Boundary Lines and Pleasant Places

The girls don't know that I know that they have already been awake for hours.

I have the almost-supernatural hearing of all mothers, so I sense they are up there shifting, turning, reading, snuggled between the pages of their latest books. 

They will often read for hours in the mornings, depending on how early they wake. 

And I let them, especially when we have extra time, especially when the day before was so full and exhausting to us all. 

They may not realize it yet, but I am often also downstairs under a quilt or in front of a fire reading, praying, thinking, enjoying the quiet morning before the day's work and study begins. 

I am lingering now, but it feels wrong to go just yet. If I hold on a little longer, I may receive a blessing. 

And it would be wasteful, indulgent to leave the fire to burn in an empty room. 

So as the sun comes up, and the logs burn out, some final change will be my signal to rise. 

It hasn't come yet. 

In this season, the Lord is teaching me to be still, to be, to receive my portion, to taste and see, for there is nothing better for man to do under the sun. 

At times, the wind picks up and stirs my discontent, but my outlook really just depends on where I fix my eyes. 

So in more and more moments like this, I sit still and lift my eyes. 

The morning light through the autumn leaves outside has the effect of layers upon layers of stained glass.

 My spot on the couch becomes a pew at the back of a great cathedral. 

The leaves are falling, and they will be falling for weeks. 

Every year, it's a wonder that there are always still more to trickle down in masses of color to dazzle the eyes; The number of them really staggers the imagination. Such abundance! 

The breeze blows, all the branches shake, and the effect becomes kaleidoscopic and dizzying; It's a parade of celebration! 

As problematic as a room full of glass can be in winter in New England, all these windows means I dwell in a gallery of living paintings. 

And besides, there is always the fire inside the hearth. 

Yes. And fire blazes within bounds inside me, too, and keeps dangerous elements at bay. 

Indeed, the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. 

I can receive my daily portion again with thankfulness now, so I rise to go about my work. 


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