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.

Catching up…

So I decided to do a ‘photoaday’ project for September. I thought I’d try blogging about the photos as I post them. Then the stomach flu hit. Suddenly I found myself 3 days behind at the very beginning of the project. Ugh.

So tonite I will blog 3 photos and hopefully tomorrow I will be back on track. Here we go!

#FMSPhotoaday Sept 1: You, now:

 

 

My social media friends might be a little sick of this photo by now, since it’s been on FB and Twitter today. But I really think it is the best pic of me right now. Taken on Friday, at the home of my chosen-family in Oshawa, I like this photo because I actually like the way my body looks in the picture. I have blogged often about my weight loss journey. I have had both great successes and great struggles with it during the past year. I have discovered that losing a pile of weight doesn’t fix all the problems in your life. It doesn’t solve any of your self esteem issues. I have trouble recognizing the changes in my body. But the journey continues. And I am learning to be thankful even in the midst of my struggles. This pic represents all of that to me.

 

FMSPhotoaday Sept 2: Father:


My Dad is a great guy. And one of the biggest joys of my summer was watching him interact with my chosen-nephews when they and their family came for a visit at the farmhouse this summer. So this is my Dad giving Nate a ride in a wheelbarrow. The great thing is that this was about 5 minutes after they arrived. It took Dad no time at all to find fun ways to engage the boys. When I was a kid, my Dad was the guy who’d run through the woods at my grandparents’ cottage with my brother and I, toy guns in our hands and laughter bubbling out of us like crazy people. I loved getting to see an echo of that as my Dad interacted with these precious boys and their little sister. My earthly father is a blessing (to me, and to many others!) and a reflection of my Heavenly Father.

 

#FMSPhotoaday: Sept 3: Far Away:

 

 

This is the view from the table where my Mom and I dined while we were in New York State this summer. This is the patio at Stonecutter’s pub at Belhurst castle, on the shores of lake Seneca in the Finger Lakes region. It was a gorgeous day and Mom and I were having some great girl-time together. That was right in the middle of the summer. Now the fall has begun and this feels far away in more than the physical sense. Still, this pic is a great reminder of how good it is to take a rest, get away, and find yourself renewed.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s photo & blog!

 

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.

 

The start of summer…

Summer has often been a difficult season for me. I was always easily over-heated and exhausted by the humidity. I spent a lot of summers feeling really uncomfortable because of the extra weight I was carrying. But that has changed in the past year. With the weight loss, I have found that I am often cold and have been really looking forward to summer. Even though we’ve only had a few days of warmth so far, I can already tell that I am going to love this summer. It is great to feel warm again and to enjoy wearing shorts and tank tops.

This past weekend was the beginning of the summer season with the Victoria Day long weekend. Some of my friends and I have a tradition of going to David’s house for a campfire. And that is exactly what we did on Friday. It was a warm and beautiful day, and it was a joy to spend some time with good friends. I thought I’d share some of the photos I took on Friday.

To me, these photos are expressions of gratitude for all the good things God has gifted me with.

 

Naters hanging out in the Tree House his godfather, David, built for him and Cam.

 

Cam had to get the same shot, of course. 🙂

 

Michelle, Rob, Aly and Karen enjoying the fire.

 

Daddy’s girl: Aly and Rob
Pretty Aly-girl….love that smile!