Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Please sit with me as I pour another glass of iced tea and serve my favorite scones. I know, it should be a pot of cinnamon tea in October but our temperatures continue to hover around 90. Very strange weather for this time of year.

For awhile I didn't think there would be a Sunday Afternoon Tea this week. It had been a difficult week for me already with a busy schedule and poor health colliding head on like those freight trains one sees in black and white movies. Then another chore looked like it was coming at me from another direction when Christopher needed high school transcripts by next week and we thought we had lost them on the computer when our Microsoft Office crashed earlier this year.

We did eventually find most of them but I will have to use my memory to redo one year. Note to other homeschoolers... make certain you document what you have learned each year and then back up the documentation whether it is elementary school or high school. Once again, ask me how I know. :)

Yesterday morning I was very drained and feeling overwhelmed with life right now. I was muttering and complaining to God, no different than the Children of Israel as they wandered through their own wilderness. Why did life have to be so HARD at times? Why did God allow sickness and disease to affect my body? I have tried to follow Him since my teens and you'd think things would have worked out just a little EASIER, Lord? Why do the wicked seem to have it so easy and those who love You have such trials? Sigh... questions asked for many millenia.

I told Him I needed to know I was not in some vacuum, all alone in the Universe. I needed a SIGN. I had in mind something spectacular like shooting stars in daylight but as I drove out of "town" and into the country, deciding to go the long way home, I began to notice my surroundings for the first time that day. I took my eyes off myself and my problems long enough to gaze at the fields and flowers (I'd forgotten there were autumn wild flowers), the maze color of the tall fields of feed corn now dry enough to harvest, the touches of yellow as the leaves begin to turn colors, the red tractor alone in a field awaiting a farmer to return from a break in the heat... and old fashioned tractor without air conditioning and radio for a small farm, my elderly neighbors variety of mums planted near the county road, the beauty of rural mailboxes set against the fence next to the Christmas tree farm.... overwhelming beauty, breathtaking in the simplicity of the gentle colors of early autumn.

My thoughts went to the title of a book by Francis Schaeffer, He Is There and He is Not Silent. No... He is never silent if one is willing to look in the right places. If we expect His Presence to be indicated by a lack of challenges then we will never "see" Him. However, this time of year we do not have to look very far to see His Presence. Just think of the very timing of nature that is so perfect we complain about 90 degree heat in October. How can we? Because there is a trusted and regular cycle that is Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Why? How?

That is why a simple drive through the country was all I needed to regain my faith. Nothing drastic... No laying on of hands and having all illness leave my body. No huge check in the mailbox. Just the realization that autumn was here. The temperatures may not feel like we are fully into the next season but everything else is just as it always is this time of year. Summer will lose her grip soon and we will once again pull out our sweaters, heat the apple cider, simmer the stews and soups, make an apple crisp in the oven to warm the kitchen as well as the body... those things we are suppose to be doing this time of year.

Winter will follow and we'll have fond thoughts of "too warm" days as the sharp and bitter winds hit our face on the way to the mailbox. Yet, if we remember the changing of seasons is another sign that He is in control, we will attempt to smile as the snow stings our nose. :)

He truly is There and He is not Silent.... not really. Not if we are listening to the right language. Like tuning the radio to pick up a familiar signal... He is there.

Someday that signal will be Home and the music will flow throughout the very air we breath. For now, we have to listen closely to hear it and look with eyes that see through cloudy lenses to see it... but He is there.

29 comments:

Mary Isabella said...

That is the most beautiful post!!! It lifted my spirits with the pictures yoy painted ,all the details Made me feel like I was seeing them for myself. I hope you are feeling better. LOL
Mary

Vee said...

Your blog has meant a lot to me for several months now. So often I find it a respite in the middle of life's discouragements. Thank you for being so open and willing to share your faith. You made me grin with your comment about "no laying on of hands, no check in the mailbox."

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Brenda.....Yes, yes, yes!! He is there, we just need to remember to look. Carefully. And He is not silent. We just need to hear with ears tuned to Him. This was right on the money, and a blessing to read. Thanks!

Theresa said...

Amen! "truly Thou art a God that hidest thyself" it says in Isaiah...He is there!
Am very late on keeping up with my own blog but I enjoy reading yours so much!
Lord bless, Theresa

Donetta said...

It is in the beauty all around us that he lays His hand upon us.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh Brenda, your writing is so special. The music perfectly reflects the mood of your writing today. As you write about the difficult times living in Faith, you help so many others to feel strong. I wrote about your wonderful blog on my post today. Your place is filled with beautiful writing, nostalgic images and inspiration. Blessings, Karen

Suzanne said...

Thank you for being so open and honest and giving us all a gentle reminder that he is indeed there in our difficult times:-)

Kari & Kijsa said...

We stumbled across your blog and we are so glad we did. What inspirational writing! Thanks for lifting us up today!

blessings, kari and kijsa

Jill said...

Brenda, that was beautiful. There is such beauty in the simple things around us. Your Autumn colours will be so beautiful. Here in Oz we are heading into another hot dry summer, but in the meantime we are enjoying the beautiful spring blossoms, but today, here in Perth, we are getting much needed rain. I hate to hear people grizzling about rain, it gives life. Our garden is enjoying this pre-summer drink!

Tealady Tammy said...

Well said Brenda. Thank you for sharing your heart. I am always inspired by your words. I pray your day has only gotten better and you have gotten rest.

Anonymous said...

This was timely for me. I took a 4 hour nap today, and would so much have rathered to take a drive up in the mountains to walk around our favorite small lake, our original plans. Alas, adrenal fatigue calls the shots, not the yearnings of my heart.
It's been a tough day of discouragement but you are right Brenda-God is always there, even when the silence seems deafening and we want our "why?" answered just one time.
Thank you for this post.
joanna

Quinne said...

Hi Brenda :) One of your lines begins "If we expect His presence...", and I was caught! I love the joy tucked into those five words. Love to you! Q

Barbara said...

Hi! Brenda

Thanks for visiting me and for your comments.
I liked the reality of this last post of yours.

Shelly @ thePINKbarn said...

Brenda...I so enjoyed your post this morning. Thank you for taking the time to share with me. You are a talented writer! And yes, God is amazing, creator of the universe, and chooses to speak to us! "My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation if from Him" (Ps. 62:5) This time of year (my favorite) always causes me to feel overwhelmed at His goodness.

"For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." (Isaiah 55:12)

Blessings!
Shelly

Cathy said...

That's a very sweet post, Brenda. You paint great pictures, even without your camera. :o) I do hope you are feeling better.

La Tea Dah said...

Beautiful thought --- he is there and he is NOT silent! I will think of that all day. I'm sorry you had a tough week. I hope this one is better and that you feel good soon. I came down with the tummy flu yesterday --- so it's a jammie day for me today, for sure! I'm sitting in front of the wood stove and am soaking up the heat on this glorious autumn day!

LaTeaDah

Anonymous said...

What an honest but heart warming post. What is it about Fall? I heard one man say, It only reminds him of everything dieing but we are still to enjoy the present. I think Fall puts such warmth in the air, the colors, apple and cinnamon, wow. The Lord is so Good I use to get much snow but none in this state. SC. Our weather too is so hot now. Janice

Heather L. said...

I really appreciated your post. I spent a lot of time reading "The Grand Weaver" yesterday and it was just the encouragement I needed.

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