a summer of brown leaves falling

In my backyard, the grass is green but the big oak my dad planted decades ago is dropping massive amounts of big brown leaves. When I noticed the blanket of autumn-like leaves across the lawn, I called my dad immediately to see what to do. Because I’ve never seen the big tree do this – it’s not normal.

He said the tree was deeply thirsty because of the drought and he told me to drag out a hose to the base of the tree and turn it on very low for a good long time so the tree could get the water it needs. Though I’ve been watering the tree for a week now, I’m still watching the tree drop leaves. It pains me. I wish I could just blast the hose on the tree a couple hours and fix the problem. But instead, the treatment is long, slow watering … and prayers for rain.

a summer of brown leaves fallingThis month, Will and I looked around and saw a blanket of brown leaves in our life. We are dry and thirsty from the demands of ministry. Tired and weak.

It’s a lot of why I’ve  been so quiet here. Because I’ve felt the deep dryness. I haven’t even known what to say. Not a decent word of encouragement for you … or me.

We are going to take some time for deep watering. Not sure what that looks like yet but I’m hoping I’ll be able to let you know as we go. Because just maybe, you’ve had a season of brown leaves falling?

If instead of getting recharged this summer, you feel depleted. Instead of being excited for a new school year, you already feel tired. If you desperately want to love your life and your people and your job but all you see is brown leaves falling. Yes. I get it.

This is what I know to do now: Gather your people, the ones you know will help you. Be completely honest with where you are. Then let them drag out the hose and deep water your life. Invite them to pray for rain over your life. And wait there in that dry, uncomfortable place for God to do what only he can do: Restore your soul.

Dear friend, know this: You are loved. And you are never alone.

photo: kate stafford