I’m reading Kendra Adachi’s book, The Lazy Genius Way, finally!
In Chapter 4, she talks about seasons. The call to action at the end of the chapter had me looking out of my window at the season. It’s currently late spring (and I can feel the humidity of summer taking over)! The grass is verdant, the trees are leafy, and blooms on the bushes are giving into the scorching sun.
What is this season teaching me?
Spring is full of hope!
Everything is renewed.
Life can return.
The foliage is lush and green now, but the leaves on the trees turn brown and drop in the fall. They leave behind dry and bare limbs during the winter and when spring returns, so do the bright colorful buds that unfurl into green leaves.
That got me thinking more about those leaves. The leaves return, but not the same leaves. The old leaves are dead – mulch, compost, bagged at the curb. The new leaves sprout from the same branches, but they are new in and of themselves. The tree does not gather up the old leaves that have done their job and make them turn green again. The tree works from within to produce the new foliage.
Many times in my life I have done something I was really proud of. And then that season ends and the thing doesn’t carry the joy/usefulness/profondity it once did. I have spent the time after that season of life trying to revive those dead leaves and it will never work. But if I make room for new growth I will produce new leaves. Usually bigger leaves – on a taller tree. I will reach high towards the sun. I will provide more shade for those who seek shelter with me. I will be fuller and continue to grow.
For example, I was pretty proud of my work as an elementary school teacher. I felt like I was made to teach. I developed great relationships with other teachers, students, and their parents. I was a good teacher. Now I haven’t been a classroom teacher for 5 years. I became a SAHM in 2016 when my son was born. I can no longer hang my hat on my identity as a teacher. Now I’m a good mom. If I was stuck on reviving myself as a teacher and living in the past I couldn’t be present to be a mother to my child. He’s my new leaf. And as he grows he will need me less and less – I can’t make him be my leaf forever! There will be more leaves to come.
Did you know that leaves are there to sustain the plant they grow on? Their main job to is create food using sunlight and water from the ground. The leaf isn’t the tree. It’s what keeps the tree going. Being a teacher wasn’t me. It’s what I did to use my God-given talents. Being a Mom isn’t my identity. It is a way that God blesses me and teaches me more about Him. This blog, my podcast, my art – they are all leaves. All of those things could (and probably will) change colors and drop off, but I will still be who I am in Christ!
What leaves are you trying to revive in your life? What needs to drop off the tree to make room for new growth? What leaves need to grow?