When You’re Tired of Missing Jesus {with The Printable}

Leaves aren’t ever purely green and not everything is as it seems.

You can be missing Jesus because you can be missing the blazing love under everything.

The kids and I walk through the orchard and the end of autumn…




It’s what I’m telling the kids.

That all summer, the chlorophyll of the leaf, all that green, absorbs the sun and releases food. And it this cycle of chlorophyll that cloaks the leaves’ pure colors.

Shalom kneels under the pear tree, picks herself a yellow leaf, a bit of gold for a pocket.

I’m sitting there fingering the edge of a scarlet one.

“But come the fall of the year  —  the chlorophyll ebbs. And the green dims.”

Shalom holds up an amber leaf.

“And there it is — the leaf’s true colors!”

Shalom whispers, bowed over her gilded leaf — “You mean this leaf was always this colour?”

Yeah, pretty wild, eh?

All this brilliance, all this burning God-love — it is always here.

Underneath things.

Under the stacks of bills and to-do lists, the musty laundry and the stress of today. Underneath the whining kid and the impossible pressures and the situation that looks blatantly hopeless. Underneath our aching hurts — are always His everlasting arms.

Life can blind and truth can hide in plain sight. But this blazing love of God for you never stops burning underneath everything. 

You can miss it. You can miss Him. I’ve done it — You can complain and hurry your way into being homesick for Jesus.

Shalom throws leaves into the air. And all I can think is — If we would stop producing the chlorophyll of hurry and worry — we’d see the colors of grace, right where we are. 

Life has all these blinding cycles of its own — but our God is always blazing love.

When there is an intentional slowing to whisper thanks to God — there is an incredible awakening to the burning love of God. 

The ungrateful see little of His great love; but the grateful feel their heart is a shore and His love is a sea that never stops coming in.

Only a grateful heart sees God’s great love everywhere. 

It’s as simple and profound as this: We would worry less if we gave thanks more.

And I pick up a pen to thank through the fall days. I count gifts.

Her little feet and my big ones, under the thinning wool-patch quilt, her reading another page of Little House in the Big Woods.

Hugging the length of a teenage girl, tucking one of those strands behind her ear.

Light in the trees, in the leaves, in us. 

The chlorophyll of hardened cynicism drains.

And it begins to happen and nothing could be truer than what Pascal said: “Instead of complaining that God had hidden himselfyou will give Him thanks for having revealed so much of Himself.”

The darkness ebbs.

The shadows dim —

and all the trees and all the thankful, they ignite, seeing and believing the true colours of now.







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Make your own: The Thanks Giving Tree {Free Printable}

1. Print out The Thanks Giving Tree (this blazing print out of leaves will take a bit to download — several minutes, almost ten minutes here on the farm, but only two minutes for a friend in town. So… pour a cup of tea?) (For my Spanish speaking friends – print leaves here).

2. Cut out all of the leaves. Hole punch each leaf. Slip a string through each hole.

3. Hang the leaves on a bouquet of branches in a container of your choice.

4. Each morning, pick one leaf, reflect on its verse and make the verse your prayer of thanksgiving back to God. Then set it at the base of  The Thanks Giving Tree.

5. In the evening, return to the leaf and its verse and give thanks to God.  And then jot down one gift you are grateful to God for on the back of the leaf.

Make giving thanks a daily habit — and daily wear joy! 

6. (While it’s life-changing to cultivate a habit of thanksgiving over several weeks, life circumstances might alternatively have you jotting down thanksgiving for His gifts on all the leaves at one time, or, as a family, filling all the leaves during one family gathering.)

7. Or!  Each morning, leave one of The Thanks Giving Tree leaves hanging somewhere, and on the back of the leaf, jot down why you are grateful for your spouse, your child, your co-worker, your neighbour. Use the Thanks Giving Tree to reach out and ignite your community with a radical revolution of gratitude! Joy! Dare!

Each day this month, I’ll be sharing one Thanks Giving Tree leaf on Facebook and Twitter and how we used that verse today! Join in with us! “Give thanks in the assembly!” Ps. 35:18

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Related: 15 Ways to Raise More Grateful, Happier Kids 

How Writing Down your Thanks is proven to make you 25% Happier!


And from our home to yours — 

60 Devotionals for the whole holiday season of gifts —

with space for you to write down the legacy of your own 1000 gifts:

One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces

and One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are



This is Day 29.

Sometimes you miss home.

Even when you’re home.

Sometimes you miss Him.

Even when He’s everywhere.

Day 29 in a #31Days  series:

  Missing Him: 31 Days of Jesus — and not missing what can’t be missed.

Find the whole series here.

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Dare to take your invitation to not miss — what can’t be missed?

Looking forward to what #31Days hold with you… and Him.