Seasons are refreshing, scary and are many times not defined by what you see. If you've lived here in North Carolina like I have all my life, you will see warm "summer like" days arrive sometimes in March or April, but summer doesn't offiically arrive until June. Just the same, we may get a winter snow in March or even April. I remember walking through McAdenville one year at Christmas wearing shorts! You see, seasons are not defined by what we see! They are defined by a mark on a calendar or time!
Seasons can be hard to adjust to, or they can be welcomed with excitement! The ones that are hard for me to adjust to are ones that arrive a little quicker than anticipated. Especially when I haven't sorted through the cold winter wear to bundle in. I also am reminded that just like I enjoy the fall season, it's hard to enjoy fall when it's still early September, 92% humidity and 100*F outside! It's just not the same, no matter how many pumpkin candles I burn or pumpkin spice latte's I drink!
We've been in a season of change over this last year. It arrived a little too early for me - or at least I had initially thought. It had been a season of saying goodbye to family, friends and co-workers them moving into the next seasons for their families, as well as for us moving into new places and new jobs, new homeschool communities and fun as well as new friendships and church families. It's been a season of change in almost every area of our family. It has been a season requiring greater faith, courage and strength to stand and watch God be faithful to His promises. Watching to see God's hand in this season gently guide, strongly protect and faithfully provide.
As I was thinking about this season for The Haas', and for me personally, I'm thankful for a friend who shared a dream about an oak tree. It got me digging a little deeper to understand some things God was speaking to my heart. If you've ever enjoyed the shade of an oak tree, they bring such refreshment and rest on a hot summer day. Especially with a packed picnic basket in tow. These tree's can provide protection to animals and sometimes people when caught in a summer rain storm. The green leafy branches extended fully to protect others around. They also provide such beauty in the fall when the leaves begin to change. Again - seasons can bring many outward signs of purpose!
Over the last few days, as leaves are now falling, I can't help but to remember what is going on underneath in the winter time when all the beauty and purpose of the leaves seems to have deteriorated or fallen off. What's happening when the limbs are bare? When there is no "outward" attraction of it's purpose? I am reminded that this is when the most critical and valued part of the tree is growing - inside, deep roots are expanding! You may not see it outwardly, but the roots are going deep!
Never before have I really been excited about the arrival of the COLD WINTER season. It get's darker earlier. It's colder. People get the "stuffies". Dry skin may try to prevail. There's not much beauty around with all the tree's going bare. PLUS ....All those bulky coats and sweaters don't make a lady feel so pretty.
Now, I am choosing to change my "thinker's" thinking. This year I'm excited about the winter season, that season that looks forgotten, dormant or without value or worth. You see, that's where the depth of healthy fruit (beauty, rest, refreshment, love, protection) will last! It's not just about the tree's, It's about what is in me. Are my roots doing deep in God's Word, His love, His Heart? I'm seeing the beauty of what God is doing and what He is creating for us! What He designed for us to be a part of! There is always a bigger picture at work if we are willing to dig deeper into the root system. Changing perspective also helps! I want His perspective in it all!
Let's get the sled's ready! Winter will be arriving! It's beautiful outside! Let's go! Bundle Up! It's getting cold out there!
Genesis 1:13-14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so.
Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
The Oak Tree is Considered to be one of the most significant and magnificent trees in the whole world. Overall the oak tree is a very strong and sturdy wood, and represents many things, including that of the concept of longevity, and of wisdom. This is a tree that stands the test of time.