leaves are literally dying to themselves to become all that their creator has intended them to be. To fully live into that color they must die to their comfortable spring green, and they are stunningly beautiful.
I’ve been short-tempered lately, snippy and sassy. Sometimes being sassy can be fun; however, when your 2-year-old mimics something ugly you said, the sass loses its charm and smacks you in the face. I don’t want my son or his sister to say, ‘My mom was so sassy, always shooting her mouth off!’ I want them to say things about my generosity, my welcoming spirit, our home full of love. Something about my sweet little babies brings out my mama bear, and that bear is had to hold back. In certain circumstances I’m all about letting the bear fly. But somethings that fly out of my mouth really shouldn’t, and it’s these things that make my cheeks flush red when I think of them later. There was always a more gracious reply, a kinder tone to use, a less prideful reaction to have taken.
It’s these things that are my comfortable green, and I want to blaze orange.
I want my snappy and quick tongue to die, holding out for His temper and grace to leave my mouth. I want my selfish impulses to die, shriveling up as His spirit takes up more room in my heart. I want my desire to be known to die, peace invading as I deeply know that He has named me and that is enough. I want my boldness of heart to be tempered with the fruits of His spirit.
I want what the leaves know. That in dying to their own selves – clinging to their familiar branches, risking actual death by staying put – they blaze bright, becoming all that they were intended to be by design. He makes them beautiful. He makes me beautiful. More so than if I lose the pounds I need to lose, more so than if I cling tightly to the comfortable former, more so than if I root in my own self. He makes us beautiful. He makes us blaze bright.
May my ungratefulness be among the things I purge from my home this season. May I toss out the need for fairness and my sharp tongue. May I throw away impatience and unkindness. May I dig deep into drawers and spaces long forgotten, pulling out faith & trust, dusting off my armor and taking it up with confidence. And may I blaze bright as I die to myself, fully living into the colors I was designed for.