Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Loving Autumn!

Happy Monday!!  God has an incredible week planned!  How do you plan to participate?   With awe and wonder and thankfulness and boldness and steadfastness and strength?    I hope so!!!    :)     

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

So to start out today's lesson... I have a confession... I DON'T LOVE Autumn!  I can hear the audible gasps coming from so many of you.  :)  I know many of you Love Autumn.  It's your favorite time of year.  Every year people say to me, "Don't you just love this time of year?"   I don't want to respond with "NO!  I don't LOVE it.  What's to love?  Ok.. the colors are awesome but that's about it!"   So instead I quietly smile, and say, "It is pretty."    No lying coming from my lips.  :)

Here's why I have never loved autumn...  (Not that I want you all to agree with me... just sharing)
It signifies the end of summer.  Remember that short few weeks a year (for those of us in WNY) that we enjoy warmth and sunshine?
It means cold is on it's way.  Any of you who know me, know I am cold 350 days a year!
It also means shorter days.   I love long summer nights and eating dinner on the deck or watching the stars late at night.
Another thing I never liked was that the trees and plants died and went dormant.   I always looked at that as a negative thing... until recently.

Now, please don't get me wrong.  I don't HATE autumn either.   It IS beautiful with all the trees turning and I am sure I am prejudiced, but we really do live in one of the most gorgeous places in North America and autumn takes the cake there.    I LOVE that we have 4 clearly defined seasons and am thankful for parts of each one of them.

So the other day, I was driving home and noticed a barn up on a hill that I don't remember seeing before.  I realized that it had been hidden all summer by the trees.   Now that the leaves were falling, it became visible.   As I continued, I saw many other things "uncovered" by the falling leaves... houses that I knew were there, but could not see; smaller trees and bushes that were not visible when the larger trees around them were in full bloom; trails in the woods become more visible; even the landscape is easier to see all the dips and rises.   

And another aspect of autumn that I have always known but not really contemplated much...  that what appears to be dead is really just resting, rebuilding and preparing to bring forth new and more abundant life in another season.

So how does this apply spiritually?   Have you ever had a vision/dream seemingly die?   I have.   There have been several times that God gave me a vision for something... a ministry, a business, a passion for new outlets of creativity... many different visions.   Often, there comes a period when it seems as if that vision is not going to come to pass and I've asked the Lord, "I was so sure that was from you, God.  What happened?"  I begin to doubt myself, my ability, doubt if I heard correctly, doubt the way I was going about it, etc...

Then, later the vision comes to life again.  It begins to grow, then blossom, then become fruitful.   Most often when I've completely given up on it!  :)

When I look back on the season between the birth of the vision and the fruition of the vision, I see a season that to the human eyes looked dead.  But with spiritual eyes I see many things that were 'uncovered'.  Areas I needed to grow in.  Things that needed to be removed and make way for new things.  Times when the Lord was rebuilding for even bigger and better things to come.

So, I can genuinely now say, "I LOVE Autumn!  It means God is making way for incredible growth and new life!"   I welcome His caring, shaping, removing, changing of me.  It's another step closer to being like Him.

How about you?   It may be easy to Love the earthly autumn but have you come to a place of loving your spiritual autumns as well?

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;  Philippians 1:3-6

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A New Day!

Hey!   Once again... it's been too long since I've posted anything.   Not for lack of nudging by the Lord, simply a lack of obedience and an excuse of time!  But.. today's the day!   And I have the perfect post for this NEW DAY!, which I'll share in just a moment.  :)    First, a little note for those of you that are new to my blog....  I started this blog several years ago as a way to share myself with my business partners that were out of town and most of whom I've never met in person.   It transformed into a place to encourage other women in my shoes... stay at home moms/homeschooling moms.   Then it transformed into a public journal of sorts...  What's the point in God transforming us if we don't go and help others do the same?   And that's where I continue.  Since it has been so long, I spent some time this morning updating the blog and reading old posts.   Ahhh... a written archive of just how much God's changed me over the last few years.   If you decide to read old posts... I encourage you to start at the oldest and read on up... you will hopefully see the transforming as well!   And that is my prayer for each one of us... that we are constantly being made new, growing in understanding of the mysteries of God, growing in awareness to our surroundings, growing in love for our Savior and for each other!  Forever changing to His image!   Love to you all!

Now... here's the way my day started...

Nope, first a small amount of background... for the past 2 years I have been driving my husband to work 3 days a week. (a 45min drive 1-way = 3hrs driving/day)   The reasons are a story for another day, so I will suffice to say, it's not because I want to or even choose to but because I love him enough to.

Ok... back to this morning.  Wakened while it's still dark to "You awake?  It's time."   First thought... "Ugh, this is getting old and I don't wanna any more."  (Yes, it was with a thought, not verbalized for husband to hear.  But God knows our thoughts before we even have them.  And, yes, it was in a whining 2 yr old voice).    Determined not to be snotty or make him late, I got up, got moving and headed out.   As we were driving down our road, the sun was just beginning to paint the sky in glorious colors.  I could tell it would be a beautiful sunrise.   This... just a fleeting thought as I went back to wallow in my own self-pity.   On we drove with the sunrise at our backs and the beauty and message NOT on my mind.  

I dropped him off, turned around and headed for home.    What awaited me as I turned the first corner was a brilliant, colorful, amazing reminder that this was a NEW DAY!
Yes.. I stopped to take the picture!  :)

I was not only reminded of it being a New Day, but was reminded of a message this week about being Thankful.   OUCH!   I had not started my day thankful, nor had I remembered the blessings I've had in these driving times for the last 2 years.  I have spent many wonderful hours alone with the Lord... worshiping, praying, seeing His creation.   Other things I'd neglected to be thankful for this morning... I have a newer, safe, good-running car; I am able to rise each day and take on whatever tasks lie before me; I have family and friends that are more than willing to help when needed; I have a husband who is able to work and he has a great job to go to every day; and on, and on, and on.
So.. I asked the Lord to forgive me, then I spent the ride home enjoying the view and thanking the Lord for many things.

And, I prayed for all the other souls driving with me.... many of whom, I would guess, starting their day just like I had.  Grumpy, sleepy and ungrateful.   I asked the Lord to open their eyes to the beauty of the day He'd given us.   I asked Him to remind them, just like He had been loving enough to remind me.. instead of chiding me!

So here's a question... do you wake forgetting the things you have to be thankful for.   Or even worse... getting so involved in the cares of the day, the hustle and bustle of life... that you miss the reminders God puts in front of you?   If you have, I will not chide (for we are all guilty of all things at times), but I will lovingly share God's reminder and encourage you to treasure EVERYTHING around us and become more AWARE as you move through life.

Blessings!!   Geordie