As I drive my girls to school each morning, we pass rows and rows of trees whose leaves have begun to change color. When traffic is going fast or when a gust of wind blows through, the leaves begin to fly off of their trees and land gently somewhere on the ground. Gold, red, and wine colors all cover the sidewalks near their school. This is one of the many reasons I like Autumn- the leaves indicate that something has changed and is changing, a visual sign of what happens in our own lives.
During this particular Autumn season, I find myself planning my oldest daughter’s Rite of Passage ceremony. It really feels like just yesterday, we brought her home from the small country hospital she was born in. Now I can look at her almost eye to eye, we can almost share shoes (she likes my boots), and we are exchanging hair maintenance tips. Where did the time go? How is she ready to enter into her teen years? Where did my little girl go, and where is she going to next?
When I look at her, I see those colorful little leaves; I see a season that is changing whether I am ready for it or not. I see her growing and learning and beginning to detach just a little from the safety of her parents much like the golden leaves as wind blows by. And just like those leaves, she is gonna fly and land somewhere that right now, is unknown. Her childhood is coming to a close but her teenage years are just beginning. My husband and I could think of no better birthday celebration than a rite of passage for her as she enters her new season.
I know exactly where she took her first steps, I remember her first words, and even her favorite book. I know the biblical foundations we’ve tried to help her set her life upon. But because we as her parents don’t know exactly where she will land as she flies, we want to equip her with lots of wisdom. We need help. Not help as in directions, but help as in assistance as she learns to fly a little more independently. We are blessed to have a community of family and friends (both near and far) who will be sharing their wisdom and life lessons with her on her special day and throughout her beautiful life. Altogether, we have many more years of wisdom combined than what my husband and I could provide by ourselves.
We need the help of others. We are created for community. Real, authentic, genuine, honest, community.
I can’t wait to hear them as they tell her of their life lessons, or share their personal experiences. Their story will somehow impact her story. Her story will in turn impact others. I don’t know how, or when, but I know that I know it will.
Seasons are changing all around us friend. Some we can see the physical representation of, and others we just sense in our souls. We can’t stop time or even see where things will end up after all is said and done, but we can embrace the change with grateful hearts, and open hands.
Friend, as you sit and read this (hopefully with a cup of strong, warm coffee), what seasons can you see changing around you? What seasons can you feel changing that you wish wouldn’t?
Let’s sip our warm coffee and let those thoughts stay at the forefront of our minds for a moment…
May you see the seasons not as endings, but as beginnings. May you notice the seen and the unseen in the change. May your heart swell with gratitude and your hands unfurl in acceptance of your new seasons. And my your cup never run dry.
I am definitely a morning person. Not the kind that is chipper or super-jazzed that it is morning time, but more like the one who knows it’s morning and knows that I have to get up and get going or else we’ll all be late:). SO in my rush of making sure children were appropriately dressed, and lunches were packed, I hurried to make myself some toast with coconut oil(yep, it is has the best flavor ever) and a to-go cup of water. I had a cup with a straw left over from a meal I bought yesterday and thought I should reuse it one more time. But in the shuffle out the door with my kids, I placed the cup on top of my car so I could buckle up my youngest in his carseat…and there it stayed. As we pulled out onto the open road headed to school, I reached for a drink of my ice water and it was not in the car!!!UGH!!! I asked my kids to look around and suddenly I saw streams of water pouring down my rear window. Yep, I am that mom– the one who leaves drinks on the top of the car because I am either exhausted and forget I even have a drink, or because I space-out sometimes because of lack or caffeine in the morning. But maybe today, I became that mom because I was more concerned about the destination than I was about what I was taking along for the ride. If you find yourself in the same place this morning, know that you are in good company. You ware not alone and guess what, we are human and tend to forget that the journey is just as important, if not more, than the actual destination. What we bring into and out of our lives on this journey of learning greatly impacts us; it can nourish or deplete us. It can lift up or destroy us. A little intense, I know, but let’s remember that so is this journey. I may have forgotten to bring my water into the car, but if I go too long without water, my body will not function the way I need it to. Too long without sleep and my body will shut down. Too long without food or coffee…well, you don’t even want to know what I look like then.
Let’s put this in simpler terms: too long without a nourishing friendship or connection with others and loneliness and fear sets in. Too long without life-giving messages to uplift and inspire us and bitterness and callousness sets in. Too long without unplugging from the busyness of life and our bodies will begin to become malnourished and our minds can’t focus on the important and meaningful relationships around us. So today, I may be that mom who forgot the cup on top of my little car, but not tomorrow. Tomorrow, I am going to strive to be the mom who laughs about it, and learns from it. Guess what? You can too:). Tomorrow’s are never promised but they sure are appreciated.
What are YOU going to bring along for your journey today?
Joy? Hope? Peace? Comfort? Nourishing relationships? Think it over and then go get a cup of coffee and don’t set it on your car like I did:).