All Things Autumn!

Fall is here, despite the lingering Indian summer we’ve been experiencing this year. I haven’t broken out my boots or scarves, yet, but I’m still excited for all things autumn!!

This year, I’ve seen variations of an anonymous quote floating around that really caught my attention:

“Autumn reminds us of the beauty of letting go.”

Isn’t that true? One of my favorite things about autumn is the built-in reminder that this beautiful release of leaves is a necessary part of the seasonal processes that allow trees to survive and thrive.

Without the release of those dying leaves, trees would be broken and destroyed by the weight of winter’s snow and ice.

A Mother’s Prayer

Oh, Lord—I love this child so much. She is such a joy to me. Her enthusiasm, wide-eyed wonder, and tender heart are so precious.

When she turns to me, to share her little delights and troubles, I am so grateful to be her beloved Mommy.

But, as much as I enjoy her, I do not—and cannot—wish to retain her childish love and dependence on me. My goal is not that she love me more as she grows older, but that she loves You more—and grows to need me and my love less and less.

You have entrusted her to me, to guide and teach. I play a role in the direction these little feet go. Help me to always take care to steward her soul for You.

Although I pray that she would continue to hold me in esteem and love me dearly as she grows older, that’s not my goal in raising her. Her purpose as a daughter is not to satisfy my desires for love and respect.

When I say, “I surrender all,” that means ALL. When I say I want my children to know You, to love You, to serve YOU, that means at any cost to myself.  

Help me to raise my children with their highest good in mind—and You are that good—and letting go of any selfishness I have toward them.

Amen.

 

5 Verses for Stressed Souls

When I am stressed out, overwhelmed, and running on empty, I tend to blame others, be short-tempered, and make poor choices (like staying up too late or ignoring work).

Of course, I’m not recommending these options. 😉 No doubt about it—they compound the problem. But truthfully, it’s what I often do.

My response to stress isn’t always so obviously negative. I also gravitate toward finding a creative outlet, getting outside in nature, and losing myself in something (a book, social media, a movie, etc.).

Even these “harmless” and sometimes beneficial activities are typically little more than band-aid, though. I may feel a bit better in the moment, but I’m just distracting myself from my problems instead of doing anything to resolve my frustration.

It’s so easy to allow weariness and stress to turn into complaining and navel-gazing.
My main need when I am weary and frustrated is to reconnect with God, restore my dependence on Him, and let His truth take over my perspective.

Here are five Scripture verses that help redirect my attention to God (and away from myself) when I am overwhelmed by stress and weariness.

However, it’s often hard for me to know where to begin to lay my burden down before Christ. The immediate problems of life can seem so consuming and overwhelming that I don’t know how to disentangle myself from them!

Here are some verses that point me the right direction:

Nature Press

Making art out of pressed fall leaves and flowers was one of the first crafting activities I did as a kid.

My grandma had a big flower press and she would make beautiful cards and framed artwork for people. She’d let me make my own little card with her flowers when I’d come to visit her.

As a teenager, I asked my dad to make me my own press. Now I can preserve pressed flowers and leaves with my kids to make beautiful crafts of my own!

Perfectly Imperfect

The other day I caught my daughter admiring herself in the mirror, all dressed up in her princess gown and tiara, while I stood behind the door, unobserved. Then she paused and took a step closer to the mirror, and carefully examined her face, rubbing at a little, bright red spot on her nose.

And my heart broke a little.

My daughter has a tiny blood vessel rupture under the skin on her nose that is harmless and will go away eventually, albeit in a few years. But it’s a noticeable “imperfection” that I’d hoped she wouldn’t notice.

We are all imperfect and struggling with the physical effects of a broken world, but we are nonetheless perfectly created to know and glorify God.

My Father’s World: He Speaks to Me Everywhere

Do any of you sometimes get chills from a beautiful sunset? Do you marvel at the intricacy of a snowflake or catch your breath at a field sparkling with morning dew?

“This is My Father’s World” has long been one of my favorite hymns. Many times, these words well up inside me and bubble over in praise of God when I’m out in nature.

Although my husband loves being outdoors, he usually isn’t moved in the same way I am and doesn’t quite understand my response. Maybe some of you feel that way, too.