-Bert Salisbury, October 2015
I have to laugh each time I walk outdoors. Our beautiful neighborhood is lined with two sets of gorgeous, truly gigantic maple trees. During the spring and summer the tops of the trees form a canopy as they almost touch each other across the street. Those trees identify our neighborhood and visitors come from all over to ooh and ahh at their grandeur.
Today, those ancient reminders of God's glory are shedding by the minute and a cushion of orange and red and yellow and green leaves covers our sidewalks and lawns and flower beds. It's truly a sight to behold.
When you live where there are four distinct seasons, you get to see God's glory shining in Mother Nature's antics.
After a stark winter and snow, I wait each year with baited anticipation for the very first green leaf to present itself. It's like waiting for Christmas morning... seeing first one then ten then twenty leaves appear again. The barren trees, one more time and for one more season, give birth to a fresh newness.
I always give a sigh of relief when I see those first leaves peak out after a tough winter. Ahhh...I think to myself. All is right with the world again. If there is spring then surely there will be a summer!
To everything...turn, turn, turn...
There is a season...turn, turn, turn...
And a time for every purpose unto Heaven.
Truthfully, since Bert and I are gardeners, fall is a bit nostalgic as we tuck our gardening tools away for another time. We compost old leaves and ready the plants for the colder temperatures.
It's a bit like nesting before a baby is born.
It's getting ready for the unseen. A sense of wonder in all that God has created and restored.
Life is like that right now. Seasons are changing in our lives. It's a time of nostalgia and a time of anticipation.
We are choosing JOY and GRATITUDE at every turn. Even when that isn't easy to do.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that my beloved Bert suffered a TIA stroke not long ago.
While the stroke was a mild one compared to what it might have been, it has been a life changer and re-arranger.
There is a new normal going on at our house. In a blink of an eye, life changed. It does that sometimes you know. And those life changes give us a chance to move toward fear and anger and resentment or move closer to God, to rely on Him.
To choose to see His grace in our lives. To choose to
open up instead of shutting down. To choose to talk about the blessings and the fears.
To choose to be fully present and alive in this moment, no matter how hard this moment is.
While some days I am a complete emotional mess, and cry all the way to work as I listen to my Christian
CD, I find that instead of being depleted, I am more real and more open and more vulnerable.
And on other days I am marinated in happiness just by the fact that Bert is still here. That I can kiss his sweet face and hear him tell me he loves me.
That is enough, and all is right with my world.
This isn't easy, yet what I told our adult children is that we didn't sign up for easy. Bert and I signed up for living each day to the fullest, no matter what.
We signed up for loving the life God gave us, even when that life is turned upside down.
We signed up for "better or worse" and those sacred words really do mean something important. They are a promise. Given to each other, sacred before God.
And we are so grateful, because this could have been way worse. Yet it still is a life-changer. It isn't easy.
The life lessons come down each day, almost like those leaves leaking from the trees, and we are focusing on being grateful for each one.
We are so grateful for every prayer and kindness shown to us. For cards and calls and meals. It's humbling to accept them, yet we know that they sustain us much more than the giver could imagine.
They remind us that we matter.
And so do you... matter. You matter to me. You matter to God. No matter how hard your own journey is right now, you matter. The Lord God Almighty loves me and He loves you. He is here in every minute, every breath. And how good it is to know that He will never, ever, ever leave or forsake us!