Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Fall :~)!!!!!

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."
Ecclesiastes 3:1
(KJV)



It's my favorite time of year again!
That time that starts on my birthday in early September
and ends up on Kevin's birthday in early February.
It includes both of our birthdays, Zachary's birthday on the day after Christmas,
the BIG October craft show in WV,
Thanksgiving,
Christmas,
New Year's,
my two favorite seasons of fall and winter,
and all the fun in between.


I love the season of autumn.
There is nothing like it in the world.
Everything about it warms my heart....
the colors....
the cooling temperatures....
the decorating.
I enjoy decorating for fall, almost as much as I enjoy decorating for Christmas!

The other night, Zachary went out to the "fall" crate in the garage where we keep our fall decor.
It's amazing how I forget what all we have from year to year!
It is fun dragging it all out, arranging it, and remembering autumns past.
This little scarecrow lamp with the cute little crows was a new addition this year.
Kevin bought it for me one day when he, Mark, Zach, and I were shopping at the Goodwill.
I picked it up, put it down, picked it up again....
I don't know how many times.
I hated spending the money on something I didn't really "need".
But, each time I put it down, it seemed to call my name,
and once Kevin saw how much I loved it,
he insisted on not leaving without it.


I'm so glad he did!
It looks adorable on the old, primitive table we keep on our porch right next to the front door.
It is so pretty when I turn the switch on at night.
and it casts its warm, little glow on our front porch.

Change is just around the corner.
A very welcome reprieve from the upkeep of two acres in the sweltering summer heat.
Things are slowing down, and I couldn't be happier....or more comforted.


Isn't it kind of our loving Lord to plan it this way?
So that each season lasts for only three months at a time?
Have you ever noticed that when the season first begins, everything is brand-new and exciting,
but then towards the end, you can sense that everyone is ready for a change?


God designed it that way.
It adds variety to our lives and keeps things interesting.
If we stayed stuck in summer all year, we would all become sick of it after a while.
Kind of like I used to feel when we lived in Florida.
The thing I missed most about my home state of Ohio was the way the seasons change four times a year.
How I missed that!
I missed the falling leaves.
The chilly, fall nights.
The bareness of the branches of tall trees as I gazed Heavenward.


I missed winter coming on, the gray skies, 
and peeking out my window to watch silently falling snow.
I missed seeing it spread a blanket of pure white across the dead brown grass.
I missed going sledding,
making snowmen....and snow angels....
and bundling up to go outside to breathe in the clear, crisp air.
I missed seeing my breath...as I exhaled....watching its heat hit the cold,
then linger for the slightest moment,
and vanish away in the brisk, silent night.


Florida, with all its beauty and uniqueness can't hold a candle to a state that offers changing seasons.
Of course, that is only my opinion....but I just enjoy being able to experience the full gamut!


I love the season of fall, and I praise God we are in it.
In it, I rejoice.
I have a harder time rejoicing when summer's heat is near-unbearable,
the grass is growing at record speed,
and the workload is more overwhelming!!

But, even though I prefer fall and winter over spring and summer,
I must rejoice in them all.
Because God is good.
And life is precious.
And just to have the privilege to breathe and walk and move about
and know that God has brought us full-circle one more time....
is one of the sweetest, most precious blessings we could be granted.


Today, I stood outside taking pictures of the little displays Zach and I put together.
I admired his little pile of leaves that he has accumulated thus far
and how he strategically placed the small turkey
in between the "mama" and "daddy" turkeys sitting in our lawn chairs.
As I looked at everything and snapped pictures, thanksgiving sprang from deep within my heart.
I am so thankful to still be alive.
I am so grateful we have all lived to see the seasons change once again.
Life means so much to me.
How I praise God for it....I never take it for granted.

To see the autumn come around again 
means we are truly and wonderfully blessed.

Thinking of the changing seasons,
makes me think of the spiritual seasons through which we pass in our walk with Jesus.
God designed it to be that way.
If we follow Him, we will find that He leads us forward,
always on the move,
always changing.

Me...I am not a big fan of change.
I'd prefer it to be the fall season all year long!
I also like to settle into a niche, find a comfortable spot, and stay there....spiritually-speaking.
But, I find that after a certain amount of time, my little spiritual niches can become ruts....
and I can become stagnant....and spiritually dry.
I would probably come to enjoy autumn a lot less, too...
if it were autumn all year long.

When the coolness of fall permeates the atmosphere,
we cannot make it become summer again...
no matter how hard we wish or long for it.
When springtime comes in all its glory and newness of life,
we have no power to retain the cold temperatures and falling snow of winter days.
We have to adjust our sails to the change of seasons.
Like it or not, we must move on.
We must accept that the weather is something we will never be able to control or change.

As God opens and closes doors and seasons in our lives, 
we must also trust His wisdom,
even when we can't understanding His logic.
He always does what is best.

It is amazing how He gives us little, subtle nudges when it is just about time to move....
from one season to the next.
I call them GENTLE URGES.
Just as He allows the temperature to change to give us a clear indication
that we are moving forward...from one season to the next,
He lets us know when the well has run dry where we are, spiritually....
and it is time to move on.
Just like He allows the leaves to change colors and fall from the branches of trees,
He leaves little hints that spiritual change is in the air of our lives.
He does things to get our attention.
To cause us to stop and consider that there is something He wants us to see.

Jesus is our Shepherd.
He continually seeks out the best feeding grounds....for my soul....and yours.
He knows where the freshest, most nourishing streams flow.
So, He leads us to that place...where we can be most fully filled....with Him...
His power, His grace, His life-giving water....
and where we can be most effective in our labors for Him....
during this season.
While it is now.

I am glad God is in control.
Because if it were left up to me, I would esteem comfort over change.
And that is not always the healthiest choice.

God, in His infinite wisdom, 
has planned and scheduled seasons for each of our spiritual lives.
When He says "the well has run dry"
it is up to you and me to let go of yesterday's season,
say, "Yes, Lord", 
and move forward.
There are wonderful things ahead for all of us!
Following Jesus...from one season to the next...is always an exciting adventure...
and He has promised that we will never walk alone.



We can't lengthen any of the four seasons.
They come, they last for a time, then they are over.
They become the past, and, at that point, we are ushered into the next season,
whether in accordance to or against our own will.

Accepting God's will and rejoicing in the season He has opened is the best thing we can do.
Elijah had no choice but to move forward when the brook dried up, remember?
(Click here to read about it.)
Had he stayed there, God would have sent ravens no more.
God wanted Elijah to make a change.
So, he made the current circumstances unbearable...and unsustainable....
and he led Elijah into a whole new set of circumstances.

God always knows what we need, just when we need it.

A new season is upon us and has arrived....
ushering in a change.

Let us walk forward in His amazing grace,
let us be content,
let us look forward to cold nights, hot cocoa, and snuggling up to the one(s) we love,
and let us rejoice!

Thank God it's fall!

8 comments:

  1. This was an enlightening post. I hadn't really thought about the newness of each season and how we get tired of the old one. I have noticed that when it seems that we are just really worn out in a situation, something seems to change. God knows how much we can handle, I guess.

    Do you know that when you commented on Harvest Lane Cottage, it came back as a no reply blogger. There's a spot in your settings on your blog where you can change that if you wish.

    Blessings to you,
    Laura Lane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving encouragement behind, Laura! I didn't realize about the no reply setting. I'm not the most computer-savvy person! LOL! I will try to find out what is wrong and fix it. Thanks for letting me know. God's peace to you always, Cheryl

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing your lovely fall decorations with us here at "Tell Me a Story." I love the doll you rescured from the Good Will. It is so much fun to decorate for the different seasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hazel! You never know what you will find at the second-hand stores. They are my favorite places to shop! It surely is a lot of fun to decorate. God bless you!

      Delete
  3. I love autumn and everything about it! Beautiful pictures!

    Thank you for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it, too! It is my favorite time of the year. It is such a blessing to have lived to see the four seasons come full circle once again. God is good! Thank you for the link-up! Love, Cheryl

      Delete
  4. I totally agree with you - Fall and Winter are my favorite time of year. The holidays, anniversary, birthdays - all make this season so special for me, too. I don't blame you for wanting that little lamp - it's SO cute! I've never seen anything like it and how cute to put it on your porch. Your post is beautiful and it's so wonderful how God gives us different seasons - all in their time. :)

    Thank you for coming by and linking up to my Counting Our Blessings link up! I do this every Tuesday, so I hope you'll come by again!

    Blessings - Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy I found your blog today, and so thankful you stopped by here! I tried to add your cute little button to my blog weekly link-ups, so I would remember to come back next week (I am so absent-minded...LOL!), but I couldn't get it to work. I apologize. But, I definitely would love to come back on a weekly basis, if I can remember! I was so blessed by you today. God bless you! Love, Cheryl

      Delete