Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Friday

Childhood memories of fall . . . trips to the pumpkin patch, wandering through a corn maze, and going on hayrides. There's something delightful about seeing the bright orange and white pumpkins dotting the greenery. There's something heart-warming about sitting on poky hay bales and laughing in the slight fall breeze. There's something beautiful about enjoying the harvest with loved ones. And these are some of the main reasons I love fall!

Last year was difficult for me. For someone who loves fall and spending time with family, it was hard being away at school, missing out on all of our wonderful traditions back at home.

But my parents and my sister came to visit me in the middle of the season last year, and we created a new tradition. We decided to go to the HarvestFest at E.Z. Orchards here in Salem--and we had a lovely time! It wasn't exactly the same as our experiences at home, but it was something new that I thoroughly enjoyed. One of my favorite parts (besides the overall atmosphere) was listening to the bluegrass band while sitting on hay bales. (Bluegrass music is so beautiful to me, and I'm so excited to be celebrating it later this month with a couple of wonderful and talented guests!)

Now, I'm away from home for another fall. But my parents are coming up to visit me this weekend, and we're planning on heading back to E.Z. Orchards and making more fall traditions and memories together. The love of family doesn't change, no matter where you are, and the season of fall can be delightful even while away from home. I'm so thankful for God's blessings of people to love and His creation to enjoy!

This would be a great note to end this post on, but I thought it would also be good to talk once again about autumn in the seasons of humility--because that's what season I'm in right now. This week has been fraught with emotional turmoil for me. I've cried about so many different things, and I've been having such a poor attitude.

And then Wednesday it really hit me--almost all of the things I've been upset about are due to my own lack of humility. I haven't been trusting in God about my future . . . I haven't wanted to hear criticism or obey my parents . . . I've worried more about how grades would make me look than about what I've been learning. I'm at the very beginning of my poem once again, looking at my broken dreams littered on the ground like dead leaves. I keep wanting my own way, rather than God's way.

It hurts. It's not easy to let go and to trust God. But I've seen the fruits of my pride and my selfishness, and I long for a proper perspective again--an eternal perspective. I need to reorder my priorities, putting God first and seeking His will, because He truly does know what is best. He can see what I can't, and while it's hard, following Him is always rewarding in ways that I could never begin to imagine and are far better than any of my own dreams.

So I encourage you to turn to your Friend and realize that He truly loves you and has a purpose for you. We must trust in His timing and in His plan--something I'm learning the hard way right now, but something I'm very glad to be learning, as well.

In that regard, I'll probably be posting less often for the foreseeable future, posting only on the scheduled days (in the "Normal Weekly Schedule" in the sidebar) except for reviews or special events ("Sightseeing by the Seasons" off and on and the "Bluegrass Festival Weekend," for example). I have been rather obsessive about my blog recently, and I need to remember to seek God first and use the time and blessings He has given me wisely (which includes taking full advantage of the great education I am getting). I appreciate your understanding, and I'm so thankful for all of you!

Well, I'm off this three-day weekend (Friday is "Study Day" for our school, so no classes!) to make more fall memories with my parents and to take time to think and re-order my priorities. May the Lord bless you as you walk with Him! I'll leave you with this thought, something that wise Solomon discovered and something I need so desperately to remember:

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
~ Ecclesiastes 12:13

10 comments:

Ariel said...

I have a three-day weekend too! Mid-semester break :D

I LOOOOVE the pumpkin patch! I'm going home next weekend and we're going to one that has a dark maze :D The build the maze in a barn with haybales and the cover it up with tarp and stuff so it's so dark! It's fun to get glowsticks and get lost in it :)

Renee said...

Great verse to end your post with, Amber!

Joy Tamsin David said...

Hey, I was just helping my kids memorize Ecclesiastes 12:3 for their Friday Bible test at school. Great verse.

Have a fun time with your parents this weekend, Amber. :)

Amber S. said...

Ariel,

Oh, fun! I hope you have a great weekend! :D

That dark maze sounds really cool. And I love the pumpkin patch, as well! Fall is such a fun time of the year, in my opinion. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Renee,

I think it sums it up well, too. :) Thank you for stopping by, and have a lovely weekend!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Joy,

Isn't it a wonderful verse? It's such an important idea to remember--so great you could help your kids memorize it! :D

Thank you for your kind words! This day has been GREAT so far, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with my parents. :) I hoe you have a great weekend, as well!

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

God has given you such a beautiful heart, Amber. He delights in you so greatly.

I've been a bit absent on my blog as well. I've been trying to turn my computer off until a certain time of day. I guess all of us have some battles that are more difficult than others and for many of us the computer is one.

Amber S. said...

Julia,

Oh, you are such a sweet, encouraging person, and I'm so grateful for your friendship! Thank you so much for your kind words!

Yes, the computer can be quite a battle--it is so tempting to spend too much time on it. I'm so thankful for my parents' understanding, as well as their encouragement to remember my priorities. They are so supportive of me, and they are so wonderful! I have a lot of growing to do, but I'm glad to know they're always behind me every step of the way. :)

And I'm beyond glad to know that God never gives up on me, either!

~Amber

Amanda said...

Amber, I know just how you feel, my friend. I’m at the beginning of your poem, as well. How easy it is to lose sight of God and His plans for our life when our own voice is drowning out His, and the weight of our own will is causing our steps to slow and falter in the race that is set before us. The lyrics to the song “Empty Me” by Chris Sligh have been playing in my head lately and I keep asking the Lord to make that the song, the prayer, and the cry of my heart. I want to be emptied of me so I can be filled with Jesus!

And, I totally understand and respect your decision to post less often. I know I could very easily become obsessed with a blog, myself (which is the main worry of mine should I start one). I tend to think and live in extremes, and I really need the Lord to teach me some balance. Like I said in my very first comment on your wonderful blog, the only thing we’re exhorted to do without ceasing is PRAY! ;) So, I pray that the Lord will strengthen, encourage, and refine all of us through this season of humility.

Again, I just love how you so honestly share your heart and struggles with us, because many of us are going through the same thing. What you share always causes me to take a step back and examine my heart and my walk, and I thank you for the beautiful conviction I often feel :) What you share is deep, yet simple truth that is never preachy, but delivered in love to edify and encourage the rest of us. A season of humility isn’t always the easiest season to pass through, but I’m blessed to share the journey with such a dear friend and sister in Christ :)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Thank you so much for your understanding! As much as I wouldn't wish my problems upon anyone else, it is comforting to know that we are not alone in our struggles--that God is with us and that others can sympathize and encourage along the way. :)

You put it so well when you said, "How easy it is to lose sight of God and His plans for our life when our own voice is drowning out His, and the weight of our own will is causing our steps to slow and falter in the race that is set before us."

And yes--balance is so important, and definitely something I need to have in my life! You bring up a great point yet again about prayer, and I am so thankful for every comment that you've left since that first one this past summer. :) You are such a great friend, and I have been so blessed by your encouragement and understanding!

I'm so thankful that I can share this journey with YOU, my friend! I'm so glad that God gives us friends and family--community--to walk with us through both good times and painful times. Thank you for walking beside me and offering me valuable advice and kind words! :D

~Amber