Yes, autumn has arrived. So today we decided to get out our fall lawn decoration and add some corn stalks and pumpkins. Squash and pumpkins grow very well in the upper portion of the USA, and all around in our area are wagons loaded with beautiful varieties for sale. Usually there is a box somewhere for depositing cash.
Trinity came along to help us check out the best ones. Here she is with Uncle Kevin.
How 'bout this one, Grandma?
Papa selects a pie pumpkin, and Trinity picks out a few of the colorful gourds.
Back home, I start a pot of stew on the stove while Papa and Trinity work on a Lion King puzzle.
Oh yeah, football is on TV, of course. It IS Autumn, after all.
I love the color in the fields and trees, the pumpkins, the scent of smoke, the warmth of a cozy sweater, snuggling under the weight of more blankets on the bed. Tonight I am feeling a bit at a loss. I still feel like I should be working on a sermon on Saturday. I am missing my mother (who absolutely loved Fall) and I am missing my sister too. Something about this time of year always makes me feel a bit melancholy, even though there are many things I love about it.
I miss fellowship and fun with certain close friends. I miss prayer with a group of others who longed for God's will to be done. I miss the sense of expectation and anticipation for what God was doing and would do.
Lately I keep thinking of Darlaine, and the odd thing is that for a millisecond I forget that she died. I always think of her being somewhere. I know, she is. But I mean somewhere in this world that just does not happen to be the same place as I am--not difficult because we never lived in close proximity after I got married.
So for a moment I think of her at her stove, or sipping a steaming cup of tea as she reads a book...or...and then I realize I will not see her, or hear her voice till eternity. I miss her with a sharp pain of loss. Strange time. I wonder how long it will before I realize she is really gone?
This will be the first Christmas since my mother died, though she was not really "present" last year and did not enjoy the season. How long before I do not feel guilty for using anything that was hers? I mean, I can feel guilty using a towel or a basket or anything that belonged to her. Not rational, I know. Doesn't matter.
I am missing things I always did at this time of year: decorating the sanctuary with fall flowers along with my secretary and friend. Doing our annual prayer walk around the towns of our area. Beginning to think seriously about what I will do for the annual Christmas Eve candlelight service.
How long before I am feeling comfortable in my own skin again? How long before certain worship songs do not make me teary-eyed? Or how long before I stop feeling out of place and a bit lost? How long till I am genuinely at peace with God--and with myself? How long until I am aware of God's presence or become aware of God's "voice"?
I don't know. Autumn is a strange time. Especially this year. But it was, nonetheless, a lovely day. And God is still good.
The Psalmist knew this too, and Psalm 13 reminds me that I can make a choice to praise God and be thankful, even when I do not understand.
How long, O LORD?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God;
Enlighten my eyes..
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.