31 Days of Grace

It’s Sunday after a long weekend. It was a great writing conference but it is nice to be back home.  I’m still not feeling 100 percent so today my thought is simply this…

I am grateful for the grace of changing seasons. New seasons bring new opportunities. 

What do you look forward to in this season?

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Seasons

It is a rare Sunday afternoon where I am hanging out in my backyard with my laptop and my terrier. I live in a small town and it is quiet and peaceful out here. 

Except for one blaring distraction.

It is not the neighbor mowing his yard nor the EMS sirens as they travel to the hospital down the road. The distraction is less about audible noise and more about the inescapable comparison to my life at the moment.

Overgrown. The fence that needs to come down is overgrown with vegetation. Weeds to be exact. Why? Because we have been busy doing life. Because when we do have a free moment, it is easier to stay inside than stare at the work that needs done.

Life gets like this sometimes. We overcommit ourselves. We say yes when we should pause and pray first. We leave so little whitespace in our lives. The responsibilities grow around us and squelch the joy of things we once felt passionate about. Burnout threatens to set in.

So, here I am now after a message at church this morning…do not be afraid. Here I am contemplating decisions of where commitments have overgrown in my life and what must be reprioritized.

When we want to welcome something new in our lives, we must be brave. If we feel God’s blessing upon a new chapter and if we witness a door opening, we must be willing to close the doors that need closed. Yes, I believe God closes doors for us sometimes. I also believe there are times when we need to step back and realize that some areas in our lives are overgrown. 

For example, do you want to start writing a novel? Maybe you need to step back from a committee you serve on.

Ecclesiastes 3:1…There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…

What season are you in currently? Maybe it is a season for something new which also means an end of a different season.

Isaiah 43:18-19…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

Life is full of seasons. Don’t be afraid to end one so a new one can bloom.

Change of SeasonĀ 

Sometimes, change is inevitable. Sometimes, we even look forward to change.

I found myself feeling a little excited the other night when I saw the red on the trees at the park. Autumn leaves… seasonal changes in the air.

Yes, I know, I know….after autumn comes the dreaded winter with its unpredictable weather, but I want to savor the joys of falls.

The colors of the season 


Pumpkins on my porch…

Sweatshirts and jeans, soccer and football, relief from the summer heat, apples and squash, pumpkin spice lattes….so many things to look forward to in autumn.

Autumn is definitely my favorite season. It is one change I welcome.

I admit, though, I am never a fan of winter but change is inevitable, and I will choose right now to focus on the special joys of autumn that I love. I will enjoy the peace I feel with the comforts of autumn and trust God with the uncertainty of the impending winter…. really not too different than seasons in life we experience. It’s all a matter of perspective.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

31 Days of Surrender: Control

Control…this is a hard one for me. I like to be in control or at least feel like and think that I am in control. Only….this control thing isn’t working so well. Despite seeing a nutritionist and trying to eat healthy, I still deal with food and health issues. My work situation is crazy on so many levels. I can clean my house and then come home….and it’s a mess. It rains when I must sit outside for a soccer game and cheer on my son with a smile on my happy soccer mom face.

Reality…many things are out of my control.

This past Sunday, I decided to take an afternoon walk to clear my head. I went to my favorite park in my small town. Besides a few other walkers, it was quiet and empty. I enjoyed the solitude and time of prayer. I reflected on the beauty of the changing leaves of the trees. I love the seasons of the Midwest. I snapped a picture on my phone.

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These trees…their leaves change color in the fall. They lose their leaves then, and the season fades into winter. Their branches stay barren of leaves through the cold winter months. The promise of the season of Spring comes, and tiny buds of life appear on their branches. These green tiny buds burst forth into leaves. Through each season, God is in control.

If God so faithfully reveals Himself through nature every single season, then why do I lack faith sometimes to trust Him that He is in control of my life through every season that I face?

Do not be afraid or discouraged for the battle is not yours but Gods. 2 Chronicles 20:15

Today… I will surrender control and trust God in this season of my life.

What areas in your life do you need to surrender control and simply trust and wait on the Lord?