This has been a particularly difficult summer for me, filled with trials, tribulations, regretful mistakes, soul searching and the stresses that accompany. Coming out of summer and into the fall is a time for rejuvenation, excitement, cooler weather and looking forward to my two favorite holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas. I get to leave the troublesome summer behind in memories soon forgotten and rejoice in the celebration of Thanksgiving which, for me, means family; and then Christmas, in which I get to celebrate my God and all that He means to me in my journey here and in my personal life.
Don’t get me wrong… I had many wonderful experiences this summer as well. Al and I started going to an incredible new church, we’ve met new people, and our walk with God has been encouraged and nurtured throughout. I’ve deepened existing friendships, made new, everlasting friends, and found within myself the strength to let go of old issues. I’ve learned the meaning of forgiveness, and how to put that “theory” into action, including forgiveness of myself for longstanding unresolved transgressions. Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Additionally, I’ve decided that Zumba, at my age and condition, is definitely not my thing (as enjoyable as it was) ~ and we didn’t have to call 911!
So, fall is here. How can I tell? Can you see the bright orange, red and yellow maple trees that surround you everywhere you go? Did you feel that “crispness” in the air, the signal that you need to cover your swimming pool now and not wait until the first snow falls? The mums are in full bloom, and people are decorating their mailboxes, trees, telephone poles and front steps with bunches of corn stalks and pumpkins. I’ve never been so inspired to take photographs of my surroundings as I have this year. Even though the skies may darken a bit sooner and look threatening more often, it does not signify the “end” of anything to me, but the beginning of the next phase of God’s graceful works of nature. Time to change the scarf on the fireplace mantel from daisies to colorful falling leaves, like the ones turning colors and falling from our oak and maple trees in the yard. Put the quilt(s) back on the bed and prepare to snuggle up and enjoy the comfort of a good night’s sleep in the coolness that is fall. Time to take the dog for only a few more walks along the Erie Canal before the path will, all too soon, be covered in snow. Take in the scenery, look at the colors, revel in the marvelous handiworks that God has created for us to enjoy. Slow down… stop… just for a minute. Take the time! Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”