Fall is here and it is my favorite time of the year. Oh, I know, it doesn’t officially begin until late September but to me once Labor Day weekend is over, fall has begun! Maybe I rush it because September brings my birthday and anniversary which I love celebrating but I think it has more to do with the change it brings. Gone (usually) are the hot humid days of summer and the air gets a crisp refreshing edge. The kids head back to school which brings a sense of structure and purpose and college football starts (Go Green!) with its excitement and hope for a successful season. Some may look at it like the beginning of the end: leaves are falling, flowers fading, and the freedom of summer lost but to me it brings new possibilities. We have a second chance for a new beginning, our “do-over” for New Year’s in case those resolutions didn’t quite work out so well. Personally I am grateful for “do-overs.” While I strive to do what is right, I unfortunately find myself in the Apostle Paul’s shoes more often than I like.
I want to do what is right, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong but I do it anyway. Romans 7:19
Have you ever felt like that? Wondered “Why did I say that?” or “Maybe I am being selfish?” I know I have. Let’s face it, we are only human and with that comes the daily possibility to fall short of the example Jesus has set for us. Good thing we have an inspired resource to turn to in case we need a reminder on how to be better at doing life!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Nine qualities to adopt and incorporate into how I relate to the world around me. How hard can that be? To be honest, it depends on the day. I try and some days are better than others. Can you relate? The amazing thing is that God’s mercies are new every day!
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:23
I don’t know about you but I find great comfort and hope in that truth! Have you ever made a decision that you regretted? It doesn’t have to define you. You cannot change the past but learn from it and move forward. I used to agonize over things I could not change but realized that all those experiences have brought me to the place I am today. Forgiveness is a powerful thing! Whether it is forgiving someone else or yourself.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
In many ways, I am in the fall season of my life, the next chapter where my roles and how I approach them are changing. While I welcome the change it is a process. You would think I’d have it down by now, but I am still trying to work it out! Just like September, this stage brings new opportunities and adventures which is awesome and terrifying all at the same time. I am sure I will stumble along the way and need a “do-over” or two. Thankfully I have my faith to guide me along the way!
Lord, thank you for the hope you give and the forgiveness you so graciously offer. Help me to seek your ways as I move through each day and each stage of life so that I can reflect your love and mercy. Amen!