Winter is Here!

You never know what you’re gonna get as far as the weather is concerned in Missouri.

The unusually hot weather we had most of September and October led me to believe that Fall was never actually going to happen this year.  But then at the end of October, the tree leaves had finally started to turn which is really late in the season for us.

We then had about  2 weeks of cooler weather and now today I wake up to SNOW!

YAY!

I love how the leaves in our yard are still a mix of 3 seasons right now.  One tree still has full green leaves on it, another is bright red with Fall leaves, and lastly, we have another that has lost all of its leaves. I guess that barren tree along with the snow means that Winter is going to, has actually arrived.

BOO!

I’m not really a winter person, but if we have to have Winter then bring on the snow because I really do love the snow.  I just wish the temperature could be just a teeny tiny bit warmer when it snows… Okay, make that a LOT warmer 😀

A Season of Change

hosea63I woke to the sound rumbling thunder and rain drops pounding on the roof.  We were having another thunderstorm which around here seems to be the norm lately. Usually I love the sound of thunderstorms and I can’t explain why but there is just something very comforting about the sound of rumbling thunder and raindrops hitting the roof that makes me want to snuggle in deeper under the covers and happily go back to sleep.

The urge to roll over and go back to sleep was overwhelming as it always is when it rains, but today the feeling wasn’t a happy snuggley feeling. Today I wanted to go back to sleep, because I felt a little sad and also a bit lonely.

As I lie there in bed planning to snuggle in and sleep the day away, I happened to look towards the window and that’s when I noticed how deep green the leaves on the oak trees in my backyard are right now, something about the deep green leaves dripping with rain up against the gray sky seemed beautiful and calming.

After a while I began to noticed the way each leaf would slightly twitch as the rain drops hit them; as I watched the raindrops hitting the leaves, the trees seemed as if they had come to life and suddenly it dawned on me that the trees actually are alive and the thought then occurred to me that although I may feel alone at times, life is living all around me and God is always here.

Those same trees that were lush and green today were bare and dead looking only a few short months ago. What difference a couple of months can make! Thinking about this got me to thinking about how much a tree changes as it goes through each season of the year.

At the beginning of spring the tree branches are brown and bare but then buds form on the branches, eventually opening and by the end of spring they become fully in bloom and stay that way throughout the summer months.  But then as summer comes to an end and fall begins their leaves start to turn beautiful shades of bright color which only lasts for a few short weeks before they then begin turning brown and fall off once again and the tree branches become bare and stay that way through the winter.

During the winter season sometimes a snowstorm will create snow-covered branches that look magically beautiful covering up the bare dead looking branches for a while but eventually it melts and other than occasional snow covering them, for most of the winter the branches are brown and dead looking until springtime comes back around and the whole cycle of seasons start all over again.

I realized today that my life is a bit like the tree’s life. In my life, I too have gone through many seasons. There are times that I have felt as if I was in full bloom and then there have been times that I’ve felt a bit dull and bare.

My life changed drastically 5 years ago when it collided with God.  I never planned or expected that would ever happen to me.  Jesus was not something I really believed in and once that collision happened my life was never the same again.  With Jesus in my life it seemed as if the seasons of my life were more in the season of full bloom and most of the time there were those extra special times where there was this magical feeling like the tree in winter with its magical snow covered branches.

I remember in the beginning of my new life I had a friend who told me that things were exciting for me at that moment because I was a new Christian but that eventually the newness and excitement would wear off. She warned me that when the newness wore off I may have a hard time sticking to my faith and it wouldn’t be so exciting. Now 5 yeas later I know she was wrong about that because for me the God excitement never wore off.  I do think that the newness of it all did go away after a while and what I mean by that is that I think I have become more seasoned in my Christian walk and I have become a whole lot more comfortable.

I realized something else today though… I realized that when I allow myself to get too comfortable that it is during those comfortable times when I tend to feel a bit lonely.

This is just me thinking out loud but I am thinking that I am not sure that we are supposed to ever become totally comfortable on this earth if we are living a life for God. I could be wrong but it seems to me that when I truly am living my life for God I am continually being pressed out of my comfort zone.

I’m not saying we aren’t allowed to be comfortable because I am sure God wants us to be comfortable in many things.  What I am talking about is that there are those things that require taking a leap of faith such as doing something or going somewhere He asks me to go, things that seem way out there and very uncomfortable for me to do.  I am talking about those things I know I could never ever pull off on my own, things that I know only God has the power to do and require me to be totally tapping into him to do.

I am pretty sure God wants us to go out of our comfort zone.

I could chose to stay comfortable and not do those things he asks, but what I have noticed is when I’m out there jumping right in the middle of where God is leading me that’s when I feel excited and that’s when don’t think so much about myself.  Those are the times I am truly joyful and I don’t have time to be lonely and truly I am not lonely then, and I am pretty sure the reason is because it’s during those times I am focused closely on Him.

Today when I first woke up I felt lonely. My life is much different right now than it used to be. It’s not a bad life at all, it’s just changing as life always seems to do. People come and go, jobs change, and life on earth keeps moving on, changing just like the seasons change and today I realized that I may be I am in a season of renewing right now.  I am learning what it is like to trust God fully. My life has always been in his hands but not always have I totally let go of my life.  I do still try to control it at times even thought I know it’s really not mine to control.

In order for the trees to live they had to be out in the rain.  They need the rain to help them grow and live and bloom. It seems like so much good has been happening yet also at the same time it’s been raining in my life a whole lot lately and I am thinking maybe I am a little bit like a tree standing out in the storm at times.  Blowing in the wind, bending and breaking off the extra unneeded branches, watering and washing things clean making room for new growth so I can start fresh like springtime and bloom.

No matter what I go through God always seems to have something beautiful just waiting around the bend and even in the rain I have found him right there, always beside me. I also know that once this rainy season in my life is over something extra beautiful will bloom.

How are you today? Do you seem to be going through a rainy season or a season of change in your life? Remember God never changes, he is the same as he has always been.  He loves you and is there always.  Wherever you are remember he is right there beside you as you go through each and every season of life.

Have a wonderful Day,

T

Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth. Hosea 6:3