Autumn is so fleeting!

I recently moved to Missouri where the trees actually change color before they fall off the trees. I was so excited for it to arrive! My mother even told me that I was going to have to enjoy it twice as much as others since she couldn’t be here so I was also having to enjoy it for her, as well. ; )

Well, supposedly the drought has caused the leaves to fall faster this year and the color hasn’t been as bright or long-lasting, either…and while it is still much more beautiful than in my home state of California, I keep looking for the breath-taking views that I’ve seen in photos…all the while, wondering if I’m just jaded or expecting too much. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and it is beautiful, but reality often has a hard time living up to our expectations, don’t you think?

Anyway, even though it was drizzling today, I tried to get out and take a few photos and was shocked to see that many of the trees are already bare! Where did the time go?

And then it hit me…

I turned 50 this year and by all respects, am in the autumn of MY life…and it, too, seems fleeting. I am bound and determined to make the most of this season, both in nature and in my life…but am unsure how to go about that. The only thing I can think of is to live each day, appreciating whatever life brings my way and trying to ignore the feelings of dissatisfaction that come from such close introspection.

I’ve discovered that those beautiful leaves look better from a distance. They’re actually dying and have flaws all over them. I don’t even want to think about any analogies to that in my life! Hahaha! But since it’s inevitable, I will think about it…I guess I thought this part of my life would be better. Don’t get me wrong…I’m a happy woman…but I never thought that I was going to feel this old when I got here. I always thought I’d be that young, energetic, enthusiastic young woman…but a little older, somehow…and without the pain! Hahaha!

But then I think about how much everyone seems to love autumn and my emotions shift gears. Why do we love it so? There is a respite from the heat of summer…and who doesn’t love that? And maybe after the craziness of summer, there’s a chance to get back on track, somehow. Kids get back to school, places get less crowded and there’s time to catch your breath and begin to think about what’s next. Another thing is that when autumn comes, we begin to think about the holidays and even the new year ahead. For most of us, even if they aren’t here yet we find that just thinking about them makes us happier and more hopeful, somehow. Then again, for some of us, it also makes us a little sad about what hasn’t happened yet.

And there’s the crux…

OUR THINKING can get us in trouble!!! The good news is that we have the power to change what we think! A couple of well-known sayings come to mind here:

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” You see, if you think negatively, you’ll never try and therefore, rarely succeed at anything…and if you believe in yourself, thinking positively, you will try…which greatly enhances your chance to succeed! I can choose to think negatively or positively and either way, my thoughts and beliefs have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. What power our thoughts have!

Now for the other saying…

“You will find what you are looking for.” Have you ever bought a new car and suddenly notice all of the other cars like your new one? You even notice all of the cars that are just the same COLOR! Okay, I’m going to give you an exercise. Don’t look around the room right now…just look at this page until I tell you to look around. In a minute, I want you to look around the room and see if you see anything green. I could pick any color but I don’t want you to pick your favorite color because you’ve probably filled your room with it. Okay, okay…you can pick the color if you want but just try it…go ahead and look around now………………..

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Did you do it? Did you think you didn’t HAVE anything green? Did you find it in places you hadn’t really noticed or thought about before? That’s what I’m talking about! You’ll find what you’re looking for! Are you looking for trouble? Do you expect people to let you down? Do you think life is over? Do you expect to fail? Or are you expecting to be blessed, continue to grow and find a new and wonderful season in your life? I’m not talking about the past. The past does not have any ability to dictate the future…unless we let it! Unless we believe it has that kind of power…even when it doesn’t!

So, how does all this relate to me in the autumn of my life? Well, if I keep playing the analogy game I’ve been playing, I would have to say it is a great time of my life! A time when the hectic craziness of my younger years has finally begun to slow down and I have time to think about…and pray about…what’s next. A time when I can add some color back into MY world! (Remember that poem, When I am Old, I Shall Wear Purple?) It’s not winter yet…and by the way, we’ll tackle winter in another blog, in another time. ; )

So, I guess I’ve come full circle. I am a grown up so I know that life is not all fun and games and beauty and ease. As a Christian, I know that Jesus told us that in this world, we were guaranteed hard times. Of course, He also said to be of good cheer because He has already overcome it…and the Bible says we would be MORE than overcomers, too!

I have had the wonderful privilege of discovering that God loves me and has a plan for my life. I asked Him to come into my life and become my Lord and Savior…and He has. He has promised to work all things out for my good…even the bad stuff. He says He has a plan for my life and that the plan is for good and not calamity. Well, if God has promised to live in me and I allow Him to live through me…as Paul said, “It is no longer I but Christ lives in me”…then how on earth can I fear that??? I know that God has always had a plan for my life and that’s not going to change NOW! Why on earth would it?

The Bible says that we should build ourselves up in our most holy faith (Jude 1:20) and that we should trust in the LORD with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, we are to acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

So, I choose today to believe God. That means that even this stage of my life is a good one and what’s coming is also good. I may go through hard times but God will work them all out to my good…and His glory! Philippians 1:6 tells me that He Who began this good work in me shall continue to work it out until the day when Jesus returns for His church…which includes me! ; )

So, autumn…winter…it’s all good!…even if it is fleeting! ; )

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