When You're Still, You'll Be Filled

It’s my favorite season, this one of fiery leaves and bundling up and sharing meals around long tables. It feels rich and warm like no other time of year quite does, and I’m enchanted by it.

It’s not hard for me in this season to be endlessly grateful. Every falling leaf seems to represent another thing I’m thankful for, and I can’t begin to count them all.

I’ve written of what I’ve learned from keeping a gratitude journal, and I’ve written here and here and here about selah-- this word for my year that means to pause and praise. I’ve heard sermons the last few weeks at Hope about Sabbath and written copious notes. Now, in this season, I’m seeing how they all connect.

The gratitude, the act of writing it all down in a tiny journal I can fit in my back pocket, the pausing and praising, the resting...it’s all worship. It’s all beautiful.

My introverted soul craves it-- the stillness, the slowing down, the solitude, the simplicity. Listing little things in a tiny Moleskine like I’m catching tiny fireflies to keep glowing in my memory forever. Stopping often to take it all in and whisper selah on my breath, because this life? It’s good. Even when it’s hard and even when the work days are long and even when my body is weary and my head is aching, this life is sweet and full and good.

It’s easy to be thankful when you choose to open your eyes to the goodness.

I didn’t always, and the contrast is shocking. I spent years choosing to be guarded and closed off, in efforts to keep my heart safe from all that could hurt me or harm me. Keeping my heart locked away didn’t keep it safe though, it just made it hard. Keeping my eyes open has set my heart free, and it’s brought life and light back to my world.

I know to some, autumn feels depressing. The leaves are falling and leaving trees bare. The nights come earlier and stay longer. The sun stays hidden often. But we know the night must come before the dawn, that we must be still before we can be filled, that we have to let things go before new life can burst forth.

Keep your eyes open for the goodness, and the gratitude will come. I promise. It might be small and seem silly, or it might stun you silent. Either way, it will change you. Bit by bit, the act of noticing the good, of recording it somehow, of making sure to take note of it all and not just rush past in a hurry, it will change you.

It’s enchanting, this season, this life. It’s rich and it’s full and it’s good. Let’s be still long enough to notice it and let it fill us up. Let’s be refreshed by the beauty around us, by the blazing colors and the warm fires and the shared meals and all of the thanksgiving we’re celebrating. Let’s worship together in all of it.