Autumn Leaves

#inspiration, natureEvery season has its own unique beauty.  As we enter autumn (also known as fall), the leaves on the trees change colour.  The area I live in doesn’t have the vibrant reds that some parts of the country display but the golden leaves against the bright blue sky have their own breathtaking appeal.

On a recent walk I noticed some trees with green leaves, some with gold and many that had dropped much of their foliage.  There were also those with multiple colours, as though they couldn’t quite make up their minds. The crunch of leaves under my feet was strangely satisfying as I pondered the various stages in this cycle.

In front#God, #inspiration, life, nature of me were trees planted close to each other, the same type and approximately the same size.  They had received the same care.  Why the difference in their reaction to this period of change?

I have no answer for this, other than there is a time and season for everything.  For some the time had come to change, while others were not quite at the same phase in their life.

It’s the same for people.  We all have our own seasons of activity.  You may be in a time of growth and productivity while I’m in a period of rest and renewal.  Every cycle has its value. The autumn leaves reminded me that God’s timing is perfect for each of us.  I am thankful that my life unfolds according to his schedule.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. ( Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 NLT)

Change in the Weather

Jesus, inspiration, sunshine, prayerSunshine and warmth embraced us and a gentle breeze kissed our cheeks. Wispy white clouds stretched liked cotton candy in the sky. Near the horizon we could see a fishing boat bobbing as sea birds circled, hoping for an easy meal. It was a perfect start to our morning. I sent up a silent prayer, thanking God for the blessing of this day.

A few hours later clouds started rolling in. We noticed the wind getting stronger. Soon dark grey clouds filled the sky. A storm was on its way.

During the afternoon the howling of the wind drowned out the once peaceful sound of the surf. Waves crashed and thundered to shore, topped with foaming white caps that rose ever higher. Wind lashed the rain onto our windows. Our view became obstructed.storm, obstructed view, changes, weather

We stayed inside to wait out the storm. With the sun tucked away behind storm clouds, darkness came early. Our power was disrupted and we relied on flickering candle light to see across the room.

When the day started we had no idea of the changes we’d face before nightfall. Such is the way of life.

Challenges appear and hit like a gale force wind. There may be little or no warning. The bright sunshine of promise gets blown away. As though in flickering candlelight I can only see far enough to put one foot in front of the other.

This is when I trust on the power supply that never fails. The power of Jesus in my life will guide me safely through the darkest storm. When I lean into him I am given the strength to take the next step. I don’t know how long it may take to reach the sunshine again but I do know that Jesus will help me navigate the darkness when I walk in his light.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)

Do You Want Change?

new behaviors, God, plan life, inspiration“You have to do something different if you want to see change,” the exercise instructor called out. She continued her encouragement with, “Doing the same things will help you maintain but it won’t bring about the change you want; so push yourselves to do things differently.”

These words reminded me of a quote attributed to Albert Einstein in which he says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Rationally I know this. Why then do I find myself caught in the trap of doing things the way I am comfortable and familiar with? I think I just answered my own question. It’s because I like comfortable and familiar.
To achieve the change I want to see in my life I need to push myself into new behaviors. Comfortable is not going to do it. Instead, I need to change the way I think.

God has a plan for my life. When I trust him to guide me I will no longer be held back by my limited belief of what is possible. My life may not be familiar and comfortable but it will be filled with the change and adventure he desires for me.

Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants – what is good, pleasing, and perfect. (Romans 12:2 GWT)

Growing Together

inspiration, Jesus, community, positiveI was walking along a wooded path when I noticed mushrooms growing off to the side. There were some very large mushrooms and others that had curly edges.

What captured my interest was a grouping of several small ones. Although there was space for them to spread out, they were tightly packed in a small group. Their shape became altered as they grew together.

I stopped to have a closer look and then continued on, but the image of these mushrooms growing together stayed with me. I wondered if there was a deeper meaning I needed to pay attention to.

I think perhaps they represented community to me. A community offers support, encouragement and nurturing. This is something that is reciprocal. Being together in this way creates a positive atmosphere in which to grow.

The people who I spend my time with can definitely affect my shape. It is up to me whether this will be positive or negative. For this reason, I need to choose carefully.

Jesus took a group of men and discipled or mentored them, changing their lives in profound ways. Many times in the bible we are given instruction to gather together, love and encourage each other. By doing so I am forming the community he wants for me. This growing together will shape me into so much more than I would have been on my own.

We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. (Hebrews 10:24-25 GWT )

Is It The End Of The Season or…?

endings, beginnings, Bible, inspirationThe daylight hours are dwindling and the nights have crispness to them. As summer comes to an end we have started the process of cleaning and packing up our trailer in preparation for the winterizing that will soon take place.

There are a few more weeks before this will become necessary but a new, busy fall season beckons us to other things. There is very little time left this season for us to enjoy our summer get-away.

Am I sad that this time is coming to an end? No, instead I am thankful for the long walks, playing in the pool with grandchildren, making s’mores over a campfire and the memories made.

The seasons of life are ever changing. As one comes to an end, a new one begins. This is such a good reminder to me to enjoy what I have at this moment. Once today is gone it will never come back again.

On the same note, I can’t rush a new season. My life will unfold one day at a time.

The Bible tells us there is a season for everything. I need to remember this and thank God for the season I am in right now. Each one is a precious gift.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT)

Rental Car

God,something better, plans, inspirationMy car had just been dropped off at the body shop to have hail damage repaired. As I stood in line at the car renter counter I wondered what kind of vehicle I’d be driving for the next couple of weeks.

When it was my turn, the person at the counter seemed to have difficulty locating a car for me. I could see her frustration growing. More than once she sent someone out to the lot, looking for the right car. Each time he came back shaking his head. Studying her computer monitor, she said, “Oh, I know; I’ll give you a small SUV.” After a quick inspection of the vehicle I was on my way.

Later I was thinking about this and realized that although I didn’t end up with the original vehicle the rental company planned for me, what I had was perfect. We had been contemplating trading our truck in for a small SUV and now I had the opportunity to try one out.

Not for a minute did I think this was an accident or just a happy coincidence. Instead I saw this as a small example of the way that God orchestrates things in my life. What may seem like an inconvenience or a stumbling block may actually be his way of bringing me something better than I had planned. It was also a reminder that in all things, I should come before him and seek his will for my life. Instead of getting frustrated when things don’t go the way I planned I need to stop, take a step back, and let God move.

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. Psalm 86:15 GWT


change, focus, God,
picture from photobucket
Dragonflies abound this time of year. The iridescence both on their wings and their bodies captures my attention. I enjoy them for their beauty but also because they dine on the mosquitoes that often plague so many of us.

Wanting to know more about these insects, I did a little research and learned some very interesting facts. The dragonfly moves at an amazing 45 miles an hour. It’s very agile and can hover like a helicopter, fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up or down and to either side. It does all of this while flapping its wings only 30 times a minute, compare to 1000 times a minute for a housefly. This power in its wing strokes is what makes it look so graceful.

In almost every part of the world the dragonfly symbolizes change. It lives most of its life as immature. There’s only a fraction of its life that it’s actually able to fly. For this reason, for the short time it has, it needs to live life to the fullest. This living in the moment is what resonates with me.

When I live life in the moment, I am totally focused on God. His power is sufficient to guide and sustain me. My boring life is forgotten and I am willing to enter into the new adventure that he has in store for me every day.

Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. 2 Corinthians 5:17 GWT

Not the Same

God, Jesus, inspirationSomeone new joined our exercise class one morning. From the moment the class started she complained to anyone who would listen. The temperature was too cool, the exercises seemed disorganized, and on and on. She normally attended the later class that met in the warmer pool but due to a change in work schedule had to come to our class that day. This was not the same as the class she was used to and she was not happy. Halfway through the class she gave up and left.

Thinking about this later, I realized that the major difficulty for her was to adapt to something that was unfamiliar. As the saying goes, she was comparing apples to oranges.

It made me wonder what my attitude is like in a similar circumstance. Do I go into a new situation expecting things to be the same as the one I’m familiar with? How do I deal with change? Am I willing to try new things? The answers made me uncomfortable. On occasion I have been known to react like the lady in the class. Change can be very frightening.

The fact is that I can’t move ahead and embrace new things if I have the mindset that everything should remain the same. When I take my fears and concerns to the Lord, he gives me peace and guidance. He has many new opportunities for me but I can’t embrace them until I let go of what I am currently holding onto.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14 NIV


choice, inspiration, JesusIn the changing area of most fitness facilities there are lockers. One locker is not better than another and yet I have my favourite. For over eight years now I have been using the same locker. One day last month I arrived to get ready for my class, only to see someone else putting her belongings in the locker I use. I froze, wondering what to do. There were lots of other lockers available that had the capability of holding my belongings. The fact that it was so difficult for me to choose another one came as quite a surprise.

This wasn’t a onetime occurrence. It seems this other person has laid claim to what I considered my locker. She often arrives earlier than I do so that has given me plenty of opportunity to be flexible when it comes to choosing another locker. I must admit though, that I will go back to my old one when I find it available.

Looking back on this, I see how it could relate to my life. I become so comfortable with “my stuff” and where it is stored that I don’t think about until I am forced to. Maybe what I am most uncomfortable with is change. Changes in my life are inevitable. Jesus is the one part of my life that is constant. He sees the secrets that are in my emotional locker and loves me anyway. It is only through his unchanging love for me that I can be truly set free.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 God’s Word Translation

Changing Seasons

seasons of life, blessings, changeAccording to the calendar it is spring. The season officially changed last week. This morning I woke up to snow and the forecast calls for more over the next few days. In the Vancouver area, where I am from, the flowers are blooming. Here in the Calgary area, we still have winter conditions. It did warm up for a few days and enough snow melted that we could see the grass. People were happy and certain that spring had arrived. Then, a cold front moved in and we are back to winter weather.

The seasons on the calendar change like the seasons of my life. One day I feel the sunshine and warmth of spring and the next day the cold winds of winter blast me. Life, like the weather, is not always predictable. Although these changing conditions are nothing new, they still take me by surprise. One thing I do know from experience, is that life continues to change.

I have just celebrated a birthday and my calendar changed not only to a new year, but also a new decade. This is a time for me to reflect upon my life and the season I am currently experiencing. What I have discovered comes as no surprise. Life is good! I am blessed to be surrounded by loving family and friends. Volunteer roles help me to make a difference in others lives. In the past month, my first book, Inspirations from the Everyday has been released. This has taken me on an exciting path I never could have imagined as I entered the last decade.

As the season of life changes again I look forward to what is ahead. I know that God has great plans for me and I’m excited to see what this new season will bring.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

%d bloggers like this: