Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall Is In The Air

(Written for the mentoring group at my church)

Today, September 21, marks the first day of autumn! Since moving to Texas in 2003 Autumn has become my most treasured and anticipated season! As a family nester I chose Autumn, the first year of our marriage, to be the season most celebrated, most anticipated, and most enjoyed by our family. I love the simplicity of this season, the shortening of days, the drinking of hot tea, the reaping and gathering of food put in the freezer for winter, the coming together of family, the falling of leaves, the changing of the colors, the smell of winter fast approaching, and this year the new life inside that will soon grace us with his presence!

I also adore traditions! Our autumn traditions include: the reading of the Pilgrims story throughout the month of November, decorating the house with autumn colors, fall cleaning and organizing, easy crock pot meals, the getting rid of the unnecessary and bringing out of well loved fall paraphernalia. I adore family times; sitting and drinking hot tea by the fireplace, or relaxing on the front walk at night when the cool evening requires blankets to snuggle against, chilly walks surrounded by a halo of gold leaves. Other Williams traditions include adding to our yearly Thanksgiving scrapbook, watching the miraculous Pilgrim’s movie on Thanksgiving mornings, marveling at all the Lord has done that year and reading about past years blessings, inviting new and old to join our Thanksgiving table, Fernando Ortega music permeating the evening hours, lighthearted musings around a full table and a special time of thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus!

Last week I mentioned that, according to A.W Tozer, the most important questions you will ever answer is “what is your view of God.” A. W. Tozer goes on to say that “Until you know God as he is, you’ll never become all that he’s created you to be.” The preeminent way to answer that question is to 1. Get into God’s word, and 2. Start looking at God through a lens of thankfulness. A few years ago I began the journey to discover who this God I serve really was - - not who I internally believed he was. My journey started with a book called God as He Longs For You To See Him by Chip Ingram. This book challenged my thinking and perceptions of God. It also revealed to me God’s daily reminders of His love for me. To my amazement, slowly over the years my pessimistic, glass half empty attitude, has been changing into a lifestyle filled with joy! About 3 months ago I started listing all of the things I noticed were gifts from God – I call it my 1000 Gifts List. So far I have reached 175 and my list is climbing daily – my plan is to make this list a daily habit that far exceeds 1000! This list helps keep my daily focus on the blessings sent from my Father, instead of the negative, fleshly spirit that would love to rob me of my joy. I am constantly remind myself that the only thing I can control when life gets hard is… my attitude, and that makes every difference in how I view God.

Dialog with your Mentor this week about who you think God is and what He is like. Talk about how you developed those views and if they are rooted and grounded in the scriptures.

"Thankfulness is a secret passageway into a room you can’t find any other way.
It is the wardrobe into Narnia.

It allows us to discover the rest of God—those dimensions of God’s world, God’s presence, God’s character that are hidden, always, from the thankless.

Ingratitude is an eye disease every bit as much as a heart disease.
It sees only flaws, scars, scarcity.”

~Mark Buchanan

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