It’s nice to live in an area where we (usually) have 4 seasons. I love Spring, with budding trees and flowers popping up new everywhere; baby animals bounding about, and the new smell of overturned earth as gardens and fields are prepared for planting. My favorite holiday of the year is Easter, because we get to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made in order to save us from ourselves and from eternal damnation.
I love Summer, too. I love to soak up the heat on a lazy afternoon when the smell of freshly cut grass abounds and the birds are singing and in the background, the sounds of kids playing outside; pool parties and cookouts, vactions to the lake or the ocean or the mountains. Celebrating the birth of our country and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans on the 4th of July. I love fireworks displays and parades; festivals and fairs.
I have a love/ hate relationship with Winter. I adore Christmas and celebrating the birth of our Savior. I love snow and winter activities….. but I really don’t like being cold. I love being snuggled in soft blankets with a crackling fire, spiping a hot drink….. but I really don’t like being cold. The feeling of the brisk, fresh winter air on my cheeks is so invigorating, and the thrill of skiing down a hillside is hard to describe….. but I really don’t like being cold! Can you tell that Winter is a dilemma for me???
Fall – change is in the air. There is a riot of colors and textures as the flowers and grasses and trees seem to explode with late season fruits and seed pods to prepare for winter. There is a flurry of activity in the animal kingdom as they gather food and fortify themselves for the coming winter. The light changes in a subtle but distinct way, softer and more diffuse than the glare of summer. The winds begin to blow more from the north, bringing cooler temperatures and inviting us outside to enjoy the changes.
Fall has been my favorite time of the year for as long as I can remember. Why is it my favorite? The most obvious reason is that my birthday is in the Fall! Thanksgiving, too. It is such a joy to be able to gather with friends and family and to give thanks for who we have in our lives. There were years in my life that I wasn’t thankful for my family, or for the countless times God has stepped in and protected me from serious harm – even death. Of course, being human, I continued to put myself in harms ways, and was hurt physically and emotionally because of my actions. But that story is for another day.
November is a great month to write a gratitude list. Add one thing to it each day. Not everyone has a family to be thankful for – I know how blessed I am to have one – but everyone has someone and something to be grateful for. Being a gratitude list can be difficult when you are in a bad place. I know, because I’ve been there. A friend made an excellent point once as we were discussing gratitude and some of our group were having difficulty thinking of anything to be grateful for. Even little things make our lives better. She said “We can always be thankful for toilet paper!” Yes, we laughed, but the point was well taken. Start with the seemingly little things …. it might be that they are really big things!
“Submit to GOD, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to His instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored – so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty Himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver!” – Job 22:21-25 NLT (http://bible.com/116/job.22.21-25.NLT)
Love God and love life. Anticipate heaven and live in preparation for eternity.