What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Random Journal Day #4 "Reflections Off the Beaten Path"

Here we go again!  Random Journal Day #4 is coming up soon, and I want to be on time this week!  I pulled out another old ratty looking notebook journal...I really didn't get into "journaling" in the formal sense until several years later, but by then I had already written all these pages in ordinary notebooks without fancy covers, and stuffed them into my "secret" hiding places in my room so no one would go snooping in them.  I figured no one would be very interested in something written in a school notebook, so why worry!  Now I wish they were in a better bound book so they would be preserved for a long time.  I may have to do that yet...but not today.

So, This particular journal entry was written on Saturday, October 5, 1991 at 10:39 p.m., from our home in  Michigan. Hence the "fall theme" for the day.  Although today as I write this, it is a warm summery spring day in Florida, it is always refreshing to think of a fall day up north! 

I started out my journal by writing:

"Fall has arrived in all its splendor and majesty! The hues of autumn splash across the horizon in every direction. Something mystical and magical happens at this time of year. All of God's creation begins its preparation for the coming onslaught of winter. The stirrings in our innermost being manifest themselves in getting things ready...the house, the shrubs, the clothes, the wood, the shopping, the putting away of summer playthings and digging out the fall tools...rakes, wheelbarrows, pruning shears, the wood maul...cleaning out closets to make room for the heavy coats, woolens, boots, sweaters...locating the hats, gloves and scarves and long johns. Finding the snow shovel under a heap of gardening tools in the garage and putting it in a prominent place...bringing in the lawn chairs and taking out the birdseed to fill the feeders...

Taking a brisk walk on a golden afternoon....donning a favorite flannel shirt and jacket, the smell of woodsmoke in the air...hearing the rustling of the leaves as they float to the ground in the crisp autumn breeze. The scent of apples permeates the air as we walk through the old orchard. How refreshing is a cold cup of cider...and how welcome the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie on a Saturday afternoon...or the spicy fragrance of a pumpkin pie cooling on the kitchen table.

We come in from an invigorating walk on a snappy fall day and warm our hands by the crackling cheery fire. A cup of hot tea and a warm piece of that delicious pie, a good book and a cozy recliner by the fire makes a perfect spot to be perfectly relaxed and removed from the cares and worries of the busy world outside the window.

Yes, fall is both a time of busy preparation and anticipation of the rigors of the winter ahead...It is also a time to step aside and get off the beaten path...reflect on the natural beauty of God's handiwork, rejoice in the fact that you are alive and a part of the cycle God has put into place. Take time to smell the apples and spicy fragrances of autumn...enjoy the golden days to the fullest...make every moment a treasure to remember in the coming long days of confinement.

For alas! The days are passing by oh so quickly~The days of reaping will soon be over, and all of God's harvest field will be gathered toether in His heavenly barn. The work will be finished...and there will be no way to go back and redeem the time that was lost. Live each day to the fullest while you can...but not LOST in vain "busy"ness and "preparation".

Enjoy the people around you...enjoy the scenery before you. Enjoy what God has blessed you with...your home, family, friends, loved ones...live a life that is pleasing to God and is a testimony of faith and faithfulness to those around you. Yes, "work, for the night is coming!" But also, take time to enjoy the day that is here presently. Don't let fear, dogma, and feelings of guilt that you can't do everything rob you of the joy of living. Your smiling face and words of encouragment and joy will do more to inspire your friends and neighbors than all the "busy" work that never seems to get done and only steals away your rest, peace, and joy. Refresh yourself with a true rest time in God's Word and enjoying His handiwork that He created for us to enjoy richly!"

Wow! I said a mouthful...a sermon preached to me from me...but via the Holy Spirit I am certain.  I know what kind of "busy"ness I was experiencing at that particular time in my life...we had a very involved and stressful ministry in a large suburban church,  with one son in middle school, and two sons away in college in a far away state.  Our middle son, Matthew, had come through a huge hurdle in his life that previous spring and summer...he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and experienced major surgery and treatment for, thankfully, (miraculously) a benign tumor...and still was able to attend his freshman year at college that fall.  We had to deal with our own emotional distress of that frightful experience. In addition, our church was a difficult assignment...not leaving us much time to enjoy the beauty of fall...so I know this message was one of yearning and longing in my heart if not lived out in reality. We had come through some major battles, both physical and spiritual...and we were much in need of a fall "retreat". 

Yes, I remember this time well...it was not a pleasant memory to reflect upon at all...so I am certain that is why I wrote so poignantly and emphatically.  As a matter of fact, within six months we were on our way to a new adventure, partly out of necessity for survival both spiritually and emotionally, and partly because we had no other choice. But God was with us in the difficult times and the good times.  He carried us through that winter by preparing our hearts in the fall for the change that was to come.  And in the spring and summer of that next year He showed us the path He had chosen for us to follow and gave us the way of "escape".  I wish I could say that life was perfect from then on...but that would not be honest.  I can say that God was with us all the way...through every new season of life...and He still is today, ever present, ever loving, and always with us. That's one season that will never change.  Praise the Lord!


  1. :) Thank you, Susie. I love how you are always ready with an affirmation and a way to put a smile on my face!

  2. Whoah! You are way ahead of the game! Wonderful! I love the way God used your writing to speak a word in season to you and for you from you! Phew. The Holy Spirit in us is an amazing and powerful prophet, speaking, instructing, encouraging, correcting, affirming. What a gift God has given us in our writing. Pam the words are beautiful as well. SO beautifully descriptive...but the perfection lies in the Author who was conveying a message to You! Praise Him!Grateful for your enthusiasm and love those photo spreads!


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