Sunday, December 04, 2005
The Golden days of Autumn have too soon given way to the dreary days of Winter. Growing up on the prairies of Alberta Winter was Blinding White and Brilliant Blue. I remember the crunching sound the snow made under our felt-pac boots and the brightness of the low sun in the sky. But here in Oregon Winter is Grey. And Wet. The rains that keep the Northwest green and beautiful make the winter skies sullen and angry. Autumn is my favorite season and somehow I always find myself reminiscing as the days turn cooler. I love the crispness in the air and the smell of the trees, the special blueness of the sky and colored leaves that dance in the wind. I love the way the sun shines golden at the end of the day and makes everything look so alive. And I love celebrating my favorite holidays- a day of Giving Thanks and the celebration of Jesus' birth.
Along with the changing seasons and the merriment there seems to come an inevitable busyness. It's more important than ever to take moments to reflect on the blessings that I've been given. I often ask Peregrine to "choose to have a thankful heart and not a fussy one" and just as often I need to hear that exhortation as well. Thankfulness is a choice, and it makes all the difference in my outlook on life. When I focus on the things that are hard I quickly lose patience with Peregrine and get irritated with Erik. But when I thank God for my kids and for my amazing husband instead of feeling frustrated I'm filled with joy. Unfortunately, too often I fail to do this. Way too often. Just this afternoon I had a meltdown over something as stupid as not being able to figure out how to use a new program on our computer. I know that it was such an insignificant thing, but at the moment it felt like the end of the world. This was just hours after hearing a sermon on Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor, and being reminded of just how Wonderful He is, and then having lunch with a woman who is suicidal. That should put my computer frustrations in major perspective, and I could benefit from some of the things I was sharing with her. Like the promise that when we approach His throne we will find grace to help in time of need. If I can believe that He can give hope to someone who has lost the will to go on in this life, then surely He can give me grace to deal with the great unknowns of my computer.
I need to stop to think about all the blessings that God has poured out on me- I have a nice warm home, good food, a great husband who has a great job, two wonderful children, loving family, good friends and good health, just to name a few. Not to mention that the God of the universe gave up glory to become a little baby who would one day die to give us salvation. So, when I allow my heart to become grey and sullen like the winter skies, I need His grace to remember that I am abundantly blessed and have a million things to be thankful for. And that ought to be quite enough to keep me going for a good long while.