Faith Filled Friday

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Welcome to Coffeehour @ Chickllit Power and Trench Classes United. Come on in for a short heart-felt story.

Today I caught myself thinking about seasons. How magical they are and what they might represent for people and how they correspond to one more than another. We are forever bonded to seasons by things that happened as children: Building a snow man, skiing for the first time, running and leaping into the leaves that gracefully fell upon the ground before us so we as gleeful children would leap with blind faith into them. Perhaps it was a season of growth where the next offspring of leaves grow and weave their way back into branches all while bringing the gift of shade on a hot summer’s day. Any way you choose to see, feel, touch and absorb them, aren’t they just amazing?

Many years ago I remember living with my grandparents in North Carolina. When fall came around I remember loving seeing all the colorful leaves falling to the ground. One day my Grandfather walked up to me with a rake and some yard waste bags. He told me to rake up all the leaves in the front yard and to stuff the leaves into the yard waste bags. I looked at the yard and remember thinking… Wow… this is going to take a long time. I was discouraged by the very thought of it. I’d rather been out skateboarding… But I got myself into the thick of it. I raked for hours and was getting the most of them into a huge pile. As this pile grew, I notice I felt more and more overwhelmed. But still, I kept at it… until my grandmother brought out some ice cold water and told me to take a break. I remember just letting myself fall back into that pileā€¦and my grandmother followed suit and youthfully did the same!

I remember loving that she did that with me. It made me feel good and that she was sharing something fun with me. In that moment my Grandmother opened up and shared some youthful memories of her own childhood, diving into piles of leaves as a young girl without a care in the world. I loved laying there and listening to her talking, but I won’t lie… I especially enjoyed laying amongst the leaves because it was a lot easier to do than raking them into a pile. So as good things come to an end too…

My Grandfather came out and told me to get back to it, but first he came over he sat down in the leaves with us and suggested that I rake them into many smaller piles instead of one big one. All I felt was blah… I didn’t want to get back to it. Reluctantly, I got up and back to the grind of rakin’ leaves I went… In front of me all I saw was a big towering pile but still I wanted to pile it higher and higher… it somehow amused me to do so. So I raked and raked. I soon began to figure out that I was raking so much more than I had too. But part of really wanted to leap harder, higher, farther, faster into them. So still I raked and raked. When I finished and got them into that pile I leaped my biggest leap into them… and it was so much fun but because I was so exhausted… my leap was probably smaller than my first one earlier that day.

Things dawned on me in that moment as I realized my many mistakes. What I had not done was pace myself and pay attention to the overall job. I just saw the reward and not the effort I would have to apply. When my grandfather came back out he told me I needed to have the leaves into bags before sundown. I remember thinking: “How am I going to get all these in these bags before sundown?” I gazed at the pile and felt a stress growing and growing. That overwhelming feeling began again. It ended up taking me past dark… but I finally finished.

I remember feeling completely exhausted. That is just how big that yard was. But I also remember my grandmother’s moment with me earlier…

I wasn’t happy with my grandfather that day so long ago. But as time goes by we begin to think in different ways and realize that sometimes love works in many different ways. You see my Grandfather could have told me from the beginning to sort into different piles… But no he let me do my thing… he let me create that huge pile of leaves to jump in with my grandmother. Only then did he come out and offer his advice to make things easier on me. It was the first time I had learned to work smarter not harder in life. As hard as that day was on me, I love that my grandfather was patient with me even when he saw me struggling. He let me struggle with all the extra effort.

I have come to believe that in life we surely need the struggle; we need advice; we need to share a good time while we accomplish something and even sometimes accomplish nothing. That was a hard day of effort and yet it was one of my most unforgettable moments I shared with my much missed Grandmother and Grandfather.

The following day, I was asked to rake the back yard. So let me ask you all… which way do you think I raked their back yard? Yes, of course I took my grandpa’s advice and did it his way! But being me, I also opted to rake three piles together that were close to one another. It took me half the time it had the day before and yet I still got to take a huge leap! Sometimes we need to listen to those that love us for they might just know a little more than we do. Maybe God is telling us something? Maybe a loved one is trying to share something with us whether a story or a lesson… it’s all bathed in love. Remembering this has cast a light of understanding that love is so much more dynamic and brighter when we don’t just do things OUR OWN WAY. Even the falling leaves of a season can light our way.

What might be the memory that brings the feeling of your favorite season? What might have you found in thinking back upon it? Dare yourself to be a little vulnerable; trust those leaves and leap into your very own season!

Much love everyone,

John

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