Posted: October 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today I walked through Drake Park and watched a mini tornado of leaves, loosened from their limbs by a noisy gust of wind, as they circled and spun in a riot of gold and red and orange. They created quite a storm, dancing their way down, racing each other to welcome the changing of the seasons.

I wish I was like that. I’d love to be one who can gracefully let go of the branch and fly fast and free.

But that’s not me. I am not the leaf that happily floats because the wind says she should. I am one that clings to the security of the season that was. In fact, I look at the leaves that strap themselves in and dare the wind to break their hold and I admire their pluck, all the while knowing that they are silly to resist the pull of the seasons. They will look ridiculous up there, covered in snow. When summer comes, and green is the new orange, their rusty coats will be hopelessly outdated…so Fall, 2008. When it’s time to let go, it’s time to let go. Move on. Fly.

I wonder: can a girl who has grown accustomed to a white-knuckled grip on the limb go from clinger to jumper in one cycle of seasons? We’ll see.

Trying to welcome the wind,


P.S. I know sometimes it’s good to hang on even when everything tells you to let go…but the part of me that I’m working on is the “let go” part. Maybe you’re a “jumper” by nature and God is challenging you to cling a little more tightly when the wind blows. That, to me, is the beauty of His plan. He knows who we are and what we need and He doesn’t let us get stuck…even though getting unstuck can be really scary. I’d actually love to know: are you a clinger or a jumper?

  1. ELizabeth McColl says:

    Sometimes a jumper (definitely in coming the USA) but I think in my heart of hearts I am a clinger…for the most part…

    I love the blog this morning and I think it follows on very well from the weekend. If God is asking us to move, let go, give it up, turn our palms down in the open position, then so be it. But it is SO hard to do – sometimes. I think those leaves being tossed and blown and taken to places they could not have gone by their own power (what power does a leaf have??). They do have a lot of fun being tossed by the wind, sometimes lifted higher and taken up in the air far above they could have done themselves and sometimes they are blown down on the ground but us to crunch them under our feet. A good metaphor, me thinks…

  2. ELizabeth McColl says:

    What we have is all His – none of it is ours – it is all on loan from the Creator, sustainer, and perhaps He gives us things (people and others) for a season, for time, then there is a time to let go. If our cup is full of stuff, then there is no room for anything else to go in and those things could be the very ones that God has for our next season…He will not give us more until we have cleared the clutter from the last…sound familiar anyone?

    I love the analogy of “so Fall, 2008” – that is hilarious. What would a 2008 lead think about being there when the 2009 leaves are ready to come…2009….what am I saying….how in the world did it get to 2009???? Wasn’t the big party for the millennium just a little while ago???

  3. Anne B says:

    I am a jumper by nature, but sometimes I get impatient and don’t always ‘wait for my color to change’ and I’m the one green leaf laying on the ground.

    I think God works in our hearts and lives the same way he made the leaves to change colors and fall. We start out one way and then through the seasons in our lives He works His plan to mold us and change us to be exactly what He needs us to be. We will have times of being held in His security, and times we have to let go and trust God that we’ll land where He needs us to. It’s recognizing that we’re jumping because of His will and not ours.

    But God is cool and loving and is willing to catch us when we jump too early. That is awesome for the green leaves like me laying on the ground…!

  4. Bo says:

    Oh my goodness, I am seriously LOVING reading your thoughts on this. You ladies are brilliant. Keep ’em coming and together we’ll write a book on leaves and jumping and changing seasons and motion sickness. 🙂

  5. Lanelle says:

    I’m normally a jumper but I’m currently clinging…

    how do you know… how do you know…

    And why is it so different to jump with your family than just yourself? I can jump, when I’m the only one involved. But when you say “family”, I get really clingy…

    Just a place I’m stuck right now, and then I read your post.

  6. Katie says:

    I am a clinger who dreams of being a jumper. So often I pride myself on holding on tight to the tree, only to find that 6 months down the road my color is outdated and I still can’t let go. All of my beautiful color changes and growth mean nothing if there isn’t some sort of release into the new season.

    With dreams of jumping,

    P.S. If you haven’t listened to Every Season by Nichole Nordeman, you must. It is a song that has caused me much dehydration.

  7. Jess Stern says:

    I’m a situational clinger or jumper. I think by nature I am a clinger–I like boundaries, routine, knowing what to expect. But I’ve done a lot of jumping in my life and most people probably would categorize me as a jumper just by looking at me.

    My mom tells a story about how when she and my dad first started in ministry, God was challenging them with a particular request and it was something my mom didn’t want to do. But He showed her a picture of a tumbleweed and asked if she would be willing to go where His wind blew her. I’ve always remembered that analogy and have tried also to be a tumbleweed (in a good sense) with doing whatever He might ask. It’s not always easy though, and definitely scary at times. And sometimes if the tumbleweed stops moving for a bit and starts growing roots somewhere, it’s that much harder to move when the wind blows.

    Oh, and Katie, I LOVE that Nichole Nordeman song…one of my favorites!!

  8. Susan from Nebraska says:

    Just when I think I am not clinging to that trunk is when I can’t let go for anything. I think the Lord is constantly testing us in this very thing. He is the one that decides when the leaves fall. I heard it has something to do with the light changing in the Fall and there is less light so the leaves loose their “grip”. Wow – must be another message in that!

  9. tori says:

    I am a clinger-jumper sort of creation. Walking currently through transition, I will live in a constant state of having just jumped, waiting pateintly to land. But the minute I get the slightest bit of regularity, of solidity, of solid ground, I cling with all I am. I try with all manner of passion to make that speck of rock be my solid mountain. But pebbles don’t hold human beings that well and I find myself disappointed by what started as a blessing. I am a clinger-jumper sort of creation.

    Unfurling my sails and lifting just a little,

    P.S. Lanelle, your post was my favorite. So beautifully written and so honest. I think I could almost see your heart. Such a blessing. Thanks.:)

    Love you, Mom.

  10. Holly says:

    I’d say that I’m a clinger. I expect that my peeps would concur.

    Ever since a day in February, the oddity of my year 2008 has been to find myself floating in a sustained jump clinging to God’s parachute, passing by the predictable, time and time again in 360 degrees of wide-eyed wonder. After 8 months, I still haven’t landed. I have begun to become more comfortable with the constant motion and changing colors, at peace with being off balance.

    It has been a long and glorious season. I wonder when and where I’ll stick the landing… It’s a God thing.

    I hadn’t pulled my year into a summary yet, so thanks for the help:)


    PS: This has reminded me that I have yet to go on a purposeful leaf appreciation walk this season- the smell, the crunching, the rustle crunch, skip hop crunching…

  11. ELizabeth McColl says:

    Jumping, leaves and motion sickness: where is God calling us to fly? …I would definitely buy a book with that title..

  12. Ann Dunagan says:

    I’m a jumper, by nature. Usually God has to deal with me to WAIT and hang on for His perfect timing.

  13. Whitney says:

    I am most certainly a clinger. Speaking of Nichole Nordeman, I have to listen to her song “Brave” to get the courage I need to jump sometimes. I rely on steady, constant things to keep me sane and functioning. I don’t like change at all.

    But again, that is by nature. By God, by the sunrise I’m looking at right now, by the husband I have, and the devotions I had this morning, I will be perfectly happy flying, or for that matter, ANYWHERE.

    Mom, I think your next post should be “What Nichole Nordeman song best describes you?” 🙂

    I love you all,

  14. Angie says:

    Both. I love my routines and I love my cozy place in life. But I love to take risks, to make fast decisions, and to just move into new adventures. Sometimes I cling fast to my state of life but other times I can’t wait for the next stage. I am the type of person who moved 3 hours away from her comfortable and beautiful home to live in a city she had been two twice before with no job waiting for her. The idea was conceived and decided in the span of a week (consulting God, of course). However, now that I’m here two years, I love my job, my routine, my ministry. I take comfort in the rhythm of life and don’t wish to jump quite yet. God has given me visions of jumps coming to me in my future, but mainly because he’s prepping me to go where I don’t want to go. I’m thankful he’s letting me stay settled for the moment.

  15. […] 23, 2008 by bolovesjoe I loved, loved, loved the true and honest responses to yesterday’s post about clinging vs. jumping.  I’m in one of the more interesting seasons of my life right now, […]

  16. cassie says:

    i am a jumper by birth. i love the thrill/ rush of air blowing my hair straight up… and the unknown of how and where i might land. i love the thought that it’s all in or nothing when jumping… otherwise you fall… i know this from a REAL LIFE jumping/falling… i love that in jumping there is risk, nerves, tummy butterflies and screams of fear and delight all in one.

    but recently. I have been asked to cling. To Wait. To watch. To not be sad because others are jumping, but to CHEER and CLAP and ENJOY them in their jumping!!! But also to be ready; because when its time to jump again i need to not doubt, but to JUMP with all the trust, joy, smiles, hopes and thrills of before.

    clinging for now,

  17. […] So, this is currently the condition of the tree that lives right outside my office/prayer room/mail storage room.  Right outside – flaunting its beauty first thing every morning as the sun rolls in and distracting me from my well-planned agenda (heh.)  The only problem with this tree – and it’s a minor thing, really – is that it only looks like this for about a week or so and then it goes back to regular treehood and stays that way until November, at which point I get sad as I watch the leaves fall and write things like this. […]

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