so fresh and so green

It was a glorious day, and my husband and I were out in the yard raking leaves. My life is glamorous, yes? Also, I do not enjoy raking leaves, if anyone is keeping track. But as I was scrape, scrape, scraping the dried and dead leaves into larger piles, I couldn't help but think of a picture of grace. Of a fresh start. Our yard was brown and seemed utterly lifeless for months, but the harder we worked, the more green life shone through.

Once we got to this point, with the leaves piled high (and no doubt with creepy crawly things hiding inside), we stopped for the day. I could have, would have, quit forever, but my Yard Man said we had to come back tomorrow to clear the piles. I dramatically moan and say something about tomorrow being Sunday, forgoodnesssake. Can't we just leave the piles for a little while? But he says, if we leave the piles, the healthy grass beneath them will die. It will suffocate in the deadness covering it.

I tend to leave things almost fixed. Almost done. And not just in the yard. I can rake my junk - my hurt, my disappointment, my lack of integrity, my bitterness - into neat piles, but I tend to stop there. I tend to let them sit and rot.

I was nearly done grouching around when I started to see the green. I only looked up because a tiny tree branch grazed my head and I was certain it was a tarantula or butterfly coming to kill me. It was not. But when I looked up, this is what I saw.

Tiny leaves poking through a branch that, a few weeks ago, looked completely dead and dry. A few weeks ago, I couldn't see the beauty, but it was there inside. I feel like this tree and my grass, covered in deadness and remnants of seasons gone. Too often, I just let it sit there on top of me, always wondering why I can't breathe. Life at its fullest is so close. It's a garbage bag and a hard worker away.

Green leaves bursting with fresh color - that's what I want to look like. Not crumpled grass under crunchy leaves. It's a task easier said than done. Clearing the weight of my own deadness and hurt is work and isn't painless. But freedom comes after pain and thankfulness. So does joy.

So I will choose to be thankful - to confront my fears and hurt and disappointment and discontentment and choose thankfulness instead. My life is full if I just look up and look around, rather than burying myself in dead leaves and creepy crawlies. My "plan" is foiled, but my life is good and simple and can be happy if I let it be so.

Today, I'm thankful for the leaves that suffocate. They are the scars of lessons learned and life experienced. I'm thankful for the leaves, but I can't remain trapped under them. I won't. Life is waiting at the end of my hard work like a glass of ice water waiting to refresh a dry body.

‎'Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don't numb themselves to really living.'
'Emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have the opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy.' One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp
'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!' 2 Corinthians 5:17


  1. What a wonderful peek into His Glory! I must share my February memory verse... “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” Isaiah 43:18-19 The Message


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