Grace · Hope · Prayers · Seasons

Changing Seasons…

The temperature and the leaves have fallen.  The trees are bare.  The ground is frozen and covered with the last of the leaves.  Most of them are not even ours.  They have blown from across the way… from the oak trees.  Today is the day to get the last of them up and gone.  The end of the autumn season.

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With a season change comes the time to put away things that you no longer need.  Rakes, flower pots, wheel barrows. All tucked away for the winter.  Some things you have to throw away, for they are not reusable when spring comes.  The two flower pots on my patio that have bloomed beautifully all fall, are now frozen in time.  They still look alive and well, but if you touch them they are brittle.  It’s tough to have to throw them away for they have been a source of life on my patio for many months.  IMG_6233

This change of season should feel a bit like cleaning out… simplifying.  There should be a feeling of excitement for winter and all that it will bring.  Clean yard, neatly stacked wood for the winter fires, snow shovels out, ice scrapers by the back door, scarves and mittens down out of the closet, hot chocolate ready to be made.

I wish it were that easy.  This season change feels more challenging than others have been in the past.  Life has gotten very complicated with all of the things we battle day in and day out – relationships, finances, responsibilities, memories of things lost and hopes for things to come.

Just when I think it’s more than I can handle, God steps in. Like the first evening of November when I walked outside into a glorious sunset.  All the worry that was heavy on my heart washed away for a moment as He revealed that it’s not about me… He’s with me in this change of seasons.

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Of course, I took all the worry back and continued on, waking early in the morning with anxiety and fear.  Wishing, hoping, wondering.  Then He steps in again and lands a letter in my mailbox from a dear friend struggling with breast cancer.  Her words were that of encouragement and love.  Once again, God reminded me of His grace and goodness.  My sweet friend’s words encouraged me to find the blessings throughout the day… to take my mind off the things that are weighing me down.

I’ve let myself get bogged down by all of the leaves falling on me at once.  What I need to do is take one leaf at a time!  Find the blessing and beauty, and do what needs to be done in each moment, covered in His grace and new mercies every day.  The seasons change whether I’m ready or not.

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How are you embracing the season change in your life?  Be encouraged and open to all that the new season will bring.

“For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you” declares the Lord.    Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Grace · Hope · Lessons Learned · life happens... · Prayers · Seasons · Struggles · The Journey

For Everything There is a Season…

Seasons come and seasons go. Some seem to last forever and some seem to be gone overnight. Some are dictated by the calendar and others by the events in our lives.

Today marks the first day of autumn… my favorite season. While is it just a date on the calendar, it feels different. The trees are no longer that deep rich green. Everything is beginning to take on the yellow and red hues. Because of our dry summer, the leaves are beginning to turn earlier and in some places that have been cooler in the evenings, raining down out of the skies.

There is a chill in the air. That chill that says summer is gone. This morning I awoke to a slight patter of rain… a sound I’ve not heard in a while. Squirrels are madly gathering nuts and cones to store up for winter. Friday nights are filled with football games, marching bands, warm blankets and pumpkin spice lattes. Weekends are spent putting everything outside away for the winter. Soon, we will begin the annual leaf-raking adventure.

Autumn… the season where things begin to die off and prepare to rest for the winter. The season of change.

Some seasons are not calendar driven. Some are seasons in our lives based on circumstances. Often, these seasons are not planned nor anticipated. Sometimes they just show up unexpected; catching us off guard. We may or may not have been given a bit of warning to prepare.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ASV)

God uses seasons on our lives to challenge us… strengthen us… give us rest… bless us. Some are more difficult than others. I’ve been through many seasons in my life… more in the past few years than I’d ever imagined. When I’ve been able to keep my eye on Jesus, no matter the difficulty I’ve never gone it alone. My faith and character have grown. I know that there are more to come, but I choose to live for today – the quiet season He has me in right now.

In the meantime, I’m going to relish this calendar season of autumn… for it’s my favorite! I look for this change to bring new challenges, growth and memories to cherish forever. (And maybe a pumpkin spice latter or two!)

What season are you in right now? Are you embracing it?
Continue reading “For Everything There is a Season…”