Sap remains in the vine. Life signs are present. Colour and vitality depleted but not gone for good.
As I muse on the waning of plants and summer flowers, the colours of russet and gold midst green-leaved trees, I see myself mirrored in them.
I'm in an autumnal season. Time to let loose, let fall all that is withered and dead within me.
Prepare for the loosing, shedding, pruning, the dying-back of Winter and its attendant frosts and chills before Spring comes again.
Time to embrace grace, make space for new life to spring up in the place of signs of death.
I'm a walking-wounded one, with a desire to die to those things that are no longer fruitful. And to take hold of all that nurtures, enlivens, and breathes fresh hope into my soul.
So what does it look like? Something like this..
Writing brave, bold and free, but only as God suggests and directs.
Listening with greater intent to His voice, His word, His plans and purposes, my life and body ~ and heed what they're all saying to me.
Dying to selfish ambition.
Dying to people-approval.
Dying to perfectionism.
(Yes, I know, they will take some time to fade away, never mind die! )
Living to please God first and foremost.
Living in a way that reveals Jesus in me.
Living the best I can with all my flaws, human limitations and imperfections, while God is slowly transforming me from the inside out from one degree of glory to another.
Staying connected to The Vine.
Staying receptive to God's voice.
Staying open to the possibility of change beyond anything I dare to ask, think or imagine.
Trusting that I am enough because Jesus is enough and He lives in and through me.
Trusting that words will flow as they need to from a surrendered mind and heart.
Trusting God to work in and through the works of my hands and bless others in the process.
Letting go of yesterday so that I am ready for the Now and the Still to Come.
Letting these words speak for themselves, just as they are, no overly zealous editing.
Welcoming in a new season of the soul, warming myself in His gaze, being refreshed in His Presence.
And why do all this?
To quote contemplative monk, Bob Holmes in his insightful post, 'Putting the Spirit back into Spiritual Practice':
"We die to ourselves to make it possible to put our spirit first."
For, unless this frail flesh falls to the ground and dies to itself (its own selfish ambition, ways of understanding and living), we will have no seed to sow or harvest to come. It is only as we look to the Lord to give us light, sustenance and daily watering with His word that we begin to come alive on the inside.
Then, as new plants, we can grow tall and strong by His grace. Our leaning on and learning from Him are the means to a changed soul from the inside out.
Will you join me? I hope so. Companions are essential on this journey. Together we are stronger.
Let's keep offering up our lives as a sacrifice of praise to the One who gives us daily breath and grace Here, Now, Today, Always.
Instead of living to die, we could try dying to live ~ more fully and freely than we ever imagined in this life and beyond.
Linking here with Beth and other lovely writer friends for #threewordwednesday as we seek to encourage you in your journey of life and faith.
You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.