Les Petits Bonheurs #34…

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Christmas is coming…

In my family, the minute the calendars are flipped to November 1st, it’s Christmas time in our house. Holiday baking commences, Christmas albums come out of storage, and the decorating soon follows. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite time of the year, and every year I am determined to make them last as long as possible, which is why I have already begun purchasing holiday clothing (AKA the ugly Christmas sweaters) this month.

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Everything about the this winter season makes me super nostalgic and happy, and I can’t wait until it’s time to go see Christmas lights.

How about you? What are some of your family traditions?

Les Petits Bonheurs #16…

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So, it is officially summer! It has been summer for about two weeks now, but with a busy schedule it has taken me a bit of time to absorb the fact that I no longer have to study most of my days away. I have a fair amount of free-time now that I am starting to settle down into my new routine, which makes me hopeful that I can finish some of my long-in-coming reviews of books that I read in March, April, and May. *sighs* I am more than a little behind, but I am excited that I will eventually get caught up, even if I am wee bit behind other bloggers.

This summer has definitely inspired me to revise my reviewing process since I’m not the fastest writer/editor, so we’ll see what comes of that, and I’m very excited to start checking things off of my reading list! Before my summer commenced, I had this strange desire to just reread all of the books on my shelf that I love and to give ones that I did not particularly care for a second chance, despite the fact that there are quite a few new books that I should get caught up on. So, my summer reading list is actually a blast to the past/nostalgia list, with quite a few contemporary novels on it, which is not usually my preferred genre. This summer just seems like the right time to drown in fluffy contemporary novels and some of the greatest hits that I own.

All that being said, I am honestly not sure how many new reviews I will be doing this summer. I think that I might rewrite some of my old reviews if my perspective changes toward the books after their next reading, but I am still hoping to write a few new reviews in addition to having a couple of random posts that are befitting of the summer season. I honestly don’t know what’s coming down the blogger road, but I’m kind of excited that it’s unplanned, and I hope you don’t mind the off-roading experience that’s up ahead.

Fallen Leaves.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

–John 12:24

Have you ever taken the time to look outside your window and really LOOK beyond its panes to see the seasons outside? I used to live in Colorado and while living there, I experienced real seasons (where I live now, barely any trees change from green to brown unless there is a new water restriction in place). While I was a kid living there, my most favorite season was fall. There is something that is just breathtaking about trees during that time of the year. Fall is my season, and I really miss the vibrant colors that would take your breath away, the spicy, rich scent of decaying leaves heavy in the newly chilled air. Thinking back on those colors and smells, it makes me think about life and death, and how sometimes the end of something is greater, more beautiful and impacting than its beginning. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Today I was just sitting at my computer, wondering to myself, “What could I write about, and what could be important to share with people?” Then the seasons came to mind; there are so many seasons to our lives, good and bad, and I want to encourage you in them. The saying, “When it rains, it pours” is very true, and as my life goes on, I see it more and more for my family’s lives and my own. But it also has to do with perspective, too, and God is still good! He arises to each occasion, and as the trials get harder and harder, God gets stronger and stronger in your life. Seasons make no difference to God, the only difference is whether you give that season of your life up to God, allow Him to fix it the way He (not you) wants to. It is so hard to give them to God, but He has a greater capability than you and me, and He will do an amazing job compared to what we would be able to accomplish by ourselves.

At times when I look outside, I sometimes see Him. I see Him in the waves at the beach, the way they move so surely, so strong and powerfully; they are unwavering. I see Him in the cloudless night, stars shining so bright, all for us to behold and admire His beautiful handiwork. I see Him in the seasons, too, especially fall. The beauty of that season is absolutely amazing to me! The way everything explodes into color, as if it stored all its glory for the end, is just fabulous! The way each leaf seems to have its own breath, leaving a warm, spicy scent in its wake, a smell that remains long after it has died and shriveled away. I think life is the same way. King Solomon wrote that the “end of a thing is better than its beginning”, and now that I really think about it, I have to agree. Look at people in the Bible, how the most impacting people (Jesus for one) were people who laid down their lives for the Call, for God. Sometimes it wasn’t even by dying, but by laying down their lives (giving up what they wanted) for others. Those men and women who laid down their lives are like the fall season in the way that their end was so much more beautiful than their beginning; they shined bright and beautiful in their ends for all to see, all to remember. We, as Christians, are meant to die to ourselves, pick up our cross, and live for Christ, live like those men and women.(Mark 8:34) I’ll be honest; I am really, really bad at it. I like to live for myself; it feels good, but those feelings, I have realized, will not last forever. Who will I be when this life is done? How will I be known? Did I ever really do what I was called to? I guess I won’t know until I meet Him. But while I am here, I need to change, grow into who I was made to be. I don’t know who I am here on earth, but God knows, and He will show me; He can and will show you, too! So, I guess what I am trying to get at is this: we have to lay our desires, ourselves, aside for others for our sunrises to dawn. Jesus died for many, and His sunrise, His dawn will shine for all to see, even those who never wanted to see. It is time we follow His example (me especially) and create, with Him, our own special sunrises. The bigger the better, as long as you do it for and with Him! Are you up for that challenge? How great will your colors be, and who will people see within you? I hope that one day, close or far away, that someone will come to me and say, “I saw Jesus in yours.”

P.S. I like this quote by Charlotte Bronte. We don’t need to be perfect in life, just give it your best try!

“God does not look at the success of the efforts, but at the efforts themselves.”

–Charlotte Bronte