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“He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.” Psalm 104:19 ESV

Fall sneaked through my open window last night. It’s official arrival was slated for 10:29pm.

I walked into our bedroom around 10, windows still open and inhaled the scent. The scent of fall. How did it slip in? How did it know to well, smell so fall-ish? When just yesterday summer was still tickling my nose and warming my skin.

My head knew it was on the way. The calendar said so. But my heart, my heart was still swaying in summer.

I love fall, really I do. Pumpkins. Harvest scent candles. The tantalizing scent of cinnamon, apples, and the last cutting of hay.

The tingling sensation that change is in the air. Long sleeves and jeans. Fuzzy socks and apple cider.

Football games. Fire pits. Roasted marshmallows. The smell of wood smoke. Open windows.

But…

I’m just not a person who transitions without a fight. And fall makes me so melancholy. So pensive. Mournful even.

I sat on the edge of the bed, dragging the air into my lungs. Tasting the smell. Lingering there for just a bit.

Memories falling on me like rain.

Knowing exactly what I was doing on this day thirty three years ago.

It’s funny the things you remember when in a wistful mood.

Things only a mother remembers.

Nine-plus months swollen with child. Not much more than a child myself.

How we were heading into fall with the hottest temperatures on record in my little mountain town. How sweaty I was, heavy with child.

How I baked a cake and ate nearly the whole thing.

Not knowing on this night thirty three years ago, as fall slipped quietly in that evening, my baby girl would loudly make her way into the world the next day. The first full day of fall.

Oh to be able to go back in time. The things I would change.

I would have appreciated her spiritedness more. Given her more room to breath, as she was always more adventurous than me.

To be able to go back and take any route other than the one that brought her so much pain.

Instead of trying to fix everything, I would’ve encouraged her more. Given her wings.

Been less critical. Less trying to make her more like me.

When nasty words were carelessly tossed about, I would’ve hugged more, argued less in this dance of mother~daughter.

I would’ve enjoyed picking out pumpkins more. Singing loud in the car. Messes in the kitchen.

I would make it less about me and more about Jesus.

Giving her the greatest gift of all by letting her see more of Him in me.

Instead I was more wrapped up in getting everything done. Creating a perfect house, but forgetting to make a home.

I would’ve lingered longer at that long wooden table where we gathered round, instead of quickly jumping up to do the dishes.

“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42 NLT

I would’ve let go of all the details. And together we would’ve discovered all the Treasures of Heaven that cannot be taken away.

I would’ve told her, she is a daughter of the King, robed in royalty, loved unconditionally. Would’ve whispered those words in her ear every night and then some more in between.

And…most likely I would not have eaten near a whole cake on the eve of her birth. Oh what a bellyache!

Thirty three years have gone by. Thirty three fall seasons. A hurricane that sheared trees off the top of our mountain. Life lived. Lessons learned. For us both. Hearts broken. Hearts mended. A marriage. Six beautiful children plus two more. Sharing Jesus. Healing. Grace and mercy covering us both.

And so much more life to come.

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn