I took a baby blogging hiatus for the holiday. NOT because I am trying to hide anything. There's nothing to hide, I swear. Anywho...I can't tell you how excited I am that it's FALL!!!! I heart fall. No more humid yucky sticky hotness. YAY! Besides Christmas, it's my most favoritest time of the year. The crisp cool air, the colors of the changing leaves, drinks that have 'pumpkin' in the name, the smell of leaves and fire smoke, not wearing a bikini...it just makes me feel all cuddley. (You can still feel cuddley when you're single, you just have to cuddle with yourself that's all!) I love how we have all 4 seasons in DC. It's not perpetual summer or winter. To me, there is something very comforting in knowing that at some point the season you are in is going to change. Just when you can't take the heat of summer...in comes fall with it's cool crispness! Just when you feel like if you rake another leaf you're gonna puke....in comes winter's snow to cover the ground. Just when you think that you would rather scoop your eye out with a spoon than buy one more bag of salt or another can of de-icer....in comes spring with it's beautiful blossoms. Just when you are about to drown in pastels and cute bunnies....in comes summer again with all it's warm sun and breezes. I love that! It's the same in our lives as it is in nature. We go through seasons as well. Our seasons are not as predictable as summer, spring, autumn, and winter...but the one thing they have in common is...they will end eventually. This goes for both "good" and "bad" seasons of our lives. We like to label something good and bad depending on how we feel about it, but with God...all things are for the greater good. God is GOOD! Isn't that awesome! I know, I'm excited too! And not just because I had too much coffee today (which I totally did). Even though we can't always see it at the time, when we follow God and trust in Him...all things are for our own good and the good of others. It's hard for us to even comprehend how God can orchestrate it all so beautifully. All we can see is our own litte piece of the puzzle. And I don't know about you...but my peice of the puzzle isn't one of those easy to place corner pieces. My puzzle piece is shaped like no one else's. It is shaped like Katie McNemar...born in 1981 to Randy and Sharon McNemar in Buckhannon, WV, favorite color is blue or green or black (I know, I know, it's not a color, it's the absence of color...but I still like it), has a scar on her left lower lip from where she fell when she was a kid, took as many afternoon classes in college because she liked to sleep in (obviously don't have that luxury now...hello 5:45am!), was prom queen, once got arrested wearing a hooter's halloween costume (long story), called off her wedding 3 weeks beforehand.....and so on and so on. No one else's puzzle piece looks like mine. No one else's puzzle piece will fit where mine is supposed to go. All of the experiences I have had in my life...be they traumatic, awe inspiring, hilarious, touching or embarrassing...have all made me who I am today...one unique (some might say weird) puzzle piece. I have been through many seasons in my life. There are seasons of growth in my life, where is God is taking me through a process of growing in Him and growing in me. This is a beautiful time of hunger to know more....like the trees soak up the spring rain...I soak up the knowledge of God and let it grow me. There are seasons of "out with the old", where I let go of all the past things that no longer belong. It's a shedding of the old and a regrowth of the new. This season doesn't just happen once in our lives, it happens over and over again. As we grow, we need more room for good things, for true things...so out with the old...shake off those dried leaves. There are seasons of winter in our lives where we feel cold and alone. It may seem impossible to see how this type of season could be good for you, but God uses this time in many different ways. He may use it to renew your desire for Him. God is like that cozy cabin with the roaring fire that you see in the distance as you fight your way through the snowy storm outside. He wants to be your refuge and sometimes He has to take you through a season of cold snowy weather before you can see through the icy flakes and fight to have that warmth again. There is a season of summer where you bask in the warm sun on the sandy beaches. This is the season where you soak in the knowledge that He is God. It's like laying on a beautiful beach with the ocean waves lapping at your feet. The breeze is just cool enough to make you completely comfortable laying in the direct heat of the noonday sun. Your mind is full of peace, joy, and contentment. You are totally relaxed. This is a wonderful season of communion with God. That may sound like your favorite season to be in, but you would not be able to fully appreciate this beautiful perfect sunny day if you had not fought the icy snow storm to get here. Spending every day in this perfect sunny place would eventually become too common. You wouldn't appreciate it anymore. You would come to expect it. That is why we have ebbs and flows.
To every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecc 3 1:8)
There is a purpose for everything that we go through. There is a purpose for every joy, every tear, every laugh. This fall, I am ready to shed my old withered leaves no matter how pretty I think they are. This winter, I face the stormy winter outside and grow strong in my walk with God. God is always waiting for me inside by the roaring fire. This spring I grow new leaves like I have never had before and never will have again. This summer I will bask in the beauty of what God has done....and prepare to be rid of my old leaves once more!