The Dance of the Leaves begin

Fall began today. At least according to the calendar. We went to do our Costco run and the car temp read 95 degrees. It was miserable, but the sky was bright blue and the clouds were puffy and white. It was a nice, albeit, hot day.

As we were exiting Costco, it looked like it was evening outside. Considering we got there around 1 p.m., I knew we hadn’t taken that long inside. We got to the car, put everything in and put our cart back. The sky was dark and threatening.

Dale commented that he hoped the storm wasn’t going to involve hail and off we went towards home. The temperature gauge in the car read 85 degrees. As we drove down the interstate, there were leaves blowing around the sky. I had already had the title for this post and wondered what I was going to say about it. I realized I had a post.

The rain was strong as was the wind. There was a ballet of leaves and pine needles going on above us and in front of us. We drove past a farm called Walnut Grove farm and all of a sudden we heard thump, thump, thump, we were being hit by something. We laughed (well, I laughed) and told Dale that he had said he didn’t want hail, but he forgot to mention walnuts. The nuts from the tree lined street were blowing the nuts to the ground and we were in the way.

The dance of leaves continued as we came home. I guess this is just the beginning of the colder season coming upon us. Soon the leaves will be laying on the ground preparing a covering for the spring growth.

I loved our homeward adventure today, but, I have to say the walnuts were a bit of a surprise to us.

“Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem!  Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring” Joel 2:23 (NLT)

The Rain leading to Autumn

“Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.” Joel 2:23 (NLT)

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain falling outside our home. It was (and still is) the gentle patter that fills you with the longing of snuggling under a blanket. It is the rain that begins to turn the world around you into autumn.

I opened my curtains looking into our woods and knew that in a few weeks the leaves would begin to fall and the view would change. Fall is coming.

Some of our leaves are starting to turn yellow, some have a reddish tint to them. It is a forewarning of an approaching change. Summer is waning and soon the air will chill. Most of nature around us will become dormant, sleeping until spring when they will awake with beauty and new life.

I love the colder seasons. They are times of comfort for me. The air is brisk and assaults your senses, making your eyes water and your nose to feel cold. It is a time to feel alive in a different way than summer does.

September is almost half way done. The official start of autumn is approaching. But, today, the weather is alerting us to the change of seasons. I love how the Lord works in this way. His timing is always perfect.

Signals

It is raining again today. The temperature is still in the mid-80’s so it is warm.

Dale and I ate our lunch outdoors again. We sat on the screen porch and listened to the gentle rain falling on the other side of the screen. It was a quiet rain, a soothing rain. The type where you want to make soup for dinner or just curl up with a blanket and rest.

The falling rain reminded me of being in our hometown of Oil City, PA. I thought of times past when we were getting ready to head back to school. When you could feel in the air that summer was winding down and soon books would be what was focused on.

A rain that signals the beginning of the end of summer. Now, I am not a summer person. I much prefer the cooler seasons. But, there is something melancholy about the end of summer. The rain starts and although you know there are still a few weeks left of heat and humidity, the late summer rains carry a signal that soon the leaves will fall and the wind will hold a chill.

The days will grow shorter, nights longer and long sleeves will be part of the wardrobe. This year I feel the end of summer more than most other years. Although I am not a summer person, this time heralds the end of carefree vacations and days at the beach for so many. The days of fresh produce and summer fruit. The lightness of the season. Summer is laughter and playfulness.

Soon, as the stores are all displaying, school will start. Each package of new crayons with sharp points, highlighters that are crisp in color, notebooks that are new and not tattered, pens still in their package waiting to be opened forecast a more somber time. A time to sit still and listen. A time to learn and read. A return to the rote, the have-to’s.

Yes, that all hit me while munching on a sandwich and talking with Dale. Sometimes that which is not spoken carries the most weight in the mind. But, for now, it is only the beginning of August and yes, I am retired.

“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.” Daniel 2:21 (NKJV)

Be like Rain

This weekend we were able to spend time with our granddaughter and her family. They recently adopted a chocolate lab puppy, Rain. She is full of life and soft and silky as only labs can be.

Rain meets you with full force. She bounds into a room expectantly. She knows that she is the cutest thing in the room and she is ready to receive any and all attention. Our other two ‘grand-pups’ are older. They actually shudder when Rain comes in. Their mouths curl up on the sides and low growls emit from them. The two who are usually the sweetest natured pups become old curmudgeons. The youthful pup versus the old, staid, steady pups. It was a sight to behold.

This is Rain after romping up and down the beach and swimming. She is peaceful, quiet and sleeping soundly. Quieted and comfortable on the dock.

Watching her reminded me of the actions of a newly born again Christian. The spiritual rebirth arouses an action of energy. People are excited and ready to share their enthusiasm with others to the point that people snarl at you. They are used to the way they do things. They have a plan. They do things their way. They are not always up for hearing and seeing new things.

I think we need to be like Rain. Playful, ready to romp and share the good Word of Life. Ready to raise a paw and pop someone on the snout, asking for attention to be brought to the Good News.

This playful, happy puppy reminded me to return to my first love and be energetic about it.

Revelation 2:2-5 says, “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.”

Drought

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. Psalms 63:1 (NKJV)

I had read this scripture many times in my life and although I understood it, I didn’t really understand it until we lived in San Diego, CA. One year in particular, I remember the drought being very hard.

There had been no rain for several months that year. The grasses died, the ground was dusty. It is during these times that you realize that the area is mostly desert, although with all the yards and irrigation it is hard to see. This year was an exception. Watering had been stopped. Certain days of certain weeks you could water your lawn. The heat would cause rolling black outs. Running electrical things was limited for the evenings. So all laundry was done at night. Fires happened all around the county. It was a parched area that we lived in.

It was during this time that I reread the above verse. I prayed, like many that year, for rain. A nice soaking rain that would water not only the land, but would fill up the reservoirs and dams. I longed to see some soft, green grass.

In the course of praying I concluded that the land was not the only thing that was withered. Inside I screamed for refreshing and renewal. I needed a spiritual watering where I emerged restored. John 7:37-38 says, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (NKJV)

Thinking back on that time, I will never forget the feeling that came over me. The scriptures were brought alive to me. I had a visual of a dry and thirsty land and I could relate to the land. Often I return to that time and ask once more to be refreshed to be renewed, to be filled with the nourishing water for my thirsty soul.