Time to Take Five

Invigorated with breakfast and a good night’s sleep, I don old jeans and a t-shirt for fall’s yard work.  After two hours, I push through tiredness to pull just one more blade of grass out of the flower garden, rake one more pile of leaves, and trim one more shrub.

My back screams at being bent forward too long. My knees revolt despite the cushion between them and pavers.

Jim walks through the back door in time to see me wince. “Take five. You do no good if you have a stroke in the process. You’ll have more energy if you rest five minutes.”

Sage advice.

I collapse on my porch swing and lull myself into a semi-conscious doze with the slow sway of the swing. Back and forth, back and forth. That’s when I notice…

Butter yellows and crimson reds of summer’s landscape now dissolve into golds, browns, and russets with fall’s cooler weather. Blue mist perennials retreat to the ground, which means the butterfly bushes and Turk’s cap will soon follow suit. Only a handful of pink remains on my crepe myrtle. The branches already look bare as leaves gathered around the trunk.

Nature is taking five with me. She retreats to refuel with the energy needed to push forth new growth in four to five months.

So, as autumn looks back on summer, I smile at what was and anticipate what might be. Like the  pin oaks and cedar elms, I let go of spent leaves in my life. And I rest in what will soon be the Spartan landscape of winter while new ideas take root and get ready to sprout in springtime.

I will keep what still thrives, yet brush aside what has played out. By doing so, I create space for new experiences. Allow new growth to take root. Allow myself to stretch and take shape in the new role at work, set up house in a new community, and form added friendships.

So, nature teaches me a lesson. As I travel through this autumn season of my life, I need to take five. Catch a glimpse of what God has done. And, look forward to the new growth He will yet  unfold.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.

About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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