Thursday, October 30, 2008

Changing Seasons

I sat here at my writing desk a couple of days ago and watched leaves falling from our huge maple tree in the backyard. Sunshine bathed the yard as the leaves drifted down in the breeze. I put off thoughts of raking and just enjoyed the view. It got me thinking about seasons changing.

Change can be hard for people. Unfamiliar territory feels uncharted. What's waiting there in that new place? Sometimes we'd rather not experience the potential simply because the possibilities of a new season is accompanied by change.

Here are some things to remember about new seasons, especially if change is difficult for you:

~~ When one season ends, another is beginning.

~~ There's always something good in every season. Try making a list of what you like about the upcoming season, and use your senses. So, for autumn, you might include sights (colorful leaves), smells (hot apple cider, cinnamon candles, etc.), tastes (hot cocoa on a blustery night), touch (curling up with a warm blanket in front of the fire) and sounds (friends and family gathering for Thanksgiving holiday, Christmas carolers, etc.). There's always something to be grateful for. Focus on those things.

~~ God has good plans (Jeremiah 29:11). God is with you.

~~ Seasons are symbolic of changes in our lives and represent opportunities to go in new and better directions. Make changes in your life that are positive as the seasons change--like starting a new and good habit, setting goals and meeting them, etc. That practice will instill hope into the new season.

~~ An opportunity to change your environment. I know a woman who changes her entire living space every season, dressing it up (to the hilt) with seasonal decorations. She has tons of accessories for every season, and visiting her home is like being immersed into the season, whichever one it is. Get creative! Seasons are inspiring. God redecorates every season; that was His idea at creation.

Seasons don't (read: change doesn't) have to be frightening. When you were small, did you ever jump into a pile of freshly raked leaves? Oblivious to whatever might be in there, you tossed yourself in and flung yourself around, laughing with glee, the scents of decaying leaves filling your senses along with the smoke from someone's burn pile. I did that, several times. Then, I started thinking about the spiders, like the one I'd discovered skittering over the leaves one afternoon. And I stopped jumping in.

Here's today's invitation---don't stop jumping in!

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