Monday, October 15, 2012

the changing of seasons

The sun peeking through
the trees at soccer
So as we are here in Pennsylvania, I have experienced another "first." I have experienced my first 'true' changing of seasons accompanied by the changing of leaves. I walk with a sweet new friend of mine on Sunday mornings and we were walking a few weeks ago and we turned a corner to head back toward home. As we rounded the corner, we were in mid conversation about nothing in particular, I'm sure, but i gasped as we turned the corner! There in front of me was a mountain, covered in a patchwork of orange, red, yellow, and green with the sun peeking over the cusp of the mountain behind us shining onto the changing leaves, as a spotlight in an art gallery illuminates a painting. All i could do was be speechless *which takes a lot for me!!!* and just bask in the glory and magnificence of our God! Isn't He the best artist whose work exists - and it's not in an expensive gallery that you have to pay big bucks to see, but out there for every single person on this earth to enjoy!!!

!!!gosh he is cute!!!
As we are here, the weather is getting colder, and the season is changing, it makes me realize that we aren't in Alabama anymore! But it also makes me realize a few other things. First, our God is a God of seasons - not just the foliage kind, but seasons in our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that "there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven..." This season has found us in Pennsylvania - worshiping him in song and in life. In finding the ways to celebrate His goodness, even through the cold, we have found ourselves celebrating and worshiping Him in this new season of our lives. We have left and closed the chapter of our lives that threw some difficult days and dark hours our way. We experienced loss, despair, stress, and all of the other curves that life throws at you, plus a few more that were "specific" to us. But the door was opened for us to walk through and enter into a new place - a new season of our lives - to continue our journey on this side of Heaven. This season, just like the season of Fall, can find itself cold, windy, and unpredictable, but in those moments, we are the most in awe of His majesty and glory.

a cold fall day in PA
The changing of seasons has also made me realize that there are moments in our lives, where we have to allow others to pour out blessings that they have for you. If you do not allow others to be able to bless you the way the Lord as led them to, you will be robbing them of the opportunity to be obedient to Him. We have found ourselves caught so completely off guard by the generosity of the people of Faith Church! I don't know that I have ever been found so speechless by the generosity of others to me or my family. We are "fine" and were going to be "fine" through this winter and yet the people of the church have gone above and beyond to make sure that we are not just "fine" but we are comfortable, provided for, and prepared for what is to come (because we have no clue, truthfully, what is to come). The people that the Lord has sent us to Pennsylvania to minister to through Tony's job have ministered abundantly to us! We have been given everything from snow boots and coats, to hats and gloves. We have been given financial gifts so that we can go purchase the things that we don't even know that we need yet. Now, mind you, this is so weird for me to say, but this is where my lesson has come from: We did not necessarily 'need' any of the things that we were given, as we would have made a way and been able to obtain all of these things, BUT the overwhelming feeling that has come from the fact that people felt led and wanted to give us these things is a feeling that leaves my heart full of joy. The fact that people and the church have found a love for us in 14 short weeks that they feel led to truly bless us with gifts and gracious offerings is something that leaves me in a place i have never been - a place in awe at the generosity of people but also a place in awe at the glory of the Lord when you follow His call. When Paul wrote to the people of Philippi, he thanked them for their gifts to him throughout his ministry and reminded them that God would meet all of their needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19) How true that He will meet all of your needs. He provides for the flowers and birds, and I know all this, but my how he has provide for us in these moments! All I know to do with these gifts, is accept them as from the Lord and be grateful for these gifts and humble at the opportunity to accept gifts as from the Lord that he has given us so abundantly!
Worship Oct 7, 2012

Pennsylvania is a great place to be: A place of beauty, a place of God, a place of blessings, and a place of Love. It is becoming "home" a little more each day and with each opportunity to see the Lord here and God directing our lives! The changing of seasons is not just a time to snuggle in, hunker down, and get prepared for the winter - though, those things are important, too - but also a time to recognize the things in our lives that are changing, full of color, and blessings. So while you are preparing for the winter, whether you have a 'real winter' or a 'southern winter', take a moment to lift up offerings to the Lord for the changes in your life! The changes bless you and open your eyes to what was and also what is to come!