Approaching Autumn Reflections

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall starts tomorrow, and I welcome it. Summer is usually my favorite season, but the last part of this one was a bit rough for me. I haven't been feeling great - minor physical woes compared to what many have to endure, but still. . . not feeling good is the pits. Not surprisingly, being in the pits has brought me closer to God. I didn't want to have to go there to get that, but that is where I am as these seasons change.

One friend, in discussing her own summer troubles said to me, "I wonder what God is trying to teach me with this?"

I hadn't thought of that, but I had an immediate answer for my own health-related circumstances: I'm learning to let go of my "I don't need any help" pride. I'm learning about sympathy and my capacity for it. I'm learning about prayer and strength and friends and family and faith and God.

I'm learning a lot.

The Quite Times

My morning quiet times suffered when I felt the worst, and that made me angry. I love my quiet time - it centers me, and for the first time in my life I thought, "I bet the devil is really happy that something has gotten in between me and my time with God." I've never given that much personality to evil before - believed that evil is so real and present - but the thought came and it helped me fight back. Notice I kept thinking about "my" quiet time. God isn't only there. I had to find other ways to center myself in God. That was a good exercise.

I focused more on finding 1,000 gifts. I've been making my private list since reading Ann's book in February. I'm on 552 as I write this. Passing the 500 mark this summer made me smile.

Some recent gifts:
499 - This comfy chair.
500 - My home, which relaxes me.
503 - My husband always sharing new, good music with me.
518 - Waking up with toys everywhere and the craft table full.
529 - Electricity.
548 - Two boys cuddled up on my lap for movie night.
550 - Time to catch up on household things - coupons, laundry, recipes - and realizing (with peace) how important that is to my life.


I'm still slowly but surely working my way through Psalm. I don't think it is any accident that I picked that book for the summer, that it is taking me much longer than I thought, or that I'm reading all these wonderful prayers for deliverance when I want that myself. I read Psalm 66 recently and wrote this part down:

For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance. . . Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue . . . God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me. Psalm 66:10-12, 16-20

Then there is my prayer list. I'm still writing my prayers, though I'm not as diligent as I once was about going back and reading them all. When I do, I'm amazed at what God has accomplished. Some summer checkmarks included: same travels for all, a new jobs for two friends, healthy babies being born, and multiple people recovering from serious illnesses. I'm feeling better, too.

So, that is where I am as we say goodbye to summer this week and enter fall. There have been times in my life when everything was going so great, I feared what must be around the bend. Now I've gone around a small bend and everything is okay. I am less afraid and more, well . . . calm. Praise the Lord for that.

Where are you as summer comes to an end?

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12 Responses to “Approaching Autumn Reflections”

  1. Thanks for sharing this and a few of your 1000 gifts! I am in a place of contentment and excited for what the Lord has in store for this next season of my life but I am also feeling overwhelmed by everything we have this fall. I loved the Jesus Calling devotional for today (Sept 22) - it was exactly what I needed. Lord, I pray that You would bless Courtney with health and wholeness in her body from her head to her toes. In Jesus name. Amen.

  2. Aw, Megan - thank you. You just made my day. And yes, Jesus Calling is always so spot on. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  3. "I wonder what God is trying to teach me with this?" ~ What a great perspective!Thank you for sharing.Visiting from Thought Provoking Thursday...

  4. What a beautiful post!  Your list of gratitudes warmed my heart!  How many people would complain if there were toys around or if their table was messy!  :-) 

    The psalm you quotes really hits it head on, doesn't it?  If we are faithful, even through the trials in our life, we will be rewarded.  What a wonderful promise that is!

    Many blessings,

  5. I love that we are all a work in progress, God changes our hearts daily as we learn and grow. My summer has been one of physical illness but my heart has grown and my soul too x

  6. And now you've made me want some mums, like I'm am this -- close to driving out to Lowes and getting some mums. So where am I as summer is coming to an end? I am clapping my hands in anticipation of some yummy apple cider.

    Have a good weekend, friend.

  7. I love this post.. I can almost feel the chill of the air as summer here pretends to come to an end. Texas believes its still summer or perhaps the 90's are the new 50's.. however I will pretend its fall and cook a roast this weekend in my crock pot. I will soak homemade mashed potatoes in gravy and in my mind I will journey into the new season with you.

    Thank you for sharing and have a blessed weekend.

  8. Incredible and timely post.  I have come to realize this is my favorite time of year as it always evokes a sense of nostalgia for those first days of school past . . . and now the excitement of first days of school to come. 

  9. Happy Fall to you :-)) I join in with you in mindfulness of God in other places. Awesome!

  10. i love how honest your heart, friend. it is so refreshing. thank you for linking. bless you. xo

  11. Courtney, it is hard for me to be in a place where I need help too. :) As mommies, if we're not feeling well, it's really tough.  And that prayer time.. yes, how timely you picked Psalms.  God knew. ;)  I hope you'll get better .. and in the meantime, thanks for sharing and linking up your journey in the jam!