Today marks the arrival of my favorite season. The leaves here are tinged with yellow and red. I’m enjoying the warm, sunny day. I hope you have a wonderful first day of autumn, wherever you are.
Our area is becoming a popular spot for stargazing because its nighttime sky is one of the darkest regions in the Eastern United States. Recently a group of amateur astronomers spent several nights at the local park exploring the sky. They were gracious enough to allow us to look through their massive telescopes. Hope is our family’s science buff, and she thoroughly enjoyed her first attempt at stargazing through the lens.
LEAVES OF AUTUMN
The leaves begin to turn.
About God’s love and beauty
This is the time to learn.
Just look outside your window
At colors bright and bold.
Leaves of red and orange and brown
And some look like pure gold.
You say you don’t believe in God?
I say, how can you doubt?
When you go to your window
And simply just look out.
Outside my kitchen window
A tree grows strong and tall.
It brings such joy and peace of mind
To watch leaves of autumn fall.
It sways in winds but never falters.
And from its pattern never alters.
It must be God; no man can say
I made that tree to look that way.
The sun rays form a halo
Around that big strong tree.
And there’s a voice that seems to say
Look up and think of Me.
~~By Carrie Reger~~
1. My firstborn is home again! Shay arrived home on Sunday afternoon after spending 3 1/2 weeks in Florida. She had a good return flight and is now a pro at packing her bags and avoiding a TSA agent confiscating her full-size beauty products. She learned that lesson the hard way on her first flight. This picture of her and her lovely grandmas was taken at the airport in Florida when they dropped her off.
We left Florida early Monday morning, spent the night in North Carolina, and arrived at our new home in West Virginia around noon on Tuesday. About twenty people from the church were waiting to welcome us and help unload the moving truck. After a quick lunch prepared by some of the ladies, everyone got to work. It took just over an hour to unload the truck, which was ironic considering it took two entire days to load it! My goal for the day was to have a functioning kitchen and the beds in place. With the help of so many, we were able to pillow our heads on our own beds that night.
Wednesday was spent unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything. Our new home, while plenty big enough for us, is quite a bit smaller than our Florida house. I’m actually glad about that. A smaller home will be easier to clean, and I think we will spend more quality time together as a family not being spread out all over the place. We had our first church service Wednesday evening, and it touched my heart to see how excited the church folks were that we had finally arrived after months of anticipation. The elementary aged kids and teens had classes while the adults were in Bible study. Hope and Bryn had not visited West Virginia with us before, so they didn’t know what to expect at the church. They were pleasantly surprised to see so many young people for such a rural area. There were 15 children in the elementary group and 17 in the teen group. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
Thursday we went to the “big” town about an hour and fifteen minutes away to return the rental truck and do some shopping. I was dreading that initial trip to Sam’s Club; I think I spent enough to keep that store in business for at least another week! We arrived home just before dark. It was a long day, but relaxing and productive after several stressful days.
Yesterday we kept unpacking. Bryn and Case went “mudding” in a Polaris four-seater with some folks from the church. Apparently that is quite popular around here. With all the rain we’ve been having each evening, there was an abundance of mud! Today I’m going to try to finish unpacking my bedroom and bathroom and get them set up since I’m just about through with the main living areas. It’s wonderful to finally be able to see some floor space again!
It was very hard to say our goodbyes to family and friends in Florida a few days ago, but already we have been shown so much love by our new church family. The smiles, hugs, food, and kind words of welcome have gone a long way to comfort my tender heart. I know there will be some challenging days of homesickness in the future, but I have absolute peace about this move. Knowing that God’s hand has been in this from the very beginning gives me all the assurance I need. I want to thank all of you who have prayed or emailed me encouraging words. God has been so good!
We’re moving to West Virginia! Steven has accepted the call to be the senior pastor of a church there. He’s been co-pastoring with his father since we moved back to Florida from Georgia six years ago. We’ve seen the Lord do some great things over the last few years, but Steven has felt for the last year or so that we would be moving on if/when God opened the door. That door has clearly been opened, and we are walking through it by faith. While we are going to miss our family and friends tremendously, we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in West Virginia. We load the moving truck tomorrow, so please keep us in your prayers!
Happy December! It’s been super busy around here lately (what’s new, right?), but I hope to start posting regularly again. Blogging is something that I have to schedule into my day, and I just haven’t found that 25th hour yet. If you know where it’s hiding, please let me know. I’ll be back tomorrow, Lord willing.
For the great blessings He has sent my way.
For feet to walk and eyes to see,
And the gift of God that set me free.
I’ll rejoice in the Lord for ears to hear,
And in his precious Word that calms all fear.
He gives joy and peace to the troubled soul,
And through His promises we are made whole.
I’ll rejoice in the Lord for supplying my needs,
I’m far more important than the birds He feeds,
I’ll praise Him daily for His encompassing love,
For showers of blessing that come from above.
~Hugh Lee Stevenson
These Sandhill cranes took their time crossing my path while I was trying to exit a parking lot. I don’t think they understand “move!” or “hurry up!”. They have one speed: s-l-o-w. So, I sat there for a minute and enjoyed watching them.
We have quite a few of these wading birds in our area. They are beautiful, but they can also be a nuisance when you are clipping down the road and, suddenly, there’s one right in front of your vehicle. It’s no wonder that they are a threatened species in Florida. They are large, I guess around 4-5 feet tall when fully grown, and they make an amazing trumpeting call. It’s pretty neat to see them flap their large wings and take off.