This was my poor attempt to get a quick photo of Pete and I with the leaves in our front yard tonight. Note that it is more us than leaves. It could be because I cropped out the neighbors truck that was photobombing the ambiance of our leafy backdrop. Ah well. This is what happens when you selfie with your iPhone. Anyway, I've been waiting on these leaves to change for weeks. There's this moment I've been holding out for, when they're just the color they were when I first saw this front yard...
I love this time of year. I love the way God made autumn to be this big show off. Leaves could just turn brown and shrivel up, but no. Autumn knows how to make an exit, and she is certainly the most fashionably courageous of all the seasons and I love her for her audacity.
The first time I trekked the uneven stone path that leads up to our house, it was autumn. It was rainy and cold that day, but the leaves were making up for the lackluster Ohio weather and showed their finest to sell me on the little cape cod on Northridge. It worked. We bought the house with the overly orange glossy hardwood floors, the terrible yellow kitchen, and the tiny bathroom. We closed in mid-January, worked evening after evening for five weeks through the dead of winter to move in Valentine's Day weekend of 2014. Things have changed so much since then. Life is different. The house is different. We are different. The little cape cod has a front porch with a ceiling fan now, compliments of Pete. It's probably my favorite place in the whole world. I listen to crickets here, and drink my wine, and talk to Jesus, and dream about the future here. The last few weeks I've been waiting on this tree. I've been waiting for it to look the way it did when we first met two years ago. Today, she is close. The yellows have put on orange and tinges of red are present and there's a thick carpet of all of this glorious wonder covering those uneven stones we walked that first day. I asked if I should rake it when we got home tonight, and Pete gave me a wholehearted 'No!'
We needed to enjoy it just a bit more. We needed to remember. We needed to not rake up the reminder of how faithful He is.
We only looked at houses on that one day. For people who've been house hunting for months, you know what a gracious miracle that was. The door swung right open. The move into Columbus felt random. Why look in Clintonville? Most of our lives were back in a small town just outside of Columbus. It wasn't this big thing, moving, but it also didn't make a lot of sense on the surface. We were following our instincts. We've loved everything about this little spot we get to call home in a cape cod on a quiet street with the houses all close together.
I still don't know why we live here, just that it's right. I keep waiting for God to bring us the next piece of the puzzle, or to move us again. Maybe life is more like chess than we realize. Maybe it all feels random and backwards if you don't know the game. I know we have choice, and were made to choose. I guess I just like that I feel like Someone Else has a better game plan than the one I've worked to construe. I'm feeling it in the leaves these days - His faithfulness. It's hard to put a finger on what a move of twenty miles can do to change a soul. I guess maybe it's all in the positioning. Like chess. Like quitting a job with a dream and no plan (did that three years ago).
Moral of the story? I don't have all of my answers. I can't explain in solid and logical terms why twenty miles into the city has been grace and gift and much needed change. What I do know is this: you might be two whole years into a choice you made and still not have answers. You might be missing puzzle pieces. You might not have had that "aha" moment just yet. You might be waiting on the next step He hasn't shown you just yet, but don't forget that if you followed Him here, He's likely leading you somewhere.
My brother in law said this thing one time that stuck with me. He said to follow the peace.
So it's autumn and we are two years in and the leaves are turning that color again and the peace is still here even if the puzzle pieces aren't. If you have the peace, than receive it as gracious enough to hold you until He shows you what's next. He will, because He's a good Father who doesn't hide from His kids.