Autumn…or Fall? 9 Lessons from the Leaves

fall – tumble, drop, collapse, cascade, sink, decrease, reduce, come down, descend, plummet

While driving home yesterday (on the same route I take every day), I noticed something markedly different.  What captured my attention?  The gentle but steady rain coming down?  No.  The lulling classical music I listen to during my commute to keep me patient in the midst of innumerable inconsiderate drivers?  Nope, I didn’t have the radio on; my only accompaniment was the symphony bubbling in my heart.  Well, what then?  I was acutely aware of the fall leaves wafting in the wind.  When a big gust blew, they came down in a swirling torrent of golden color as my car plodded on to pick up the children from afterschool care.  I smiled as I took it all in and was overwhelmed by the goodness of the God Who created this beautiful splendor.

Mind you, I love to watch leaves fall – really.  Especially when I’m sitting in front of a window or on the porch watching a tree in my yard.  Maybe for you, that’s just a boring step above watching paint dry or grass grow, but for me, it’s very calming, soothing, and relaxing.  In those pensive moments of solitude, I’m reminded that I should just let go and trust God – always, no matter what.  As we approach this season of thanksgiving (and giving thanks for the greatest Gift ever!), what meditative and contemplative activities will you take time for?  Indulge me as I go out on a limb (pun intended!) and take a bit of literary liberty to personify the thoughts of the lowly leaves…

9 Lessons from the Leaves

  1. Leaves let go when it’s time and take the plunge – they don’t try to cling to past or the old season because it’s comfortable, familiar, or predictable.  Wheeee!
  2. Leaves aren’t afraid to get low – they’re willing to humble themselves and come down to another level, even if they were previously soaring many feet above the ground.
  3. Leaves aren’t troubled about where they’ll land – they float, soar, glide, and drift along unrestrained, uninhibited, and with careless abandon in whatever direction the wind carries them.  In the same way, shouldn’t we trust God to lead, guide, and direct our paths?
  4. Leaves don’t worry about how they look or the fact that they’re changing – they know they’re supposed to look different than they did a few weeks ago…it’s called progress, growth, and maturity.
  5. Leaves don’t concern themselves with other leaves are doing – they’re focused on doing what they’re supposed to do, regardless of what it looks like others may (or may not) be doing.
  6. Leaves aren’t anxious about self-preservation, but they’re motivated by purpose – they know the cycle will start all over again; after a period of dormancy, more of their kind will spring forth.
  7. Leaves always have a smooth landing – they don’t try to fight gravity or the fact that they’re supposed to fall in this season; it’s part of their process.
  8. Leaves take the change of seasons in stride – they’re not in a rush to get it over with, but neither are they apprehensive or trying to avoid the inevitable, impending changes.  They appreciate each moment for what it is.
  9. Leaves know that change is part of their makeup – they’re created to change – not stay the same; it’s built into their structure, so they embrace it.

Let me leave (another pun intended!) you with these parting thoughts:

I challenge you to take a few lessons from the leaves…perhaps it will influence how you manage the season you’re in.  After all, the Lord of the harvest has a plan for your life…trust Him to bring it to pass as you walk in obedience to His Word, His way, and His will.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

(I Peter 5:6-7)

© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart

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“Armed” & Dangerous…and Fit for the Master’s Use!

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
(Philippians 1:6)

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use,
and prepared unto every good work.”
(II Timothy 2:21)

Our faithful God healed my son’s broken arm in a matter of a few weeks – I was truly amazed at His handiwork and thankful for His touch.  To see the x-rays progress over the weeks of follow-up doctor appointments was incredible.  With each visit came further proof of significant improvement as he regained strength and mobility in his dominant arm – hallelujah!

Now he’s back to his regular routine and frolicking on the playground as if July never happened.  Children have short memories, eh?  I’m sure I remember more readily since I’m still getting medical bills in the mail…but bless God that He’s already made provision for those to be covered. 🙂

Perhaps there are some dry bones in your life and you’ve been wondering if they can live.  I encourage you to look unto the Author and Finisher of your faith to see the glorious outcome.  Activate your faith, belief, and trust in Him and watch the newness of life that will come forth when His Word touches what appears to be languishing.  It’s not over – God has the final say!

“3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live;
and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”
(Ezekiel 37:3-7)

© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Maternal Musings: A Mother Reminisces

“As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child:
even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”

(Ecclesiastes 11:5)

After the Great End-of-Summer Arm Incident, I was bathing my child again.  As I recalled the days of the totally dependant infant in the baby tub, I had to admit that he was considerably bigger now, and much more independent.  Where did the time go?  I wondered.  Each evening before the bath, we secured a plastic bag around the injured arm to prevent the cast from getting wet.  I scratched as far into the cast as my pen could reach to alleviate the incessant itching.  I watched him learn to eat proficiently with his left hand.  Could I have seen this set of circumstances coming?  Hardly.  Do I have “mommy superpowers” to avert all of life’s painful lessons or shield my children from major hurt or discomfort?  Clearly not.

Because – wonder of wonders! – pressure causes us to grow…no matter what our age may be.  This child astonished me by figuring out a way to hold his sticks (cast and all!) and play the drums that he loves so much within 2 weeks of his injury.  It was as if something inside wouldn’t let him just sit down, do nothing, and be sad.  He missed being in his bed (the top bunk) – so he was climbing back up there within weeks (yikes!).  A few weeks later, though he couldn’t play badminton with his sister, he went to kick the soccer ball around in the backyard while wearing his protective brace (I was terrified and wanted him outfitted with a battle tank).

I am thankful that God covers us.  He is our Protector – and has been from the very beginning.  We really can rest in Him.  He has ALL POWER…and that trumps “mommy superpowers” any day.  🙂

“13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned,
when as yet there was none of them. ”

(Psalm 139:13-16)

 © Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Extreme Makeover: Arm Edition

“Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

(Psalm 51:8)

 A bit o’ humor…since sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying… 🙂

Back in August, my son told our pastor that “God had done this to him.”  He was quickly corrected when Pastor asked, “YOU chose to disobey your father, didn’t you?”  My son nodded in agreement.  “So that was your choice to jump off the sliding board/monkey bars – God didn’t do that to you, did He?”  “No sir,” was the penitent reply.

How many times do we put things on others (including God) when we’re really just reaping the consequences of our own unwise, impulsive, or deviously calculated poor decisions?

I remembered seeing my firstborn laying in the Emergency Room hooked to the IV going in and out of consciousness saying, “Daddy’s gonna spank me…”  I just caressed his face, attempting to calm and soothe him, but knowing that when he was healed up, this was gonna be the lesson of a lifetime.  His injury (and its accompanying pain and discomfort) were already speaking louder than any physical discipline that could be administered.

Plans can change so quickly – in an instant.  I’d taken Friday afternoon as a vacation ½ day so we could get ahead of traffic for our scheduled ministry-related short road trip.  We’d arranged a hotel reservation for our family and were looking forward to hearing the Word.  Even so, we never know how a day will end.

Our God is gracious and His lovingkindness endures to His children forever – even in the midst of painful processes.  In retrospect, I can say this wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to my child.  He was even blessed enough to get his cast off the very DAY before the new school year began – though I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded not writing for a few weeks!  Sure, it was no fun for an energetic boy to have to sit out from Physical Education and recess for the first month of school, but it was part of his lesson on the consequences of our actions.  Some things just can’t be erased by saying, “I’m sorry” or “I won’t do that again.”

But two months later, he has been restored.  The doctors tell me that the mended, regenerated bones that were broken are probably stronger now than the bones in his other (unharmed) arm.  Isn’t that just like our God – to make us better than we had been as we yield to His process?  Who wouldn’t allow Him to work on the inside each day?  After all, He is our Creator; He knows what He’s doing to bring about our expected end.  I challenge you to trust the Lord with your inner makeover…starting now.

“He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”

(Psalm 34:20)

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

(Jeremiah 29:11)

© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart