This season can either be my most favorite or most dreaded season of all. I absolutely love fall. On one hand it is full of beautiful autumn colors, crisp air (where I live), apple cider, and family birthdays. On the other, as the leaves fall, it reminds me that life is fleeting, and winter is coming. Perhaps it is because I grew up in Alaska, that winter has such an effect on me. To be sure, there is beauty to be found in the diamond encrusted branches and glistening snow, not to mention a good cup of hot chocolate, but the dormant season can be hard, and it can be long. Nevertheless, hope lives on! I have read that even in winter, although trees enter a “resting phase,” they still “maintain a readiness to grow.”
We all need “resting phases” throughout life’s seasons and although I must admit <cough> resting has not traditionally been my strong suit, I am called to learn how to rest. It could take me months to share what I have been learning over the past few years about burn-out, rest, and recovery. I hesitate to begin because I feel like I am still in the middle…or maybe at the beginning…of the journey. Then I see the weariness in people around me. Like a heavy blanket, the hunger for the truth that we can “cease striving” smothers the hope out of their eyes. We must know and remember that God is God and He grants sleep to those (the whole world) He loves. We can come to Him when we are weary and heavy laden. Rest is a gift. Peace is a gift. Jesus says, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT). The word for peace here is eirene, meaning peace, prosperity, quietness, rest. This truth compels me to begin to offer up the bits of wisdom I have grown to treasure, not as one who has arrived or figured everything out, but as a sister who is walking this journey as well. So accept my musings or don’t, as you would a physical gift that you can receive and use or pass on to someone else!
Oh, and for anyone curious what was in one of the presents above, one was a toy for my kiddo’s birthday, and the other a pair of Pajama bottoms made from Bailey’s Good Dog Bad Dog fabric. I was so excited that my order of gift-wrap came in time to wrap my first gifts for October Birthdays! At the moment he is the only one in the universe with a pair and so he feels quite special.
Nichole Nordeman’s song “Every Season“. She has such a poetic way with words, and a beautiful way of recognizing her Heavenly Father at work in each season.
“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35 (NLT)
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalms 51:12 (NIV)
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)