Monday, March 15, 2010


The following are pictures of the same place taken at different seasons.

The clear, cool waters of Spring drift down the river as the green trees linger over the waters and life abounds.  Who can pass by without dipping their toes into the water and giggling as it tickles the toes?!

Such are the young days of our lives; everything feels new and bright and wonderful.  We giggle easily, we find beauty in the smallest of things.  We are held in awe at the sight of butterflies as they twitter about among the fresh flowers of the field.  We are young and we only see what lies immediately before us.  We have little responsibility but to enjoy being alive.  We may marry and even have young children in this stage of our lives.  We are in rapt attention for every change that occurs, every smile on our babies' faces, every sweet word spoken by our beloved.  It is a time of pure joy.

The 'dog days' of Summer have now settled in.  It's hard work making it through the summer, the waters thicken with the algae.  What once looked so inviting and cool, now looks foreboding and dirty.  One takes a quick glance and turns away, not seeing the beauty that still lies in the green forest because we don't want to look at the murky waters of the river.

The summer of our lives comes when those responsibilities we once took for granted begin to weigh heavy on us.  Our children are growing up.  We begin to think of college funds as we rush from one hectic day to the next.  We may feel as though our life is a bit of a drudge; too much to do, too much money is needed, too many commitments.  We lose ourselves in the 'algae' that has gathered over our lives.  We loose sight of the beauty that still lies within us and around us because we don't want to face the 'algae'.

Fall has now come to the river.  The water is clearer again, but not as clear or as tempting as in the Spring.  The trees have lost their leaves, the forest looks barren and uninviting.  It's as though the waters and the trees can sense the coming Winter.  Yet, even in this seemingly barren time, the beauty of the foliage pops at us in bright splashes and the green of those determined vines continues to call for our attention.

The Fall of our lives can seem like a lonely and dark time.  Our children may be grown and have now moved away to start families of their own.  Our parents may now be frail and need us more and more, or they may have gone Home to meet the Lord.  Our own health may begin to fail.  Our bodies weaken and we may feel as though we just aren't useful anymore. 

Yet, there in our lives are those 'pops' of joy in the faces of those we love, in the joy of worship with our chosen church family, in the peace of sitting quietly with our beloved.  Those green spaces are still determined to give us hope and joy in these times of our life.  God smiles on us and reminds us of His love for us and of all He has blesssed us with. 

Perhaps this is the time of our life that our beloved is taken to Glory.  We feel the barrenness of being alone and we may feel as though the 'pops' are gone forever from our lives.  The greens may be a bit subdued by the darkness of our grief.  Yet, if we look, we can still find the colors of joy even in the most barren and desolate times of our life.  We can look to the Winter with hope and peace when we know it is only the prelude to the Rebirth!

  Winter now drapes it's white blanket over the barren trees and it's chilly fingers carress the waters as they freeze in it's grasp.  Yet, the forest looks almost joyful for it knows what awaits at Winter's end....the Rebirth of Spring!

Awwww, the Winter!  What a joyful time winter should be in the life of a Christian!  Snow may be on the roof, or it may be bare; but what a lovely time when we know we will soon be going Home!  Our bodies may be worn out, but our spirits now shine with the wisdom of years of loving and serving our Lord.  We have suffered loss, we have walked the mountain tops, very little remains outside our realm of experience.  Yet, one thing awaits that causes us to look longingly for those dying days of that Winter season.  We now yearn for the day when our Rebirth will occur; that day when Jesus will call our name and we will be taken to Heaven to abide with Him forevermore!

I am in what I would describe as the mid-Fall of my life.  I thought there just wasn't much left for me to enjoy when my husband was called Home.  For the most part, I spent the last year thinking only of rushing into and through my Winter so I too could go Home.

Now, I realize my Fall is still in full aray.  The joy remains though now tempered with the grief of such a painful loss.  Just as steel is tempered to make it stronger, I feel I have now come out of the darkness of my grief a stronger Christian and now ready to face the remaining seasons of my life with joy and anticipation for where the Lord will take me and what He will have me do.

My winter has not yet come and I no longer yearn for it to quicken it's arrival.  When the times comes, I am ready to see my Jesus and my loved ones again.  Until then, I will serve the Lord with gladness in the place He has planted me.

My Earthly Home
Lessons on Life

You cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season.
The essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come
from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.


Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don't judge life by one difficult season.

When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

                                             Psalms 73:  21 - 28  (NIV)


Constance said...

Sweet Diane
You are such a blessing to me and to all of us sisters in the "hood"! It does my heart good to see that the Lord has refined and refreshed you and you have begun to feel joy once again!

I was thinking as I read your Fall and Winter entry, we are to be transformed throughout our life, our seasons. We start out all brash and ready to take on the world. In time we grow and realize that this life we live is a preparation for heaven. We are to grow and change until we lose all of that brashness of youth and be transformed into vessels of wisdom and light. Those experiences of walking with God on the mountaintops and being carried by Him through the desert places are far more precious than whatever the appeal of youth/Spring can hold!

love ya gal!

Trish said...

There is such wisdom in your words Di. Beautiful, because you have come through the fire and God has prepared you to minister to others.
The Lord has a work for you sweet friend. The fall of your life, will be a wonderful season...helping others to see His Glory!

Pat said...

I have never read more beautiful or descriptive words about the stages of our lives. Being in the fall of my own life, I see it so clearly now. We must go through the become seasoned!
Love you Sister!

Samantha said...

Sweet cousin Diane,
Such beautiful words as always and such a blessing to me you have always been.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts and your heart with us.
Love you dearly,

Anonymous said...

Dear Diane, I needed those laughs. Whehe you found your material is a miracle. I am not signed in to Bloggers so I will sign in as anonymous Elsie <><