“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” Norman Vincent Peale
On planting seeds – Every season brings with it winds of change. With every change comes a host of challenges. I believe how we choose to deal with challenges that enter into our lives, determines how we’ll succeed at overcoming them. No matter how large or small a problem has the potential of becoming, once the seed is planted, the way we prepare and sustain ourselves through it, determines whether we will harvest a bunch of weeds or a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers.
This concept makes me think of how I go about preparing for the transition from summer into autumn. As a crispness fills the air, and the days grow shorter, these changes in nature remind me of the harsh weather that is sure to follow in a few months time. As I spend time deep cleaning my home and packing away the lighthearted leisure of summer, I begin focusing on the contrasting heartiness of autumn, filling the rooms with the deep, earth tones that it brings. I begin pulling out sweaters and jackets to shelter myself from the daytime chilliness and layer myself with blankets to keep warm when the briskness of the cooler nights bites.
I liken all of these things to planting seeds that stout and grow, enabling me to face an entirely new environment as the new season continues to move in. Like fertilizing and watering soil for healthy plants to develop, knowing that I have prepared for the transition of one season to the next, somehow gives me a sense of comfort and security that an abundant harvest brings. When I am confident that I have everything in order and ready for the coming months of seasonal change, I can truly enjoy all of the beauty that blossoms and surrounds me.
Like summer fading into fall, when we get through one challenge, another one is there awaiting our attention. When the winds of change begin to blow in your direction, may you go about planting seeds that will yield a most enjoyable and magnificent bounty for you.
“The best color in the world is the one that looks good on you.” Coco Chanel
On colors – We are entering one of the most colorful of the four seasons. Autumn brings with it the brightest of golden to the deepest of reddish hues. There is something about the range of these bold colors that makes me feel vibrant and alive! When I gaze at the trees of this season adorned in such rich tones, it makes me think of how magnificently God has painted each of us. Like the chromatic scheme that saturates the leaves in nature, we too have a way of embellishing the world around us with the way we wear the colors that we’ve been given. From the soft pastels of compassion and caring that we extend to those who are in need, to the cheerful, dazzling smiles that brighten the days of those who may be struggling, we all possess within us the finest wardrobe, that when worn well, can positively enhance and inspire the lives of others. What colors do others see in you?
May you always wear your colors boldly and beautifully!
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot
On starting over – September for me always signifies the start of something new. As summer fades, students head back to school, and many businesses gear up for the busiest shopping season of the year – the air seems to fill up with a sense of starting over. If you are like me, there are may activities and traditions that I look forward to and enjoy during the autumn and the holiday seasons. Although many of the activities are things that I do year after year, as it is with starting over, they all seem fresh and new each time I get to partake in them. In fact, it is the feeling of anticipating new things to come, that makes those times so exciting.
What is it about starting over that you look forward to? May your new beginning be filled with all that you’ve hoped for.
“The universe is wider than our view of it.” Henry David Thoreau
On living deeply – Summer has arrived, a whole new season has blossomed right before our eyes. Isn’t it amazing how no matter what is going on in our daily lives, the cycle of nature silently revolves, uninterrupted and consistently. Outside my den window right now, the trees are adorned with vibrant shades of green leaves swaying ever so gently in the mild breeze. It is as though they are whispering a song of welcome to the new season. In three short months time, those same branches will be splattered with hints of red and golden hues signaling that autumn is fast approaching. Their leaves will surely rustle and clamor to a different tune by then. I only hope that, like today, I will take the time to pause and receive the beautifully fascinating gift that God has created and bestowed upon us.
Living deeply, experiencing our world in the profound way that it deserves…can you imagine how much more valuable your own life would be if you do just that?
“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you only remember me with tears, then don’t bother to remember me at all.” Laura Ingalls Wilder
My childhood memories include some of the best memories I have. When I visit my parents’ home or reminisce about days gone by with my sisters, it is as though a floodgate of happy times has been pried wide open and I seem to float along them smiling and laughing along the way. In my new series I Remember When, I plan to share snippets of my childhood memories with you. Given what I’ve described about them so far, I hope you’ll look forward to having your heart warmed and perhaps even enjoying a chuckle or two while reading my musings.
September reminds me of all sorts of “new beginnings” when I was a child. To me it meant the end of summer and a fresh start to a new school year, the excitement of buying new school clothes and supplies, and getting acquainted with new classmates. I loved walking to and from school with my sister and cousins, crunching through the dried leaves that littered the sidewalks; and squinting my eyes so closely together in the sun that the scarlet, rust , and yellow autumnal colors adorning the trees all blended together like glittering balls of fire against the deep blue-gray sky. Mmmmm, I can almost feel the warmth of the rays brightening my face as I write!
So tell me, won’t you, what is your favorite childhood memory that happened in the month of September?
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. Edith Sitwell
You’ve heard it said that “home is where the heart is” right? Well with autumn’s chill beginning to fill the air, I have been longing more and more to be surrounded by all of the comforting things that fill my home. It is not just the tangible objects that are full of the happiness and memories of years past; or the pumpkin, cinnamon and other autumnal scents that tickle my nose when I walk through its rooms. There is a true feeling of comfort, safety and warmth that I enjoy there that I can find no place else.
May you experience a sense of comfort where you are and may it be your “home” for the day.
“The Banks of the Bievre near Bicetre” (Detail),1898-1910, Henri Rousseau (Le Douanier). Image from a page of the 2014 Desk Calendar, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store
The beauty of change is hidden sometimes…but oh what wondrous splendor there is to experience when we find it.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
I am sure you’ll agree that change can be uncomfortable. In fact, it can be down right scary, ugly even. We all have a certain way of doing things, a certain level of comfort in knowing what to expect, for the most part, from day to day. When our routine, our way of life gets disrupted, it can seem impossible to see the beauty of change.
It is easy to see the beauty of change between the four seasons, The gradual melting of winter into spring is a welcome transition full of brightness and hope. Then that brightness fades as the blaze of summer tempers itself into the subtle coolness of autumn. When change takes place in our lives, things don’t always happen so serenely. Often times it comes from out of nowhere, and it throws us way off balance. We can hardly stand to face it, let alone see the beauty of change. Is there really such a thing?
Honestly, I can say yes. The very word “change” indicates that something is about to or has become what it was not before…it is in that transformation where the beauty of change is found. The life changes that I have experienced just recently seemed at first to be horrible. Actually, they were terribly painful and the residue still coats my days. But what they’ve spawned is a resilience that I could never have mustered without going through those changes. I do not understand why they happened, but I have come to accept and embrace them. In that alone is a quiet beauty that I enjoy…knowing that whatever changes come about down the road that I travel in life, there is only good awaiting me when I arrive at my destination.
“There is beauty in change, in that I never doubt. When I face them and embrace them, I know goodness will come about.” Felecia R. Weber 2014, OntheWingofaDove.com
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Josh Billings
Prosperity doesn’t just happen out of the blue. Prosperity is something that is grown over time. Like the seasons in nature, I believe that some degree of exertion has to be put forth in order for the fullness of pleasure in life’s most treasured possessions can be realized. The fierceness of winter melts into the delicateness of springtime. The brutal heat of summer withers along the crisp trails of autumn. We long for times of abundant prosperity when we’ve suffered far too long with far too little. We bask in the comfortable richness offered to us by the fruits of our labor; never wanting to have to face leaner times again. What we may not realize is that prosperity, like the seasons is not necessarily found in our possessions, but rather, it is in the effort and determination it took to acquire them.
May your season of prosperity come and be enjoyed to the full.