Autumn, Trials

Autumn: Reflections in a Busy Season

Tree with brilliant red leaves

@JeanneTakenaka

I’m coming clean. I had a “grand plan” for this week’s post. I really did. But life . . . became a bit unwieldy these past couple of weeks and stripped my normal preparation time for the posts I share with you. I hope you’ll indulge me as I offer a few photos and autumn reflections I shared on Instagram in October. Next week, we’ll jump into November with quotes and thoughts on gratitude. I especially look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic. 

A small bush with flowers in all stages of growth--from buds to dead

(October 15) These colorful flowers caught my eye when I was walking the other day. I love how this little bush has flowers in every stage of life . . . everything from new bud to dying and releasing seeds. 

This bush is representative of healthy community. When we are in community with people, we all have something to offer the group . . . whether it’s the enthusiasm of a younger person or sage wisdom being released on the breezes of a breath. Those who are in full blossom of a happy stage of life uplift, and those weighed down by hard circumstances remind us to pray and lift them up.

God places us in community with others because He knows we function best when we are inter-dependent on others and on Him.

Colorful autumn leaves with sunlight backlighting them.

(October 19) I’m so glad I was able to shoot a few photos of fall brilliance before last week’s cold snap brittled all the leaves. I loved the color and the backlight of the sun on this particular morning. 

It got me thinking about how we all encounter life storms. Things may be going really well, and all of a sudden something strikes our lives, and everything changes. Whether it’s a job loss, a big disappointment, a diagnosis, or something else, changes can either brittle us or soften us. We can’t choose our storms, but we can always choose our response. 

When we let the storms brittle us, bitterness becomes our heart’s companion. But, when we turn to the Lord—especially when we don’t understand—we come to find peace and comfort. We can still see His beauty when our eyes are fixed on Him.

Two trees beginning to show autumn colors in the green and yellow leaves

(October 22) One reason I love fall so much is the vibrant colors God displays everywhere. Though we lost some of that this autumn with our early winter snow/ and cold snap, I keep looking back on the photos I took as a reminder of how He creates beauty.

And isn’t it true in life too? Even when we walk through hard seasons, we can look back in our memories and see how and where God showed up. 

*In an unexpected greeting card. 

*When He changed our directions to get us where He knew we needed to be for His purposes and our benefit

*In a hug from a friend or loved one.

Each of these display God’s beauty and care for us.

A tree covered in snow on a stormy day

(October 29) Well, it’s October 29th, and we are bundling up against the third snow storm in two weeks. This is not our common autumn! But, in the midst of the wintry weather, I still see God’s beauty. 

There are glimpses of beauty in every season, right? Whether it’s a physical storm, or an internal storm, we can find beauty if we look around. We must be intentional about lifting our eyes and scanning our surroundings. God sometimes reveals Himself in the seemingly insignificant things. 

Aspens with only a few leaves clinging to the branches

(November 2) I’m enjoying a few days in the mountains on a retreat. And this morning, with the crisp air and fresh sunlight, I loved how these leaves caught the rays.

Even more, I’m always in a wee bit of wonder when I observe the trunks of trees with bare branches. They’re a reminder that, with God, we can stand strong. When storms strike, we can dig our roots down deep in our Father, and be strengthened by Him. 

Even when our branches are barren . . .

. . . even when we feel empty . . .

our Father holds us strong, and He reveals flashes of color into the hard seasons.

What about you? What lessons have you learned this autumn? Where has God shown up in your life?

Click to Tweet: We can’t choose our storms, but we can always choose our response. 

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

12 thoughts on “Autumn: Reflections in a Busy Season”

  1. What lovely pictures! You have, and ARE, a gift.

    The lesson that I’ve lately learned
    came on a cooling autumn sky,
    in fragrance of the leaves fresh-burned
    and the high-born heron’s cry.
    I saw my life as in a frieze,
    and at the end I stood alone;
    I would not be driven to my knees
    nor my cancer’d fate bemoan.
    ‘Twas this that drove my tribe away,
    for they had not felt needed;
    they saw in me the cold hard way
    in which their love was left unheeded.
    One can’t play vulnerable for one’s ends,
    but the cool survivour has few friends.

    Like

    1. Andrew, there’s so much depth in your words. And though, in what you see in your picture, you stand alone. You don’t. There are lots of invisible hands leaning toward you in prayer, and there’s One who is always near, even when you don’t see Him.

      I’m continuing to pray for you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos and thoughts Jeanne! Everyday we can see the gifts and blessings of God when we take a moment to pause. Like you, I’m grateful to like photography as it makes me pause (although not daily, I’ll admit, but maybe when can retire from working full-time)! Have a blessed week of seeing more of God’s gifts to you.

    Like

    1. Lynn, there is something peaceful in pausing intentionally. Photography definitely stills me and keeps me looking around. 🙂 I hope your week is a blessed one too, with many glimpses of God’s beauty around you!

      Like

  3. As always, your photos and words nurture my soul, Jeanne. I love how you saw community in that one bush with flowers in every stage. And this – “Even when we walk through hard seasons, we can look back in our memories and see how and where God showed up.” Yes. Sometimes at the time when it is so dark, we can’t always “feel” God showed up, but it’s such a blessing when in hindsight He strengthens our memories of the evidence of His faithfulness. Thank you for your encouragement today, Jeanne. Love and blessings to you!

    Like

    1. Awww, Trudy. You are always so encouraging. I am always a bit surprised at what God shows me when I stop to think on His creation. And, sometimes it’s in those dark times, those times when we can’t see or feel much beyond the immediate, that we have to trust God is who He says He is, and is always with us. I’m so thankful for you, friend. Sending you love and blessings back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. maybe it’s true that a picture’s worth a thousand words! these are all so poignant, friend … and such a delight for both heart and eyes.

    i’m glad you went in this direction this week. loved it!

    * smile *

    Like

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.