Friday, February 21, 2014

More Precious Than Silver.



I sat in my rumbling jeep in neutral behind an endless line of cars awaiting the dreaded deep red glow to change green again.  It was a chilly late afternoon in February.  The cool, brisk, winter air streamed through the “needed to be fixed” hole in the floorboard.  I pushed in the clutch and felt the breeze on my bare ankles; reminding me that it wasn’t quite spring yet.  My breath was visible, fogging up my window as I leaned my head against it.  I cautiously peered down at my gas gauge as I felt my car back fire.  “Stinky,” I said out loud, hoping I had somehow misread it.  Feeling half sorry for my tired, exhausted, homeward bound body, I quickly switched lanes and headed East instead of West.  My mind was a thousand miles away as I turned the corner.  So many excited thoughts were flowing at once; circling my head in a steady stream.  

Then suddenly, I was caught off guard.  The sun peered through the buildings behind me and I glanced over at my dirty, rustic side mirror.  Red, orange and yellow eliminated my whole car.  Every window prided itself with the majestic glow of the radiating colors; so vibrant my eyes couldn’t comprehend.  Every mirror reflected this beautiful sunset.  I gasped and caught my breath.  I wanted to capture it quickly and somehow lock it away forever in my soul.  It soaked me through and I drank it in knowing it wouldn’t last forever.  Just minutes before I was impatiently waiting for traffic to quicken and now I shamefully sat at a stoplight not wanting to move for fear it might all be a dream.  Everything I was feeling at that precise moment shown through the sky.  It was as if God orchestrated that moment to drip into my soul and show me Himself. 

 How could God create something so beautiful?  Why does He continue to bless us?  I thought of the beauty around me that I experience everyday; the things I take for granted. {The piles of pure white glimmering snow in the sunshine.  The soft breathtaking sound of snowflakes gently hitting the ground as the warm yellow light from the lamppost glows during a nighttime snowfall.  The glistening icicles on the tips of the trees; covering their bare brown branches.  The smile from a sister; the deep love that radiates from her sweet tender eyes as she clings to me with a tight hug.  The precious heart to heart talks that last long into the evening with someone special and the blue eyes that look deep into mine.  The smiles exchanged that say a thousand words.  The excited feeling of what God is going to do.  My sweet dear little baby nephews and the way his eyes light up when he cheerfully and excitedly talks to me.  The spontaneous water balloon launch in the middle of winter with my brother-in-law.  The love of a family as we cry during hard times and laugh during the good times.  The long hours of prayer and the endless months of waiting.  The feeling of coming home to a warm house filled with laughter and talking, homemade bread and piles of shoes by the back door.  The way we share with each other our hearts and the wisdom we bestow on each other.} 

I thought of all this as I drove to the gas station.  Part of me felt so unworthy.  Unworthy to see these things every day, unworthy to feel the love of Christ and unworthy to accept God’s blessing.   I mess up daily, many times, and yet God still loves me.  I struggle and react in my own sinful way and He still cares about me.  I have selfish desires and selfish thoughts and He still calls me His child.  Without Christ I am nothing.  I have been bought with a price and I am humbly thankful.  I am honored to be His chosen.  How many times a day do I express my thankfulness?  How many times a day am I on my knees with overcoming passion for the Cross?  I will admit, not nearly as much as I should.  I look back at the past year and I am amazed at the work God has done; not only in my life, but also in those who I hold close.  God tries us and waits for us to let go of those things we cling to; the things we think are important.  God wants me all to Himself; He doesn’t want anything hindering my love for Christ.  Yes, it hurts, but God’s plan is more than our selfish wants.  God’s plan is more than what we think we see.  God’s plan is powerful and is more beautiful than anything imaginable. 

"Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares to You.

Lord, Your Love is higher than mountains.
Lord, Your Love is deeper than seas.
Lord, Your Love encompasses the nations,
And yet, You live right here inside of me!

Who can weigh the value of knowing You?
Who can judge the worth of who You are?
Who can count the blessings of loving You?
Who can say just how great You are?

Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares to You.

And nothing I desire compares to You.”

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A note to a best friend.



The warm summer greeted us with a refreshing breeze as we pulled out of our driveway. We buckled up and held on for dear life. The Jeep rumbled and we jolted forward and back as we turned the corner. Our skin was sun-kissed and our hair blew in wispy stands, dancing in the wind. Jeep ride to the Frisbee field, “4th of July” t-shirts, and bare feet held the promise of a good time. I looked over at you, holding your hair back as you finished telling me a story. Your big eyes sparkled, holding excitement as you talked to me. You looked so much older that day, on your 16th birthday. Part of me knew you didn’t change overnight because you looked the same the day before. But the other part of me saw something I failed to notice; you weren’t my seven year old sister anymore. You weren’t that little girl with butterfly clips in her thin brown hair asking me to play with her. Or those chubby little cheeks squished together under the bicycle helmet as you pedaled away on your wobbly training wheels. I closed my eyes and could imagine your high squeaky little voice calling for me to play Barbie’s, doll house, or little cars. I can remember those Saturdays when we would play Barbie’s endlessly and Mom would have to drag us out of our room to eat lunch. Now our Saturday’s feel so grown up; cooking and baking for church and parties.
What sat next to me in the Jeep was not a little girl, but a beautiful, talented young woman. I am so very proud of you! I love how you can read my inter-being; knowing how I feel better than I know myself. You can reach down and seep right into the deepest parts of my soul. Remember that day a few months ago as we drove to the library together. I was having a hard day and had fooled everyone into thinking there was nothing wrong. I was so proud I could keep myself from admitting I was struggling and I could force back the tears effortlessly. But I didn’t fool you; you saw right through me. “Kel, what’s wrong?” you asked. I was in shock! I just remember bursting into tears. Your caring spirit lifted my mood as you comforted me with happy words. By the time we arrived at the library you had me laughing and joking.
I love watching your style change as you grow older. Remember we used to decorate our room with different themes? I love your eye for good old books and your cute, vintage, Paris style. I will never ever forget that day when you sat in your room all day and cleaned out under your bed. You threw out so much stuff; all of your little collections and papers. That was the day you became organized. Now you re-organize for fun. ;)
I am so proud of the way we keep active; running and playing sports. I thank the Lord everyday that I don’t have a weak sister. You inspire me to push harder and not whine over the littlest ounce of pain. You have taught me that we can accomplish great things and be strong women! You have taught me to be patient waiting for the Lord’s timing and to persevere even when it’s hard. Remember when we had the chicken pox? We had movies planned and books left out for “when we got the pox”. But I remember as soon as we broke out we didn’t want to do any of those things. Having the chicken pox was not as “fun” as we thought. We said to each other each night before we went to bed, that we were one step closer to being better. That was a hard two weeks, but you were there right by my side.  
I don’t want to ever forget those precious days we had growing up. We have been through so much together. We have strengthened and stretched each other on good days and bad. Many fights we have overcome and many weaknesses we have fought against and conquered. Sometimes I wish we can go back to the days when we were little, building sand castles on the beach in Florida or sitting in the grass in our matching calico dresses as Mom read “Little House” to us. But instead of looking at the past and dwelling in what was I will look toward the future, as we grow up, marry, and have kids of our own, being thankful for the memories we shared. God knew we needed each other and He knows we still do. I look forward to more late night talks and more secret looks across the gym during trench ball. Continue to strive to glorify our Maker. In everything you do may you be a light to those around you and an encouragement to many. I love you more than words can express. I hope you have had the happiest of birthdays!
Love,
Kelle

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Perserverance;

The low rumble of my Dad's Jeep pulling out of our garage was a sign that morning had arrived. I didn't want to wake up yet; it wasn't time. I quickly fell back to sleep; not want to waste one precious moment in my warm bed. Thirty minutes later, I felt a poke. I woke up, but kept my eyes shut. Another poke. Peering over my covers I could see the silhouette of my sister standing before my bed. The window let in a dusky grey that seemed to promise a hint of a beautiful sunrise right below the horizon. I closed my eyes again; wishfully thinking if I closed them it would turn out to all be a dream. Another poke. "Pst." Diana whispered, "Are you going to get up?" "Mhmm," I let out, somewhat grunting to satisfy her. The floors creaked as she tip-toed out of the room. 6:03; "It's time I got out of the bed." I thought to myself. Pulling back the covers, I picked up my Bible and headed quietly down the stairs. The morning was so fresh and crisp; like the feeling of my bare feet against the cold, wooden floor in the kitchen. I looked to the Family Room and saw Diana sitting peacefully on the couch doing math homework. The snow-covered ground reflected the somewhat bright sky outside. The rays flew through the lace curtains and brought a bit of happiness in the room. I walked into our pantry and smiled as I pulled out the large, glass, "oats" jar. A little bit of cinnamon and a handful of raisins completed my breakfast. I sat on the window seat with my Bible and my bowl of oatmeal and had my quiet time. "But now I come to You and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves." {john 17:13} "In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." {Psalm 5:3} My time in the Word and my time spent in prayer are very special to me. I believe we as Christians should be praying continuously and fervently. Prayer is a powerful thing. It is the most we can do even though sometimes it seems like the least. I wrote down my requests in my prayer journal; my thoughts, my hopes, my worries, my cares, my idols, my sorrows, my regrets. I laid it all at the feet of Jesus; at the cross I surrendered myself.  It is hard at times to keep praying. I was reminded of the days when I felt weary and like I was praying the same thing over and over. Those hard days of waiting and praying. It's so easy to feel like God isn't listening. I was reminded of the days when I cried out to God for hope, for a sign. Ashamed. What would my prayer life be like if God continued to give me hope that He would answer my every prayer that way I wanted it answered? Where was my faith and trust? "We walk by faith, not by sight." {2 Corinthians 5:7}  "But the true Christian keeps on, and though there may often appear to be times when he stops, and seasons when he goes back, yet the Scripture is not broken where it says that "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day." The Christian's motto is "Upward and onward." We are not true Christians if we stop, or start, or turn aside. As an arrow from a bow that is drawn by some mighty archer speeds straightway towards its goal, such is the Christian life as it s, such is it as it always should be. We make progress, and we persevere in so doing." {C.H. Spurgeon} I watched the snowy backyard transform as the sun rose higher above the horizon; everything that was hidden in the shadows suddenly came to life again. The branches from the tree glistened as the sun hit the icicles hanging off. {Beauty.}
7:15. I felt refreshed as I ran that morning. The bare, brown, water stained sidewalks were a stark contrast to the foot of snow on either side of me. The sun peered through some of the clouds and made the fresh snow sparkle. It brought back memories of when I was little. I remember being so excited when the snow would fall heavily. I would race outside all bundled up. There were adventures waiting for me. The snow was so white and so big for my little mind to grasp. Snow forts, snowmen, snow angles, huge icicles, hot chocolate; all the memories flowed back, and I smiled to myself as I continued to run. I remembered last week when I went outside with the kids. It was different; not quite the same as I imagined. I told Mom it would never be the same as when I was little for some reason. Diana and I lay on our backs under the lamp post as dusk fell. We looked up at the warm yellow light and watched the little snowflakes fly every which way. "It seems like something out of Narnia!" Diana breathed excitedly. Our street looked so cozy that night; the piles of snow, the warm glow from our home. It made us tingle inside. We laid there thinking about the moment; wishing we could stop life and enjoy it forever. Wishing we will remember the exact feelings that were going through our minds. I came back to reality as I found myself almost slipping as I ran around the corner. I waved to the neighbor kids as they stood all bundled up waiting for the school bus. I waved to the older neighbors in their robes and boots as they waddled out to the end of their driveway for the morning paper. The birds chirped and the fresh air blew against my face. Perseverance; the word kept coming back to me. Perseverance as I ran, perseverance as I prayed, perseverance as a Christian. God never said it would be easy. Sometimes I expect God to give me the easy way out. Just went I think I am so strong, He challenges me, and I realize the work I need to do. I realize how much I need a Savior; daily. I realize that there is nothing I can do in my own strength. He brings me to my knees before Him and humbles me. True religion is not merely living it on the outside, it's goes much deeper than that. It's in the heart. When we can give God everything and dwell in His Word and find safety in His promises; when we can truly worship Him for who He is, and truly trust Him without seeing, then we are true Christians. "But when that religion becomes the atmosphere in which we live, the element in which our soul breathes, when God dwells in us, and we dwell in him, when we feed upon Christ, not as a special dainty, but as the "bread of heaven", and drink of Him, not as a luxury, but as "the water of life;" when we wear piety, not as some holiday garment, but as our every-day dress, then it is that we get into the spirit of true religion." {C.H. Spurgeon} So many times I wish life could be easy and "normal", but sometimes God uses the abnormal lives to glorify Him. If struggles and trials and being uncomfortable are God's way of stretching and molding me, then I rejoice in the difficulties. {'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops, What if Your healing comes through tears, What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near, What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life, Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy, What if trials of this life, The rain, the storms, the hardest nights, Are your mercies in disguise.}

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jeremiah.

We sat around in the choir room on the last Sunday of 2012; chairs formed together in a circle. We sat as equals all for one purpose. Our heads were bowed and our hearts were humbled. It was after service one Sunday; 12pm on the dot. We as young people devoted part of our afternoon to prayer; for our nation, for our governor, for our governing officials, for the world that we are growing up in. We poured out our hearts and our desires for revivals. We prayed for those leaders who desperately need a Savior. We prayed with passion for God to give us wisdom in the years to come. There are many days where I fear what this world will come to. I fear I will grow up fighting against much more than we do today. I fear I will be alone in the battle for my beliefs, for my morals, for my family, and for my homeschooling rights. But sitting there with fellow young adult believers I knew God had sent me encouragement. He had placed me in the right place where He wanted me at the right time. {I.love.when.He.does.that.} Then I began to think about the life of Jeremiah. How he was all alone fighting for the Word of God; fighting against non-believers. How he was throw in a pit and despised. How he felt all alone in that great battle. I always thought of him as a whiner; always crying out to God for the trials he faced. But the Lord was with him, he persevered. He didn't need God to send him people; he had the Lord, and that was enough. And the Lord blessed him and kept His promise.
"This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”{Jeremiah 30:1-3} 
Then I thought of what a whiner I was being. And how I proudly looked at Jeremiah's life; not knowing that I was doing that same thing. {whining.worrying.crying out in fear.}  And here I am living with a group of like-minded believers right before my eyes and I still felt alone. Here I was sitting in a circle praying, and I still felt scared. I felt guilty for doubting God. I felt ashamed and unworthy to be blessed with these people. God didn't have to provide encouragement for me; but He did, and at that moment I felt the peace of the Lord upon me. I sighed and whispered a prayer of thanksgiving. How could I overlook such a big blessing? It just goes to show what a merciful and awesome God we serve! I fall and He picks me up. We are all fighting for one purpose; to bring glory to our Heavenly Father. Whether we have people around us or not, let us not give up in this fight. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose hope.
"In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?" {Psalm 56:11} 
"Let us run with endurance the race before us....."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

{A Week of Gratefulness}

"Pumpkin spice cake,
pumpkin rolls,
cranberry sauce,
apple pie,
set the tables,
print off Bible verses.." said the list hanging on the refrigerator. {Thankful.for.lists.} As the days before Thanksgiving passed quickly by, the more things on the list got crossed off. Excitement and pre-thanksgiving jitters filled the house. Each day we tackled a new project. I watched Diana standing over the hot stove stirring her bright red cranberry sauce. Her hair was tied up and loose strands curled around her sweaty forehead. {thankful.for.my.sister.} I can remember many years ago when Diana and I used to sit at the counter and help mom prep for Thanksgiving. We were so little back then; we didn't know the tricks of the kitchen as we do today. ;) 
Wednesday came; the busiest prep day. Dad, Diana and I were sent to purchase the final Thanksgiving meal item. "Twas the night before Thanksgiving..." I quoted on the great expedition to pick up the bird.  We drove to the great beyond {about 10 minutes} to fulfill the desired request by the most dearest of mothers; and what a ride it was. {thankful.for.my.mom.} Christmas music streamed through the speakers of our good old van as Diana and I belted out the words to our favorite Christmas songs. They were so long forgotten, we hadn't sung them for a year. {thankful.for.memorable.moments.} We embraced them like long, lost, forgotten friends; and a bit off tune I must admit. ;) We walked into the cinnamon-y smelling store and browsed past the fresh bright red apples and vibrant veggies. We casually walked down the candy isle. Glass jars of chocolate balls and candy cane sticks appealed to our eyes. There were chocolate Christmas trees, red and green M&Ms, Christmas taffy, and cute little stuffed Christmas bears. {thankful.for.m&ms.}
 "Awww!" I squealed hugging one. Diana looked at me, "Please, we don't need any more dolls." We "oooo"ed and "ahhh"ed our way past the festive arrangements. After standing in line for what seemed like eternity, we finally walked out with our great big turkey. Pilling back into the van, I burst out that we were the only ones in the store who had actually purchased a turkey uncooked; everybody in line was purchasing "cooked Thanksgiving" meals. Dad just shook his head. :P {thankful.for.homemade.food.} {and.a.mother.who.won't.buy.anything.premade.} ;)
I woke up early Thanksgiving morning; the sun streamed through my window. {thankful.for.sunrays.} Excitement drew me out of bed; I didn't care if I was the only one awake! We took a trip up to the arboretum for a nice pre-meal hike. It was beautiful. The clean crisp air did well to our souls. It was a few hours of thankfulness to our Creator for the beauty which lay around us. {thankful.for.trees.and.fresh.air.}
2pm arrived, and so did our guests.  Food, crock-pots, coats, shoes, little kids, big kids, friends, family, my nephew; the excitement in our house grew with every moment. {thankful.for.happiness.} Our kitchen was overflowing with food; pies, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce. {yum} 
All day and afternoon we enjoyed the laughter streaming from each room of our home. I walked in and out smiling to myself and taking it all in. I sat at the table with one little girl on my lap. Her long thin brown hair brushed against my cheeks; she looked up at me with her bright blue eyes shining. {thankful.for.little.friends.} We whispered together and tried to predict the winners of the games. My baby nephew's giggles echoed and brought smiles to everyone as he ran around from person to person. {thankful.for.the.nephew.} 
Our Thanksgiving Day came to a close as we started our hymn sing. The kids got out their violins, violas, and cellos. A whole string ensemble joined me on the piano. In-between songs, we shared with each other our thankfulness and our prayers. We spend time in prayer not just a friends, but as family in Christ. {thankful.for.the gift.of.like-mindedness.} I believe God puts people in our lives for a specific reason. He chooses your family members for a reason, He chooses your friends for a reason; all to bring glory to His name. {thankful.for.the.ones.He.chose.for.me.}  (: 

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
 Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.”
{Psalm 100}


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Battle For Him.

I woke up that Wednesday morning with the past evenings events etched in my mind. The feeling of lose and defeat weighed heavy on my heart. The thought of staying in bed for four more years was very tempting. It couldn't be real; I was determined to imagine that it had all been a dream, and now I was waking up with the sun shining and a bright new outlook on the day. But alas, I had to face that Wednesday morning just like any other day. My Bible lay on my dresser next to me, bulging with letters from dear friends, ripped-out notebook paper crinkled with writings, bookmarks, pens and bulletins from church. I thought of that book which I loved so much; the wrinkled pages that were covered with pen markings and highlighters, the verses that were circled and underlined with pen to remind myself of God's goodness. Yes, that book gets me through life. And now {shameful to say} as I lay there in my bed I doubted the power of those words. I doubted the hand of God, the very hand that made me, the very hand that formed the universe and calmed the storm, and the very hand that was nailed to the cross and bled for me. I grabbed my Bible, wanting to be reminded once more, and opened up to the pages to where I left off the day before; Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. “For both prophet and priest are polluted; Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the Lord. “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring calamity upon them, The year of their punishment,” declares the Lord." {Jeremiah 23:9}. "The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." {Proverbs 21:1} How could I worry, when I have such an awesome God? Thoughts buzzed through my head all day. Depression tried to creep in, but God's voice had spoken to me and lifted me out. I'm not worried, I'm not scared. Why should we ask for the easy way out? God wants to stretch us as Christians; just like Jeremiah. We are surrounded by a nation that doesn't want God's name spoken. A nation that shuts out everything we stand for. We are to be strong in this battle; knowing that God is siding with us one hundred percent."Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord." {Psalm 31:24}

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Of Crisp Red Maple Leaves, Hot Tea, and Golden Afternoons.


The crisp cool autumn wind blew in my face as I took my run one morning. The sun rays gleamed through the bare branches of those tall maple trees. Red, yellow and orange leaves covered the sidewalks; crunching with every step I took. I ran, faster and faster, hoping to warm the tips of my fingers. I took a deep breath; ah, fresh air. Today the wind was with me, blowing on my back. Its brisk force pushed me forward as if to encourage me on. I looked up at the neighbors raking and smiled at them as I passed quickly by. I watched the little neighbor girl twirl in the front yard as a huge gust of wind blew the golden leaves off the trees and sent them sailing into the air. They floated down around her in circles as she danced; her brown curls bouncing in her face. I loved watching those tiny little "leaf tornados" form as cars drove down the street. Squirrels scurried across the sidewalk as they heard me approaching. I continued running; each step faster than the one before. Soaring, flying, moving faster than I ever had before; alas I had to stop. I caught my breath as I walked. Why can we not run forever? I walked past the white picket fences and the drooping sunflowers. I walked over the leaf-stained sidewalks. Beautiful. Then I ran again; praying and thanking my Heavenly Father for granting me this beautiful weather. {Even.if.i.did.need.gloves}. I spend my "running moments" with my Savior. I pour out my troubles and cares, my requests and my desires, my thoughts and my ramblings. I praise Him. I pray for Him to be my wisdom and be my strength each day. Verses from my quiet time circle in my head, encouraging me. "Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” {Job 42:1-3}  I ponder the chapters and pages I read. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, "declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."   {Isaiah 55:8-9} *peace* I give thanks to Him for Octobers, Novembers and autumn weather. Without them, I do believe life would be very dull indeed.

{Autumn.} I love those cold nights when we sit by the fire drinking tea and eating pumpkin bread. I love the cozy feeling I get when the smell of Mom's warm homemade bread streams throughout the whole house on rainy weekday afternoons. I pull the covers higher and snuggle closer to my pillows as the cold morning wakes me up; the pink and red sky creating the backdrop of my morning. My warm feet emerge from the blankets and land on the icy cold floor ready to start the day. I love the leaf piles in the middle of our backyard and the rake leaning against our clean back porch; as if something from an old postcard. I like driving through tall red leafed trees leaning over the roads. All year long the leaves wait {all.boring.green.}, now they have come alive; so beautiful and vibrant dancing in the wind, as if to leap with joy. A bowl of potato soup and crunchy bread, freshly baked gingersnap cookies, fall boots and scarves, leaves in the sidewalk cracks, pumpkins on our front porch, jars of organic pumpkin pie filling; all the simple delights of autumn that make my insides explode with happiness.

I can remember going to the pumpkin patch when I was little and the taste of those scrumptious apple cider donuts. I remember the joys of jumping in leaf piles and the smell of my sweater afterwards. I remember the fun Dad and I used to have as he picked me up and tossed me into the mile high pile. :)

My fall days are busy. {explanation.as.to.why.I.haven’t.updated.} They are filled with life and laughter. Each day is a blessing from God. Each day I wake up excited for what He has. The brisk afternoons I spend baking or cleaning; listening to my mother as she teaches my siblings in the other room. Her voice warms my soul; remembering the days of my schoolwork. A basket of laundry in the family room as the rain plops against the skylights. A good book and a cup of tea in our big cozy arm chair. I love the hours I spend on the piano as the wind and leaves rush by outside. The late afternoon comes quickly and everything that was once brown or dull turns golden just before the sun sinks down. The golden rays stream through my window eliminating my lace curtain. The bare branches suddenly become alive as the sun shines on them from behind.  I think of my dear friend {her.favorite.time.of.day.} and smile. Dinner preparations to begin; soup or chicken, pasta or chili, as long as it’s warm. ;) Half way through my cooking, Dad’s car rumbles in the garage, and the back door opens. His tired, worn-out, cold face appears and suddenly he smiles. Our cozy house seems to melt any stress or grief from his day away. I watch him transform as he walks into the schoolroom to greet Mom. I hear their voices, and Dad sighs, “I love our house.” :) I smiled to myself and finished chopping. *happiness*

"Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places."  {Habakkuk 3:18-19}