Thursday, November 20, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
My husband just bought a motorcycle. I wasn't too excited about it at first but I do have to admit he looks pretty hot when he rides it, so I think I'm good with it now. Our children all think he's the coolest dad in the world and they look at him on his motorcycle with such childlike awe...it's very cute. He didn't buy it to be cool though, he bought it to save us some money. I think it will accomplish that goal eventually, after we get him all outfitted with the proper motorcycle attire (to further enhance his coolness of course).
Thursday, November 6, 2008
It’s fall. For me fall always signifies change more than any other season. I love fall, it is definitely my favorite season. Yet I struggle with fall. When the time “falls back” and the days get darker earlier, I often feel the darkness settle into my soul. How do I find places of joy and peace inside this darkness? That is the question I seek to answer this year in order to prepare me for the long grey days of winter.
One thing I love about fall is the feeling of something new being just around the corner. The old things are dying off and making a way for new beginnings. There is beauty in the death around me. The leaves have displayed their Creator’s glory and now they have one last burst of magnificence before they move aside and make way for new life. The colors everywhere just astound me and leave me full to overflowing. I say over and over again to my children, “wow, do you see all these fabulous colors, isn’t God’s beauty amazing?!”
Another thing I love about fall is the new school year. I’m not in school anymore but I have three boys who are. And the feeling that anything is possible is not just theirs, it’s mine too. New teachers, new schedules, new friends and the past is over. The future is unwritten and waiting for me trembling with excitement. It seems strange that things are dying all around me and yet it feels like everything is just beginning. I love this circle. It is such a confirmation of God’s continual faithfulness to me.
I also love the brisk air outside and the cozy air inside. Such a contrast to each other and both are needed. I like being cold (for a short amount of time) especially when I know a warm house or bed or chair by the fireplace is waiting for me. Oh and all the smells of fall; those comforting, nostalgic smells of cookies, soups, breads, leaves, rain and the autumn sunshine nestled in the skin of my loved ones…is there anything more lovely?
But then the darkness comes and my soul droops.
I have a history of depression, it’s one of the down sides of my tender, emotional and artistic nature. So when the days get grey and dark, the demons of despair threaten to ruin all of my joy and mess with my perspective on life. But thankfully I’m 32 and I’ve been through this cycle enough times now that I finally recognize the signs and I feel more prepared for the battle this year.
One thing I do during my dark hours is journal. And the great thing is that while I thoroughly enjoy journaling, it is also the best way I learn. I have stacks and stacks of journals all over my house and when I look over the pages of past entries I see tangible evidence of change and growth. I seem to learn best when I interact with something by writing about it. If it doesn’t get written down it tends to get lost. But God is patient with me and brings it back to my attention again if it’s something I need to work over. For as long as I can remember I have loved writing and I’ve learned that truths get solidified in me when I physically write them down on paper with a pen in my hand (the pilot precise V7 pen to be exact). My journals do not record what I did that day, they record my spiritual journey, my thoughts, my downs and sometimes my ups (it seems easier to write when I’m down than when I’m up, I don’t know why that is), insights given to me by the Spirit either through His Word or through quiet times of meditation, prayer or just quiet listening, poems, prayers, songs and pictures that I draw when I can’t think of anything to write. So much of who I am is inside those journals and very few people ever see the me that is in there. I am venturing out this fall to share some of this me with you.
As the fall approached and I asked God what new thing He wanted me to try this year, He specifically asked me to open up the pages of my journal so more people could see and be encouraged by another laborer in the Lord. I warn you, I am nobody special. I am no more unique than anyone else. I don’t know what all this blog will be about, who or what it will be for exactly. I only want to share whatever God lays on my heart to share. I want to be vulnerable and real and hopefully encourage you in your own journey. And maybe, as you look into the pages of my life you will see some of yourself and hear God’s still small voice whispering his love for you.
Dark days are a part of everyone’s experience and sometimes the dark days come right in the middle of those brilliant autumn colors. But God is in the dark days just as much as He is in the sunshine. This fall is going to be different for me I think. Maybe this time, when all the leaves give their last sigh and the trees lay naked and bare I will not feel my own heart go naked and bare, but I will feel the new life of spring waiting in me underneath the cold, grey limbs. I invite you to walk with me and see what happens. Death has to come in order for new life, I want to welcome each season anticipating the hand of God moving in power and in gentleness. He is good all the time.
“The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:13b-14