Hope United Methodist Church

The changing of the seasons are one of the reasons that I love living in the Midwest. Not every day seems glorious throughout the year. Each season has its days that seem unbearable at times. We deal with excessive hot sticky days, and cold miserable ones too, but we get through them somehow. It is after the messy and less than ideal times that the newness of the changing season captures our hearts in profound ways.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. A deep breath taken in the crisp evening air seems so life giving and the rich autumn colors speak to my soul. Each day as I notice more and more vibrancy in the landscape, I can picture

God's hands with paintbrush and pallet adding color to each tree and shrub. This year the Master has not disappointed. I truly am in awe. I believe that God finds great joy in the grateful hearts of those who are awestruck.

It seems that just as the color peeks and we settle in with our cup of hot cider and warm pumpkin pie, to take it all in, the leaves fall to the ground. I'd much rather they stayed on the trees and continued decorating the landscape! But if it were so, would I lose interest in them, would I continue to be awestruck? The fact is that we all forget sometimes to acknowledge the beauty that is set right before us, in whatever circumstance of life, whatever season we are in. If the fall leaves stayed on the trees, there would be no fresh blanket of snow glistening in the sun, no children's laughter as they make angels in the snow, no spring crocus popping through promising a new beginning, no song from the first robin of the season…

I had to quit riding my bicycle about 5 years ago due to back issues. It was the end of a season that I loved so much. I got stuck in the “I can't” instead of looking for what's next? Finally, two months ago, I began looking for alternatives. I am thankful, so thankful, for my new recumbent trike (yes, I'm back on three wheels). It's different, it's an adjustment, but a blessing that has allowed me to get back out there on the road and on the trails where I can take that deep breath and absorb the colors into my soul.

My season will come when I'll need to find another new way to appreciate the autumn's beauty. But I am so filled with the knowledge and joy that this beauty that I see is just a glimpse of what God has created, and doesn't begin to touch the wonders that I will share with God in eternity.

This creation that is set before me was created by a God who walks with me through every season of my life. This beauty is but a glimpse of the splendor of a loving God that lives within me! A God that lives within YOU! Yet again... I am awestruck and can't help but wonder, how can this be? This beauty that I behold, I need only look within my soul. For this blessing that I do not deserve, but I receive non the less, I give thanks with a grateful heart!

Be blessed in this season and the next!

Pastor Terri

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