No Longer a Dead Leaf (A Poem for the Last 90 Days)

No Longer a Dead Leaf (A Poem for the Last 90 Days)

The final months of 2019 are upon us. Anticipating all I could accomplish, or more realistically, worrying about all I could let fall apart, intimidates me to no end.

This year, I rearranged my expectations for how I would approach the #last90days by asking Jesus what He wanted for the rest of 2019, and the decade, for that matter!

After a lot of wrestling with the importance of intentionality and the need for a sense of accomplishment, I found myself surrendering to what I knew was true all along. Here is how it happened (brace yourself for some amateur poetry):

I glance at my reflection in my review mirror and repeat the refrain:
I am a strong, beautiful, capable woman and I’ve got this.

Like the road stretching ahead of me,
I’ve got a long list of potential awaiting my acceleration.

I’ve miles to go before I sleep,
many smiles to go before approval finds me.

All this striving feels strong and courageous…
Doesn’t it take strength to keep pushing, pushing?

But the dead leaf blown by the wind appears just as busy,
Is it driven by ambition, or just the wind of my passing vehicle,
tires rolling endlessly on the unforgiving pavement?

My breath caught in amazement
Suddenly I see that I am the leaf!
Tossed this way and that with false dreams of arrival.

This is not strength,
This is not impressive.
This is not courageous.

Like déjà vu from a former season,
I realize once again—I don’t got this.

I am not the victor of my life any more than
the dead leaf is the champion of the street it fell to.

Here in this place of humble desperation…
Here in the space of unpacking hard truths…
Here when I stop lying to myself…

Here is where Strength Himself meets me.

I stop lifting my head with self-made pride,
Conjuring up fake dignity to hide my flaws.

I begin to see myself as I really am, at last,
And I bow low.

When I stop jerking my head around
with over-compensating self-importance,
that is when You stoop low… low enough to cup my face in your hands.

Why did it take so long for me
To sit still enough to let You reach me?

You do not contradict my confession, rather
You covenant with me in all my broken weakness.

You uphold both sides of this sacred promise:
You never stop loving me, and you do all the work
to help me love you in return.

You are strong for us both in your boundless mercy.
And I am bursting with soundless awe.

For when I am faithless, you are faithful,
for you cannot deny yourself. (2 Tim 2:13)

The Mighty oak has bent low to whisper
to the self-important withering leaf:
“I’ll work this out too…”

“You do not have control, but I am working in all things,
Your weakness reveals the bigger picture of My strength—

Isn’t that what the whole world needs to know?
Only through me can hope find deep roots and grow.”

So, like Paul, I choose to get
excited about my own weakness.
(1 Cor. 12:9-10)

If weakness means I am closer to Jesus
and making Him more evident to the world around me,
let me be the first to raise my voice and sing,
We are weak but He is strong… yes, Jesus loves me!”

Yes!! Jesus loves me! And He loves you too!

Tears streaming down
Christ redeeming now
Pull the car over
Breathe in such grace.

Taking this time to be still creates space,
to remember what gets forgotten in the fast pace of to-do lists:
Weakness is a good thing.

Admitting our weakness allows us to be scooped up,
Grafted back into abide in our Father again—
A miracle by the power of the risen Lord
who poured out such grace so we could remain in him. (John 15)

There in Him, as Psalms 1 says,
our “delight is in the law of the Lord,
and [we] meditate on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.”

The to-do list—checked off in due season.
The need for approval—completely met in Christ.
The craving to arrive—dissipated when we abide in Christ.

We rise not because we strive
but because we surrender
and sit still long enough to be lifted.

In our weakness, He is strong.

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her…

Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.”

(from Luke 10)

Would you join me to sit at the feet of Jesus every day for these last 90 days of 2019? If you happen to be a mom, use my hashtag #staypresentmama to stay connected and follow as we strive to be present with Jesus together.


Want to listen to me read “Not a Dead Leaf” out loud? Visit my Instagram story highlights titled “Meditate” to help you focus and mediate deeper on the word of God.

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About the Author:

“We write to taste life twice…”- Anais Nin. I believe in the power of clearly communicated truth. I write and speak to rediscover my own relationship with Jesus and to spark a bit of enthusiasm in others for their own journey with Jesus. Thanks for dropping by and picking up some renewed excitement for yourself!

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