Seasons of Change

Adah and leaves

Fall is in the air!

There is excitement because of the changing weather, the changing leaves, a changing wardrobe, even changes in the food we eat. I don’t make chili in the summer, it just doesn’t seem appetitzing to me -but I love it on a cold day!

Those of you with young children face many changes as well such as:
* It gets dark earlier – bed times may change.
* You switch out the clothes, usually getting out bigger sizes of sweaters and sweatshirts.
* Wash loads are bigger – jeans and sweaters take up more space than shorts/t-shirts.
* Leaf piles to play in instead of slip and slides.
* Kites are fun to get out when it’s windy, put away the kiddy pool!
* Runny noses 😦
* Rosey cheeks 🙂

I like the seasonal changes. It is a blessing to see the world change around us, totally beyond our control. God demonstrates His order of things through seasons. Folks who live in tropical climates after living in the more temperate zones often miss the changing seasons. Our daughter who lived in Hawaii said that she really missed fall each year. (poor baby!!!!!)

The changing seasons are a reminder of God’s order that He established in creation.

Genesis 1:14-18 says –

14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
The order God established during Creation reminds us of His faithfulness. We do not live in a random universe, but instead changes happen in sequence and patterns demonstrate God’s divine plan.

There are seasons in our lives as mothers.

Once a baby is born, we become a mother. We will always be mothers even when our children die before we do. Those precious lives may no longer be here with us on earth, but they live on in our hearts!

Our roles change as mothers – but the fact of being a mother does not. Some aspects of active mothering are easy to give up:
* changing diapers
* cleaning up throw up
* waking to crying in the middle of the night

Other roles we fill in active mothering are greatly missed:
* reading bedtime stories
* braiding a daughter’s hair
* saying nighttime prayers together
* cuddling together on a chilly evening

As grandparents our roles will change. Pop and Nana used to be the “big deal”. Now as we leave the homes of our grandchildren there is no crying, sometimes just a “see ya!” as they are busy playing.
That is just as it should be because as our grandchildren age, they realize we will return – our leaving is not forever.

There are seasons in our spiritual lives as well. There are seasons when God wants us to learn to trust as we go through difficult times. There are seasons we must trust because things are going well and we KNOW it is not because we deserve it.

There are seasons when our children are suffering and we wonder when a change will come.

No matter the season or the changes we face in life – God is faithful.

Paul wrote this to encourage the Christians in Phillipi.

Phillipians 4:10-15

10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.Seasons will change – God is always faithful!

Falling

God’s Color Study

I tried to capture a photo of leaves falling yesterday afternoon while hiking the Horace Kephart trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. Phil pointed out to me that leaves were floating down all around us. I was so focused on the color of the leaves on the trees and on the ground, I hadn’t noticed those falling. It was delightful to watch the floating descent of the leaves, but my little camera wasn’t up to the challenge of recording their fall.

Fall is a great time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. The color yesterday defies description; I even took a photograph that I plan to call “God’s Color Study”, even though the picture doesn’t do justice to the vibrancy of the actual color. The sky was intense blue; the leaves were an array of red, orange, yellow, brown, and leftover green. It was truly a feast for the eyes.

Yet, under the carpet of fallen leaves, there were rocks and small ditches carved by the recent rain storms. These were hidden by the leaves, but a concern while hiking. I was so distracted by the autumn display that I slipped and stumbled several times before I realized I needed to pay attention to where I was going.

Isn’t that true of life? I am the queen of distraction. This is a big concern as a parent and now as a grandparent. I am easily distracted – and often by good things. Natural beauty has always fascinated me, and as an artist that serves me well. Yet, our children will tell you of the many times I missed a turn on our way home, because of a beautiful tree, a lovely bird, or a particularly blue hydrangea. For the sake of the safety of our children and now grandchildren, I must focus on where I am going.

As a Christian, I need to PAY attention to my walk with God, and NOT get distracted by things, even good things that could cause me to fall. Some of the things that can distract me and cause me to “fall” as a mother are:

  • Being more concerned about how my children LOOK than how they feel
  • Caring more about what my friends think than what my Heavenly Father wants
  • Putting my children to bed without devotions/prayer because a TV show is starting
  • Attending to needs of others before the needs of my family
  • Allowing “devices” to control my time
  • Putting weeding the flower beds before cooking meals (anyone else have this issue?)

Thankfully, Our Heavenly Father knows our weaknesses and His desire is to keep us from falling.

Jude 1:24-28 (KJV)

24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.