Here the leaves paint the skies brown, with hints of red still nestled next to all things green. Here all things are possible too, like changing seasons with temperatures unchanging for climate reasons. Either way, I am realizing you are me when I dream. These days I have been dreaming of all things possible, seeing that you can make trees bend, some all the way down, is the courage I use to stand up, bounce back up like trees. Knowing that it will all be worth it in the end, this strong purpose, you continue to teach, and I continue to learn. All I ask is that you keep stretching me beyond things that seem impossible.

So in love with these brisk Fall days.

I sat and listened as trees sighed this afternoon. It’s the end of October and we are still in a spring-time flow. The grass is no longer green but yellow, with a hint of brown. And trees have leaves falling all around, no longer green but crimson red and brown. They call this the fall season. Everything seems to be falling. Trees, leaves, grass, the earth. Everything but me. Call it grace, call it faith. My souls keeps being plucked from its secret place this fall.

We spent the day outside raking leaves with a make-believe stick. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October and the weather is acting like the start of Spring. Either way, we are together, resting and thanking God for his grace and mercy. Happy Sunday.

Since Fall refuses to start its cool, we took to the Park this sunny Sunday morning. Four children and I went for a walk at first. Then they ran to the playground, the bright yellow bars and obstacle courses. Then four children started swinging on swings. Just to be a child on swings is joy that keeps giving this bright sunny morning. Then the wind started to blow, this cool gentle breeze. Maple trees swayed as gentle as the breeze. While my children, kept going back and forth, swinging on swings. I’ll rather be here this morning, with my children swinging on swings.

I went for run through Forest Park today. One of the best things about living in Saint Louis is Forest Park and all its trees with their changing leave colors during the fall season. And the colors are amazing. A display of God’s love for what he calls his own. My kids and I visit the park often and especially on days when the weather is glorious like today. I went running because for the first time in a long time, I needed to encourage myself in his word. Just me and him, one on one, to bask in his love for me like the changing leaf colors on the trees all across Forest Park. There was a time I was truly desperate. I wrote so many grants, often with very few guidance and nothing seemed to stick until 2 years ago when I got the grant of a lifetime. Even then, there were milestones to achieve and some tried to teach me their ways or ignore my own abilities. My story, my journey is not like others. I know why I am on this earth and it’s not to play small. With the help of my co-leaders we didn’t play small. In fact we worked harder than expected and today all that hard work finally paid off. To be young, black and female in academia is probably one of the hardest jobs ever. Few people genuinely believe that you are a leader, many people doubt your abilities, some even see you as a second class citizen and talk down to you or ignore your expertise, but still you persevere. Today I did and ran for me.

I ran through Forest Park like I never ran before because I know like the leaves on this tree, my refuge is the Lord. I ran like I never ran before to thank God for what he has done. Every thing that I have and everything that I am belongs to him alone. I ran to thank him for the journey thus far. I ran because I know the road ahead will not be easy. Songs like ‘Order My Steps’ and ‘Grace’ and ‘The Best in Me’ played on my headphones as I ran. It was the sign I needed from him. I know he is my refuge and shelter even when things may make no sense. I ended with ‘All things are working’ for my good as they are. This tree with leaves in yellow was a reminder of God’s love for me. If he can care for the birds in the sky or trees with leaves that were once green and now yellow, how much less for me. Keep encouraging yourself in him, he sees the best in you always.