Leaves in Corners

autumn, change, seasons

These leaves, blown into the corner of the concrete steps that lead to our front door, they speak to me.

Not a reminder of the need to rake (though that certainly is necessary) but of a weariness that often enters my soul this time of year.   As the sun shines fewer hours and the temperatures drop, the gold and crimson leaves begin to turn brown.   They fall to the ground, speckled with dots of infection, and they alternate wet from the autumnal rains and dried out, dying from being disconnected from the tree.

I huddle in my house, avoiding the grayness of the skies outside and curling up with warm blankets and mugs of cocoa.  But sometimes, in my heart, the Son shines less … and I find myself neither hot nor cold but lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-16).  The fun of summer has long worn off and the hype of the holidays causes me to vacillate between excitement and dread.

And so I fall.   In a thousand tiny ways and probably a few bigger ones too …

the dots of infection pepper my life.

Apathy.

Weariness.

Laziness.

Self-pity.

Insecurity.

All those things that the brightness of summer staves off … the grayness of winter looming ahead brings into full focus.

It’s not Seasonal Affective Disorder (though I do believe that is a very real condition that many battle) … it is more like Spiritual Apathy Disorder.   It’s when I let my guard down … coasting on what I’ve done, much like the leaves float on the breeze.

But I land hard.   I am disconnected from the tree … that Branch of Judah {Jeremiah 33:15-26}, that Giver of Life {John 14:6}.

I find myself smashed into the corner.   A corner I have made for myself.

Weary, pressed hard, and dry, I claim the words of the apostle:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. {2 Corinthians 4:8-10, NLT}

And I pray …

God, when I am pressed, I praise You for I am not crushed.  I need not despair and I am never abandoned.  Though I am knocked down by the emotions and situations and circumstances of life in this fallen world, I am never destroyed.   May my suffering – be it loneliness, weariness, or sorrow – be evidence of Your grace at work in me and the life of Christ shining through me.   Thank you, Father, for never leaving me in the corner.  Amen.

Do you feel pressed, worn, and weary?   How have you experienced God’s grace pulling you from the corners in life?

linking to life: unmasked … because real life matters and sharing it matters too

and to thought-provoking thursday … because some things are worth the time to contemplate

and to write it, girl … because words are like oxygen to me and sharing them like precious gift

22 Replies to “Leaves in Corners”

  1. Thanks for sharing the glimpses, Teri Lynne, and for the picture to “take with me” today. I’m leaning on hard on God’s grace this week to pull me out of the corners. So glad His grace IS sufficient.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Julie, praying for you … and thankful for the truth that His grace IS sufficient!

  2. Oh, spiritual apathy disorder, I am guilty! Praying your beautiful prayer with you this morning.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      🙂 I suppose we all find ourselves with that diagnosis periodically, yes?

  3. So enjoyed this post. You say it well, how we get spiritual apathy disorder. And it isn’t any coincidence that it happens when the seasons change. I think the greyness just brings a heightened state of awareness of our need for Him and not the externals.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Yes, Shelly, I think you are right. We were created to be a part of the fullness of all creation …. and we are affected by the changes in creation.

  4. Worn and weary, yes. I love to journal, and “get it all out”. That seems to help most of the time, an pouring over the great truths He has promised me!
    Katie Orr recently posted…My Struggle with Being a Stay-at-Home MomMy Profile

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Getting it all out … that’s always the first part of my quiet time. When I journal all my questions, hurts, and frustrations … it always starts as a mental release and ends as a prayer.

  5. Such honesty and truth in this..and the analogy so vivid…and the beautiful picture…{sigh}. I can identify with the wearing of the season, yet our hope focused on Him. Thank you for your beautiful post!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Oh Jacque, thank you for your kind words. Praying for all of us. 🙂

  6. Teri,
    This is oh-so-true! I find myself battling those very feelings this week and it is difficult. I have so many reasons to “feel” blessed (simply because I am – I am still breathing!), but the weather and the looming holidays are stressful to me rather than joyful. I must get my eyes back on Him every day, several times a day if “I” am going to battle these feelings. Thank you for the reminder to look UP!
    🙂

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Oh Susan, I can relate (obviously). Such a battle to keep our eyes focused upward. Praying with you and for you …

  7. […] the leaves sometimes end up in corners and we find ourselves exhausted, weary, and in spiritual apathy.  But sometimes, it seems just the […]

  8. Spiritual Apathy Disorder…

    Yes! I am tempted to suffer from this, too. Thanks for the refreshing reminder and point of instruction!

    By His Grace,
    Lisa

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Lisa, so glad this post resonated with you … and to know that I am not alone in this battle.

  9. Stef - Educating Layton says: Reply

    I crave your honesty !!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      You are quite the encourager, my friend! And I am thankful for a place to be honest and real … even when it’s raw and unfinished.

  10. Dana @ CheckingPockets says: Reply

    I loved this. So beautifully and thoughtfully written. Wonderful insight.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Thank you, Dana.

  11. I love how you just know what I need to read, and then point me straight to Jesus.

    Thanks for linking up. Truly, one my all time favorite, Writer girls. You always bless.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Oh Stacey, you point me to Him all. the. time. Your friendship is of immeasurable worth to me and I am thankful the Lord allowed our paths to cross – online and in real life.

  12. This was a refreshing read. Lately, I’ve been feeling weary, and this was such a great reminder of God’s love.

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