In Fall, We Stand

As the leaves begin to change and fall, the time to settle in for the winter draws near. There’s something so bittersweet about this season. We wait the winters out hoping for glimpses of spring; budding leaves, hints of color as the early flowers bloom, comfortable weather and social get togethers. Summer comes one day – the air is hot and dry and water becomes the most desirable refreshment and recreation for weeks to come. Then…. fall, falls.

The children are back in school. A freshman and a sophomore learn the high school ropes. maneuvering as best they can through the hallways and the curriculum of their 7-3 work days. Making new friends and learning more about themselves. Playing football and planning for dances. Momma is no longer needed to lay out clothes, pack lunches, sign permission slips or check backpacks. As the boys get older, these things become their responsibility.

The 1st year college student digs deeply into his fall schedule and maintains his ambitions of understanding and managing his own budget, bills and responsibilities. The windshield is cracked… I explain, that’s part of being a car owner… maintenance. He’ll figure it out and get it taken care of and I’ll be so proud that he’s done so and a little soft in the heart that everyday, he needs me less and less.

The 18-year-old. These days – his life is one big season – not summer, spring, winter or fall – but the season of growth. A man legally, still very much a child intellectually. He’s not sure where he is or where he’s headed. I remember this season well – the 1st of many “what shall I do with my life” seasons. I pray and illicit prayer regularly – that this child would find a positive path to follow.

A dear friend recently reminded me that these boys of mine have been given all the logical, ethical and moral instruction they need to make decisions as the days, weeks, months, seasons and years of their lives pass – what they’ll do with that instruction is still to be seen, but can’t the same be said for all of us?

The little house – broken, battered and barely hanging on still. The mortgage company and I are in the middle of an agreement. 2 more months of paying as instructed and then the whole picture changes. Amen to a refinance negotiation. I have vowed to fight the good fight to save my home and as of today – I’m on the winning side. The opponent has graciously offered me a “head start”. I’m running with it. The healing of  breaks and bruises will come in time – for today – the life of my home has been spared  – that’s sufficient.

Sustenance. I presented my case and was given a promotion and a raise. Amen. The duties increase, the stress increases, the accountability becomes more stringent… all a blessing. Work is a requirement of life. Maybe one we take for granted. We complain and complain about having to work but I challenge anyone to disagree  – there is no job so terrible that one would trade it for unemployment.

Love – is somewhere past the horizon. There, but not yet in hand – or heart. I have missed 5 weddings this year. I asked myself over the weekend if the reason my own nuptials (3rd time hopeful) seem so far-fetched, have anything to do with the fact that I’ve neglected to share in the joys of the marriages of my friends. When we celebrate the joys and victories of our loved ones – there is some assurance that our joys will soon follow – have I unintentionally delayed my joy? I cling to the belief that my intended lays in wait and shall be presented to me in due time.

Life in general. So beautiful! Everyone safe, healthy, working hard and growing. I can list the woes and worries – but think this Fall, 2011, is much more conducive to a list of happiness and hope.

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