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"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Leaf



I have a small collection of little objects -

Tiny bits of grace -

In the side pocket on my bookbag.

You see, I like to take walks.

And, for me, "taking a walk" is code for "spending time with God".

My friend has been a bit skeptical in the past,

Preferring the quiet rooms and closed doors,

And there are times that I need that, too,

And my time with my notebook of requests always happens there,

Every day,

But there's something about being outside,

Free from man-made walls,

Where God sends breezes and sun and rain

And there is nothing between me and His creation -

This is my favorite place to pray.

And sometimes I need the benches,

And sometimes, vision blurred with tears, I'm grateful for the paths,

But, mostly, I need the wonder -

The beauty of nature in all seasons,

The leaves as they grow and fall,

The snow as it piles up, then melts.

I just need to be in it,

Staring at it,

Laughing with joy at the creativity of our Creator,

And there are good days and there are bad days,

But, oh, I need to be there.


I went for a walk last Friday.

The cool weather during most of the summer

Must've tricked the trees into thinking autumn was here early.

Interspersed bits of green and yellow waved gently in the breeze above my head.

As I got ready to follow the path to the left,

I noticed leaves falling from the tree up ahead.

You see, it was last year that I came to the crazy (though true) realization

That, since God is absolutely Sovereign,

He determines exactly where each leaf will fall.

Other than adding significantly to the awe I was experiencing,

This realization had the effect of sending me chasing after the falling leaves.

It felt like catching one would be such a gift.

Well, my hand-eye coordination has never been that good,

And joint problems have inhibited my desire to run,

So it's never been that easy for me to catch the falling leaves

As they drift one direction, then another on the wind,

So often falling just out of reach.

Of course, that makes it all the more precious when,

To my surprise,

I find a leaf resting in my sweatshirt pocket,

A leaf fallen on my lap as I get ready to start the car,

A leaf drifting gently right toward me.

God knows I'm out there in search of His beautiful, everyday gifts,

And sends His Grace right to me.


Friday was no different.

I saw the leaves falling from this tree,

And I remembered,

And I chased,

But no matter how I tried,

I couldn't catch one.

I stopped,

Tired and slightly dizzy from running around like a maniac.

I looked up at the tree and thought that maybe one would come to me again.

Then I thought that was too much like a test

And what if He didn't

And I probably shouldn't

And then I felt that I should just trust.

I stepped under the tree,

Looked at the branch above my head.

I noticed a leaf resting on top of another,

Already detatched,

Stem pointing toward the ground,

Just waiting for the wind to knock it down.

Yet it didn't fall.

I saw insects buzzing around,

Resting on the leaves,

Crawling on them.

I saw the light shining through,

The beautiful color green -

I probably only looked for a minute

Before I had seen so much beauty

That I felt that was enough grace

And maybe this is what I was supposed to trust for

And it was so abundantly more than enough.

I was staring up into the tree thinking these things

When something hit my shoulder.

I turned my head in time to see the bit of yellow stuck to me,

Then watch the wind carry it off again,

Down toward the ground.

I picked it up off the sidewalk,

Held it in my hands in wonder,

Then slipped it into the side pocket of my backpack.

Grace.


Reasons 4515-4589 today,

Trying to see Him,

His abundant Grace -

Such Grace!

Counting:
  1. He is the Maker of heaven (Psalm 146:6)
  2. He is the maker of earth (Psalm 146:6)
  3. He is the maker of the sea (Psalm 146:6)
  4. He is the Maker of everything in heaven (Psalm 146:6)
  5. He is the maker of everything in the earth (Psalm 146:6)
  6. He is the maker of everything in the sea (Psalm 146:6)
  7. He upholds the cause of the oppressed (Psalm 146:7)
  8. He gives food to the hungry (Psalm 146:7)
  9. He sets prisoners free (Psalm 146:7)
  10. He gives sight to the blind (Psalm 146:8)
  11. He lifts up those who are bowed down (Psalm 146:8)
  12. He loves the righteous (Psalm 146:8)
  13. He watches over the foreigner (Psalm 146:9)
  14. He sustains the fatherless (Psalm 146:9)
  15. He sustains the widow (Psalm 146:9)
  16. He frustrates the ways of the wicked (Psalm 146:9)
  17. He reigns for all generations (Psalm 146:10)
  18. He builds up Jerusalem (Psalm 147:2)
  19. He gathers the exiles of Israel (Psalm 147:2)
  20. He heals the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3)
  21. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
  22. He determines the number of the stars (Psalm 147:4)
  23. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name (Psalm 147:4)
  24. He is mighty in power (Psalm 147:5)
  25. His understanding has no limit (Psalm 147:5)
  26. He sustains the humble (Psalm 147:6)
  27. He casts the wicked to the ground (Psalm 147:6)
  28. He covers the sky with clouds (Psalm 147:8)
  29. He supplies the earth with rain (Psalm 147:8)
  30. He makes grass grow on the hills (Psalm 147:8)
  31. He provides food for the cattle (Psalm 147:9)
  32. He provides food for the young ravens when they call (Psalm 147:9)
  33. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse (Psalm 147:10)
  34. His delight is not in the legs of the warrior (Psalm 147:10)
  35. He delights in those who fear Him (Psalm 147:11)
  36. He delights in those who put their hope in His unfailing love (Psalm 147:11)
  37. He strengthens the bars of His city's gates (Psalm 147:12-13)
  38. He blesses the people within His city (Psalm 147:12-13)
  39. He grants peace to the borders of His city (Psalm 147:12-14)
  40. He satisfies the inhabitants of His city with the finest of wheat (Psalm 147:12-14)
  41. He sends His command to the earth (Psalm 147:15)
  42. His word runs swiftly (Psalm 147:15)
  43. He spreads the snow like wool (Psalm 147:16)
  44. He scatters the frost like ashes (Psalm 147:16)
  45. He hurls down His hail like pebbles (Psalm 147:17)
  46. No one can withstand His icy blast (Psalm 147:17)
  47. He sends His word and melts the ice and snow (Psalm 147:16-18)
  48. He stirs up His breezes, and the waters flow (Psalm 147:18)
  49. He has revealed His Word to Jacob (Psalm 147:19)
  50. He has revealed His laws and decrees to Israel (Psalm 147:19)
  51. He has not revealed His Word to any other nation (Psalm 147:19-20)
  52. He has not revealed His laws and decrees to any other nation (Psalm 147:19-20)
  53. At His command the heavens were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  54. At His command the heights above were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  55. At His command all His angels were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  56. At His command all His heavenly hosts were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  57. At His command the sun and moon were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  58. At His command all the shining stars were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  59. At His command the highest heavens were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  60. At His command the waters above the skies were created (Psalm 148:1-5)
  61. He established the heavens for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  62. He established the heights above for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  63. He established all His angels for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  64. He established all His heavenly hosts for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  65. He established the sun and moon for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  66. He established all the shining stars for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  67. He established the highest heavens for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  68. He established the waters above the skies for ever and ever (Psalm 148:1-6)
  69. He issued a decree that will never pass away (Psalm 148:6)
  70. The stormy winds do His bidding (Psalm 148:8)
  71. His Name alone is exalted (Psalm 148:13)
  72. His splendor is above the earth and the heavens (Psalm 148:13)
  73. He has raised up for His people a horn (Psalm 148:14)
  74. He has raised up for His people the praise of all His faithful servants (Psalm 148:14)
  75. He has raised up for His people the praise of Israel, the people close to His heart (Psalm 148:14)


Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him: 

(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)


<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:

And linking up at Ann's this week -

It seemed appropriate, considering the post.

Grateful for:
  • Grace
  • Falling leaves
  • The beauty of nature I've had the opportunity to enjoy this weekend
  • Time with family
  • And so much more . . .



12 comments:

Pam said...

Stunning in simplicity of leaves falling, but so rich in all you are saying here, Mary. I'm the same way... God speaks so much in the beauty all around us. I never thought that before about a leaf, not even a leaf falling without his notice...but so grace filled as you say. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your grace laced heart...

Bernadette said...

I had chills as I read this...especially your listing out the Psalm like that. AWESOME!!! I have been greatly encouraged today. Thank you!
Bernadette

Richelle @ Our Wright-ing Pad said...

really enjoyed your post and your list.

visiting from ann's...

CynthiaJSwenson said...

So good to find you on Ann's link today Mary! I loved reading your faith filled perspective on the leaves. Honestly, I am having difficulty finishing this comment because you have me wondering about God's perspective,as He must have delighted in you, as you delighted in Him....so overwhelming to think that He DELIGHTS in us, more than we can imagine or fathom. Thank you for writing! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

Lynn Morrissey said...

This is a lovely post, Mary--poetic and pure--and filled with God's grace. It reminds me of something I read once by well-known Christian poet Luci Shaw who wrote about falling leaves, and that they fell at God's command. You're most insightful to realize that if He notes the fall of sparrows, He surely notes the fall of leaves. And I have no doubt that He gave His clear command to let those particular leaves fall as a special gift to you when you needed it most. I love to pray in my journal, and I also love to do what I call my prayerpowerwalk! =] There is something about being with the Lord in the midst of His creation that draws me close to Him. I completely concur with your experience. I wish you God's richest blessings as you continue to commune with Him on your walks and in your journals, and as you write about what He shows you. Thank you for sharing!
Lynn Morrissey

Floyd said...

The leaf that hit your shoulder was placed there by the sovereign hand of our Father... a good gift to keep. As I was reading I had a picture of a little girl turning in circles trying to catch falling leaves while laughing in a way that brings a smile to face of our Father... this post brought one to mine. Thanks.

Mary said...

Thank you so much, Pam. Yes, He truly does! Blessed to be surrounded with so much Grace! Thank you for your words, friend. Always such an encouragement!

Mary said...

Oh, Bernadette, thank you. So glad that God used this to encourage you. His Words are always the best, aren't they? I've certainly enjoyed digging through the Bible, searching to learn more about who God is. Such a blessing to hear from you today!

Mary said...

Hello, Richelle! Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm glad that God would use my stumbling words to bring you enjoyment. God bless!

Mary said...

Thank you, Cynthia! It sure has been a while! I'm glad that you were so filled with thoughts of God that you had trouble leaving a comment! And thank you all the more for sharing those thoughts - it is difficult for me to grasp sometimes, but, yes, He delights in us! Such abundant Grace! Thank you so much for your words, friend! God bless!

Mary said...

Oh, thank you, Lynn! It is such beautiful truth - that God commands the leaves to fall. I think, too, that He must determine their shapes, create them all uniquely . . . such beauty to be found in nature, and so much of the Creator! "Prayerpowerwalk", huh? That's an excellent name! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who enjoys praying outside! God's richest blessings to you, as well, in your prayers and in your life.

Mary said...

Thank you, Floyd. Indeed it was. So glad this brought a smile to your face - all Him, by His Grace. Thank you, and God bless.

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