Sunday, October 11, 2015

Seasonal Goodness - Counting Gifts

I’ve noticed that I tend to write a lot about the seasons, so I hesitate to write one more post related to a certain time of year, but this one may be more about the changing of my heart, rather than the changing of the seasons.

I’ve said it before…

I’m not a big fan of fall. 

The daylight hours growing shorter, the breezes that blow becoming colder, once bright flowers have dried up and blown away, and the obvious notion that the long sleepy winter will soon cover our part of the world with frozen blankets of white?

Well, its coming can make me want to throw down on the ground in a full-blown tantrum like a spoiled child and then pout about the fact that I was born in the South in the middle of summer, but here I am now living in place where it’s possible to get some measure of snow 9 months out of the year.

Winter can be absolutely stunning in its beauty, but around these parts the deep bone-chilling cold can last way, way, waaayyy too long.

I’m pretty convinced that there was no winter in Eden since Adam and Eve had no need for clothes, but then came. . .

 the fall. 

And look, there’s that word again – fall.

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It’s silly, I know, and I just need to get over it! And lately, I’ve been feeling very convicted regarding my attitude towards it.

I was struck by these words I saw posted by a pastor on Facebook the other day, 

“Grumbling and complaining is anti-Christian.”  - Scott Sauls

And I’m also reminded of these words I saved many years ago from the wonderfully wise Ann Voskamp,

“Does my life testify to my belief in the power of complaint — 
or the power of Christ?”

Ouch! I sure hope the people in my life do not see my complaining spirit before they see Christ in me. That would be devastating.

So I’ve decided in these beginning days of autumn, I’m going to change my tune from low grumblings, to songs that lift up praise.

And as Ann so graciously taught me as well, the easiest way to do that is to start counting gifts – 1000 gifts and more. . .

So I will begin with the ones I found just today on a lovely walk.

1. Vibrant red leaves set against a pale blue sky

2. The reflecting beauty of a still pond

3. Flower remnants – exquisite bronze sculptures

4. Silky white milkweed seeds blowing in the breeze

5. A sleepy bumble bee atop a purple aster flower

6. A symphony of praise rising up in my heart 

And the list will continue to go on and on and on, because really, 
the gifts of God are endless.

And no matter the season, there is always a reason to be grateful and to count

each wonderful gift!

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Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.
~ Psalm 95:1-2
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I am linking up once again with a talented group of photographers, writers, and friends 
in the "Circle of Faith in Words and Image", blog circle.

Our theme for this month is, "Seasonal Goodness".
Please click on the links below to visit each one:


  1. This is simply beautiful, Julie. I have the same thoughts about summer, and who knows how many posts I've written about how I try not to complain about summer. Ann's gratitude message has been life-changing for so many of us. Though I dread summer, it was an eye-opener to realize that most of my favorite photos were taken in the summer. And, like Tim noted on FB, we only have 2 seasons down here - summer and not summer. =)

    1. Thank you, Patricia. Hmmm... I guess we have two seasons here then too - winter and not winter. Ha! Yes, Ann's book changed me in many ways. It's amazing to see how God is using her in this world to touch millions. That's interesting how some of your favorite photos have been taken in the summertime. God works through it all to teach us and to show us His glory. Love it!!

  2. Poor Julie! I've often said one reason I love autumn and winter so much is that I've never really experienced that bone chilling cold that overstays its welcome :-) But oddly enough for this beach loving girl I adore fall and always have. I'm a nester at heart and I think I just love the hustle and bustle of preparing to hunker down maybe.
    But your post is a good and timely reminder to search for beauty and to rejoice, and again I say rejoice, even when we don't want to.

    1. Haha! Thanks for sympathizing with me Marty. I'm pretty sure that our summer is much like the fall and spring you Florida girls experience and that in a way... we are loving the same thing! Just at different times. :) Rejoicing when we don't want to? Yes, it's hard but oh, so good! He is worthy of all our praise!

  3. Sigh... once I actually move into fall and realize there's no turning back, I can lean into it. But I also know what's coming. I wish winter only lasted for a month. Maybe we need longer seasons of winter in life to produce more fruit in other seasons...

    1. Oh yes, Sandra! If we only had a month of winter it would seem magical! But since that's not the case, I will lean in with you, my friend and await the coming of beautiful fruit. :) Thanks for stopping by.