|our first WHITE CHRISTMAS|
|as a married couple.|
|"The One When They All Turn Thirty"|
I love Autumn. The sight of colorful countrysides. The smell of burning campfires and roasting marshmallows. The sound of dropping nuts. The taste of crunchy apples and freshly popped popcorn. Hayrides. Pumpkin Farms. The list could go on and on. It all holds a beauty which moves my spirit at a deep, personal level.
As my daughters and I celebrate the changing season, we learn from Him. Our experience of collecting leaves a few years ago highlighted for us the importance of letting go of the old in order to make room for the new.
Outside our home there are a number of trees which change color with the first dipping of temperatures. I'm not sure which one of my girls enjoys trying to find the most colorful leaves more.
Small piles of those leaves often find their way into our home and onto the dining room table. We admire them while arranging them in colorful patterns. One time while we were picking out the prettiest leaf, I overheard this conversation.
"I like this one. It's so beautiful."
"Hmm, that is pretty. How about this one."
A pause followed.
"I wonder why the leaves have to fall. If the trees could only keep their leaves, wouldn't they look nice?"
"Yes and then we wouldn't have those old brown leaves all over the place."
"Yeah, I wish God could have made them stay on the trees."
"But what about Spring?"
Another long pause.
"When Spring comes the new leaves come out. What would happen then?"
Immediately my mind began to picture a tree loaded with colorful leaves meanwhile trying to put out new little green leaves. No, there wasn't room for that. Those new leaves needed room to grow. The old had to be removed.
My mind wandered back to some losses we had experienced. Like leaves they dropped from our lives. And although we accepted the changes, in our humanness we easily would have placed them back in our lives. But life moves forward. Always making room for the new.
Could it be that our Heavenly Father knows our longing to resist change and keep things just the same? Could it also be that He knows how very much we will also appreciate the new growth and fresh opportunities?
Yes, we can trust Him.
So as I watch these leaves drop one by one I will lift my heart in praise to Him. God is only making room for the gifts which He is preparing for us in the future. Spring always comes.
So this year as we experience the glory of Autumn we remember that sometimes it is important to let go in order to make room for the new. We can trust the greatest Lover to care for our families. We can rely upon Him to keep showing us His grace throughout our whole lives.
- Sharon Beth Brani
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. There is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life. - Alan Cohen
He's a cute little fella...
"I'm convinced that most of us more readily accept the fact that God is who He says He is than we believe He can do what He says He can do. We less quickly assume that God is able - or perhaps more pointedly, that He is willing - to do what He says. Ironically, however, God can do what He says He can do precisely because He is who He says He is."That's a mouthful, but it's true. I've never had trouble believing WHO God is, but that He will do what He says He will do, yet I have been proven this very point over and over again, and yet I still worry, question, and doubt. Shame on me. By now, I know better and need to work harder at being the believer in the God that He says He is. I need to work A LOT harder. In the meantime though, God has given us the gift of resilience. I want to walk away from each trial, large and small, with a little bit of resilience that causes me to ask myself, 'how did I get through that?' There's only one answer - because God is the God He says He is.