Seasons…

I should know this by now, but I seem to have to learn it over and over and over again: to everything in life, there is a season (my own paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 3:1). For the past couple of weeks, I have been going througha silent season, in which I haven’t felt much like blogging. My energy has been lower than normal, the days have gotten darker and colder, and generally I have just felt too tired to write.

So, not the greatest season. But. BUT, the thing about seasons is that they change. From one to the next, they transform. And today, I truly feel like I have turned a corner. I am entering a new season. I feel words pressing against my brain, waiting to be written down and shared. I feel hope, like a warm glow in my chest, beginning to grow. I feel close to God in a way that I haven’t for a little while.

No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but for the first time in a while, I find myself anticipating tomorrow with a smile instead of a grinding of teeth. I am entering – I hope, and I pray, and I worry about even writing it out because, O God, what if I jinx it?! – a good season.

Advent is not far away (two more Sundays! YAY!) and I am anticipating this season of anticipation.

You know what? I am just happy and blessed and thankful and aware of all the things for which I ought to be thankful. It’s a good place to be, and I wish all seasons could be like this. Still, I know the tough seasons have so much to teach me, and they make the good seasons shine all the brighter.

My friends, whatever season you are in, may you know that God is with you there. May you feel His peace surrounding you in times of trial and may you sense His delight in times of rejoicing.

Autumn and inconsistent…

I often think of Fall as my favorite season. Unless you count Christmas, which I totally do – but that is my favorite because of twinkling lights and sparkly bows and beautiful carols and the birth of the Savior…not because of weather and what is happening out in the natural world.

Today I was running an errand and I saw the first kiss of fall color in a stand of trees. It just made me grin. I do love fall, but I think what I love even more than fall itself is the change of seasons. That shift as Summer morphs into Fall or Winter melts into Spring. That in-between-time when the previous season still makes an occasional appearance even as we are surrounded by signs of the new season.

It’s strange, because often I have such trouble with change. But when it comes to the seasons there seems to be such possibility and mystery in the changes. Sure, sometimes at this time of year you find yourself caught without a jacket on a day when it turns out that you really need one, or wearing too many layers on a day that Summer decided to pop back up. Sometimes the change surprises you. But there is beauty in the unexpected.
And in the midst of a change of season I find myself delighted by the unforeseen changes in the weather.

Now, if only I could translate that attitude to the unexpected things that happen in all avenues of life. Unfortunately, I am more annoyed than overjoyed when life throws me a curve ball. I find in-between-times full of frustration rather than expectation and mystery. I think – and this will come to no surprise to those of you who know me well – I want to be in control when it comes to change in the broad strokes of life.

When it comes to the weather, to the change of seasons, I’m well aware that I have no say in what will happen, so I don’t worry too much about it.

It’s a healthier attitude, especially for a Christian. I know that God is at work in this world. I know that He has a plan and I believe that His plan is for the good of us all. I believe His plan has to do with redemption and deliverance and new life. I can say all of that with confidence and with a still small voice in the center of my being whispering “it’s true, it’s true, it’s true…” So why can’t I have the attitude towards the changes in life that I have towards the change of season?

The answer is quite simple. I’m human. I’m fallen. I’m inconsistent. I’m in need of a savior. Thank God I have one.

Time…

Just about everyone is talking about the end of summer these days. I don’t know if it is because school starts next week, the sun is setting earlier or that hint of fall that’s been in the air for the last few days. Whatever it is, we’re all thinking about it. And most of us are asking the same question: Where did summer go?

It went the way of all seasons – it passed us by. I was reminded last evening that time is short and we do not know what tomorrow might bring (nothing tragic happened, the subject was raised by the NOOMA video my small groups leaders and I were discussing). The truth is that time isn’t short – time is time, a second is a second, a minute is 60 seconds no matter how you slice it. But our perception of time is relative to our emotional experience. The minutes can seem to drag on for hours when we are bored (10th grade math class, anyone?) or zip by too quickly when we are having fun (vacation!!!).

The thing is, the older I get, the more aware I am of all the minutes that seem to zip by, waaaaay too quickly. It seems that time is passing more quickly, with each year that I live. It’s starting to scare me a bit. That’s part of the reason I blog…so I will remember some of the moments that have passed me by.

What I want to remember right now is the way the dogs (my own Koski, and my parents’ Keeper) look  curled up on their mats in the livingroom, snoozing as I type this. And the way the air has been different the last few mornings as Koski and I took our walk along the Etobicoke Creek trail – tinted with coolness and the promise of fall. And the way the sun almost blinded me as I drove across the city under a perfectly clear sky to pick up a friend from the airport this evening. And the way my muscles have that deliciously exhausted feeling because of a challenging BodyPump class.

I want to remember all the things that make life good. All the tiny little blessings that God sends my way every single day. All the things I need to stop and say thank you for, even though most of the time, I don’t.

Because if I don’t remember them now, if I don’t notice them and express thankfulness for them now, I may not get the chance tomorrow.

 

Losing an hour or gaining some light?

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So tonite is the time change. This is the one most of us don’t like. We feel like we are losing an hour’s sleep. I am pretty sure there will be a lot of complaining over the next few days as we all adjust to our Spring schedule.

Personally, I am kind of stoked for the time change. Because of the weight loss I have been through, I have really been feeling the cold this winter. And it has not been a particularly cold winter. Nonetheless, I have found myself bothered by the winter months in a way I never have been before.

So I have been longing for this change. I have been longing for the extra hours of daylight and the warmer temperatures that will be headed our way.

All of the seasons have something that makes them special and beloved to me. Summer means long days, lots of time to walk and life moving at a slower pace. Fall means brilliant colours, thanksgiving and my birthday. Winter is all about Christmas and the joy of celebrating Jesus birth. And Spring…Spring means Easter, crocuses, robins, longer days, the first blush of warm weather and above all – new life. Grass beginning to green and leaves beginning to sprout. Eggs hatching and litters being born. The world (or at least my corner of it) waking up from its winter slumber and remembering what it is to breathe deep and feel alive.

For most of my life I would have said that fall was my favorite season. But I think some things are changing and Spring is becoming my favorite.

Maybe that is because I believe in a God who is all about new life. Resurrection. Hope.