Sunday, September 13, 2015


There’s a coolness in the air now as the daylight dims a bit sooner each day. The morning dew lies thicker on the grass and the busy buzz of bumble-bees has slowed to a quieter hum. 

It comes quietly, this changing of seasons, but for me, 

this one never comes without a fight. 

Summer is the season where I feel most alive --- when the flowers are fully blooming and the sun is shining bright, all the birds are happily singing, and everything seems just right. 

I love to sink my bare feet into the thick green grass of summer and pluck dandelions that have gone to seed, giving a quick blow to watch them fly up and disappear against the fluffy white clouds. The blue of the sky seems so much brighter in the summertime, much like the color of the sweet forget-me-nots that spread out in a favorite corner of my garden. 

The morning sun taps early at the window to wake me to this beauty, 

and I hate to see it all end.

Where I live, summer goes by so quickly, and as it fades a little more with each setting sun I want to hold it just a little longer, 

begging it to stay and keep me warm.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

But the leaves only know it’s time for their colors to change, and whether I like it or not, autumn does come as the calendar turns another page. 

September sinks in and stills the playtime, and soon the bright yellow buses make their way down most every street, picking up kids in their fresh new clothes and favorite-colored back packs. There’s excitement in the first days of school as the kids meet new teachers and get settled into new classrooms, wondering just what the year ahead will bring. 

At least, that’s how it was for my kids who went to public school.

My children are grown now, young adults learning more about themselves these days and finding their own way in this world. It’s been quite some time since I’ve needed to get them up in the morning and get them ready to begin another school day, a while since I rallied them after dinner to help with the homework.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

But this fall there is a back-to-school of sorts happening in our house, and there will definitely be homework to go with it. Not for them, but for me, when in one more week I will once again begin leading a women’s bible study group.

I had taken a break from that role for more than a year. 

I felt the need to step away for a while, to be still in His presence, gather my thoughts, take a hard look at my heart, and to decide why I was leading in the first place. 

Sometimes, when you do something for so many years you lose sight of the reasons why you are there and that’s where I found myself… 

increasingly unsure of my abilities, 
wandering and a little bit lost.

Anxiety and insecurity had found its way into my spirit with each weekly meeting. I worried much about what others were thinking of me and looking back now, I can finally see where that was coming from. 

I had begun to do all things in my own strength, failing to rely upon the One who I was there for, failing to obey Him fully in His command to love God above all else, and to love others as myself (Matthew 22: 37-40).

I read these words just this morning – and they sting:

“At the root of insecurity – the anxiety over how others think of us – is pride. This pride is an excessive desire for others to see us as impressive and admirable. Insecurity is the fear that instead they will see us as deficient. As King Saul shows us, insecure pride is a dangerous fear because insecurity can lead to great disobedience.” (based on 1 Samuel 15)
- Jon Bloom, Things Not Seen, pg. 51.

Yes, insecurity can lead to a great many things including disobedience and 

pride always comes before the proverbial fall.

I do believe those falls are needed though. None of us is without sin, but so often I think we fail to recognize our own sin, becoming desensitized while repeating the same patterns over the years. We need to fall down to find our face pressed hard against the simple dirt that we are made of. We need to fall right down at His feet so that HE is the one who picks us back up again, and not our own selfish, prideful selves. We need to repent and ask for forgiveness once again.

So that’s where I’m at in this current back-to-school season, humbled for sure, but oh so grateful for His amazing, lavish, undeserved grace. 

Grateful that His mercies are new every morning, that He forgives my sinful pride, and He gives me yet another chance to meet together with beautiful women to sing out His praise, encourage one another, and learn how to better follow His ways.

He is the one I am serving.

It’s not about me. 

He is the one whose opinion matters and I pray that as I enter into a new season of leading this fall, that my pride, my insecurities and anxieties will be left behind just like the thick summer heat. 

I’m praying that even now new flowers will begin to bloom, flowers that will produce much beautiful fruit, and that the growing will continue even long after the fall.

Hmmm, flowers blooming in the cold Wisconsin winter? 

Oh yes! I do believe there will be.

For my heart knows very well. . .

Nothing is impossible for God!

Linking up once again with a talented group of photographers, writers, and friends.
The theme for this month is, "Back to School".