Thursday, October 27, 2011


I love the fall.

(Now I am obviously referring to the "autumn" type of fall rather than the "falling" type of fall I wrote about in my last post.)

I love the cool, crisp air.

I love the beautiful colors everywhere I look.

I love walking in fallen leaves when they are dry and crunch under my feet.

I love that it is getting dark earlier.

I love putting my mini people in hooded sweatshirts and snuggling with them to keep warm in the wind.
I love the excitement of the changing seasons.

I guess I have always viewed fall and spring as the "transitional" seasons. Creation is changing in preparation for the next stage of being. Preparing for the harsh cold of winter or the intense heat of summer. I think that is why I love these two seasons the most; I feel like my life is also in constant preparation for what is to come, in a very good way!

Sometimes there have been falls in our life where it feels a lot like death is setting in. The trees lose their leaves and go into the like-death hibernation mode and it seems that our life follows suit due to the loss of a job or other financial hardships, relationship difficulties, ministry stresses, etc.I wouldn't cite those falls to have been my favorite. But they were necessary for the growth that followed in the spring and summer and I am thankful for even the hardest of autumns.

Other times there wasn't any kind of changing season whatsoever, such as when I lived in the Marshall Islands with my family. The weather there was the same year round. The only "seasons" I ever heard mention of were the "rainy" season and the "windy" season. Whenever I tried to inquire as to when each was approximately going to come about, I pretty much gathered that if it was raining outside it was the rainy season but if it wasn't it was most likely windy so then it was the windy season... Not much of a "season" difference as far as I could tell! It makes me smile to think about it, though. I loved the warmth of the sun all year long and the warm lagoon waves on the warm coral sand any time I wanted. I miss seeing and hearing the rain move in from way out somewhere in the unending ocean and watching it move expediently toward the shore. I miss island life and would go back if the opportunity were ever to arise.

But there is certainly something special about witnessing the changing of the physical seasons. Something about Starbucks bringing back their Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Peppermint Mochas. Something about hot chocolate and marshmallows and laughter with my precious daughters. Something about the kids' faces lighting up when they see the different colors of the leaves on the trees as we're driving to church on Sunday morning. Something about the crisp freshness in the air. Something about seeing people draw closer together to stay warm.

Oddly enough, I feel like cleaning my house more in the fall than I do in the spring. So that is what I am setting out to do this fall: clean my house. And my cars. And my heart. I guess you could say I'm implementing a little "Fall Cleaning" in my life. It's gonna be good!

I guess I think about how I'll be in my house a lot more than I'll be out of it over the next several months, so I better make it look and feel and smell as inviting as I have always hoped it would. And I believe that as I clean out the dusty cobwebs from my kitchen ceilings and the caked on grime from the doorknobs and lightswitches, I will have time to listen to the Holy Spirit a little more about the cobwebs in my heart that are keeping me from loving the Lord how I ought to and spreading His Kingdom wherever I go by loving the people around me. In making my home more readily presentable, I'll be able to open my doors and share all that I have with peace and joy. In the same way, in allowing the Truth and love of Jesus to clean out my heart, I will be more readily available to open my arms and embrace my friends and loved ones with more grace and joy, welcoming them into my heart more and more and receiving the blessing of who they are on a much grander scale.

The only thing I don't like about fall, however, is that it always seems so short... I hope this fall is long enough to hold all of the love and joy and bliss and blessings and growth that my loving Daddy has in store for me and for you!

And if we have the opportunity, let's you and I grab a pumpkin spice latte together to celebrate this great time of year!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


In my house things fall. A lot.

Mostly this is because things are constantly being put higher and higher to keep them out of reach of 6 curious hands. The other reason is because we have a habit of piling things instead of just putting them away.

Regardless, things fall. 

And I often get upset when things fall. It frustrates me that not everything has a place. It gets under my skin when people don't put their stuff away (including myself). It burns my buscuits that we don't have a closet for this or a drawer for that.

It really isn't the most mature thing for me to respond by screeching or cursing or blaming other people or throwing things across the room, but I have to confess that these are not unheard of reactions on my part. I have grown and am growing, but there is still plenty of room to grow more.

When I react to these things, rather than respond to them, I am like a wave tossed on the ocean, doubting and lacking wisdom. How embarrassing when I behave in such ways, especially in front of my kids and husband. Not exactly the example of the Lord's love and peace I hope to be in my home.

As I said, I have grown in this; now I have a choice to respond rather than react, laughing it off and cleaning things up and putting things away. What is the point of getting upset about it when I could have prevented it by putting things away anyway? When I still make the choice to react immaturely (usually accompanied with excuses like "it's been a really bad day already" or  "it's all [fill in the blank]'s fault"), I have learned to get over it quickly, laugh it off, apologize for how I acted, and move on with my day. I used to seethe about things like that for hours and hours, wasting precious time that could have been spent much more pleasantly and making those around me suffer. How foolish! I am grateful that this is something the Lord has worked on in me and is still working on in me.

This freedom I have to make a choice on how to respond when things fall (or other annoying things happen) shows me that I am becoming more like a tree planted by the streams of living water whose roots go down deep and whose branches bear much fruit - fruit that will last! This is truly my desire.

The amazing thing about all of this is that it isn't dependent on me, but it is dependent on my trust in the Living God. The verse in James about the wave is based on the concept of asking the Lord for more wisdom and Him giving it to me. The verse in the Psalms about being like a tree talks about delighting in the laws of the Lord and meditating on them all the time. The verse in John about bearing fruit is all about being chosen by the Lord and not only asking for things in His name, but receiving them as well. Wow! There is so much yet to learn.

So instead of getting upset about things falling, I will stop being lazy and put them away, first of all, but second and more important, I will rest in the Lord and become so consumed by His love and faithfulness that I can't even see the things around me falling as I fall into His goodness.