It’s November, one of my favorite months of the year. I don’t know if you love all-things home
like I do, but I have my autumn décor and colors out, and I’m about to slash open some
pumpkins for pumpkin pie. The leaves have mostly fallen, and with the crunch of them under
foot, I’m reminded of the fresh change the rhythm of seasons brings about. And this is to say
nothing about the uses of butternut squash, apples, and things like cinnamon, cloves, and
ginger in all manner of recipes.
I wonder if you’re in a happy season or a sorrowful one, if you’re looking forward to the holiday
season or approaching it with dread, if spring and summer are your months to shine, while fall
and winter feel like one long crawl under the covers? No matter how the current season finds
you, it feels like a good time to talk about three benefits to seasons that I hope will be
1. Seasons bring newness, even when they’re hard. Can we all agree we’re happy that it’s
not 95 degrees with 100,000% humidity every day of the year? (unless you live in the
Amazon jungle, one of my favorite places…whoops!) Reflected in God’s creation are the
rhythms of life that bring forth both blossoms and dying leaves, fallow ground and
freshly plowed soil, dormant seeds and prolific crops, freshly fallen snow and
shimmering summer’s dew.
The changing of seasons reminds us that God is always doing a new thing, even when
we find ourselves in a long season of what feels like interminable death to self, pruning,
and cutting back of comforts. No season lasts forever. Let the good Master Gardener
(John 15:1-5) have His way with you. He will never waste a painful season.
2. Seasons make us grateful. Last year was a challenging year for me on many fronts. I had
work challenges I couldn’t resolve, despite throwing every cell of energy and thought
into fixing them. My house was being renovated, and though this does not qualify in the
least as “suffering,” I was displaced for much longer than I anticipated, and being
without my home was hard on my daily rhythms and sense of well-being. (If you’re
about to do a house project, add eight months and a zillion dollars to your current
expectations.) And I was dealing with the pain of a loved one.
God used that time to sanctify me (purify me and make me more like His Son, Jesus),
even though it was a difficult season. In fact, I would say it was precisely the difficulty
that God used to lovingly prune away my reliance on my own resources and abilities.
But it wasn’t just a taking away, it was an adding. I learned more gentleness, patience,
prayer, and more of resting in His presence with me. Now that I’m in a new season,
where many of the things I was facing have been resolved, I’m more grateful for a
peaceful and joyful season than I would have been.
3. God works in every season, but He doesn’t change with them. One of the things I’ve
been studying in seminary is God’s immutability, meaning His unchanging nature.
Though the literal seasons change, and the seasons we walk through continually give
way to the next, our God remains the same (Heb. 13:8). We can count on His
faithfulness, goodness, and presence to remain unshakable and steady.
I was recently on a panel at a Fresh Grounded Faith event with my friend Jennifer
Rothschild. Someone asked her what we’re to do when we don’t feel like God is near.
Jennifer pointed out the word “feel” and how important it is that we don’t base our
perception of His nearness on our feelings. She wasn’t dismissing our feelings or
diminishing their importance, rather she was turning our attention to God’s attributes
and nature—His love for us doesn’t change even when our seasons do.
So, just a word of encouragement however this November finds you. If you’re in a challenging
season, surrender to God’s work in your life. The pruning will only mean a greater harvest when
the spring showers come and the sun’s summer rays shine down. And if you’re in a season of
joy and tangible blessings, rejoice in your heavenly Father who gives good gifts to His children
**Kelly would also like to include this fun, fall ginger snap recipe for the holidays with the
As we head into the New Year I hope you're making plans to study the Bible. So many wonderful tools and options are available and the most important thing is that you choose something and commit to it. If one of my studies could be of help to you I'd love to come...
Day 1: Preparing Our Hearts As we seek to turn our hearts to the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray these devotionals will be an encouragement to you, an anchor in a season that thrives on busyness and activity (and materialism while we’re at it.) For some of...
Entertaining during Thanksgiving and Christmas can be stressful but a lot of pressure can be eliminated with a little planning and by keeping our daily focus on Jesus’ command to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Here are a few tips to get organized and...
Filmmaker and journalist Miriam Weinstein once asked in The Surprising Power of Family Meals: What if I told you that there was a magic bullet—something that would improve the quality of your daily life, your children’s chances of success in the world, your family’s...
For the past year and a half, I’ve been positively captivated by Matthew’s Gospel, specifically how he crafted the material about Jesus’ life in between Matthew 4:23 and 9:35. What Matthew states in 4:23 he repeats in 9:35: Jesus went all over Galilee “teaching in...
“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). As followers of Jesus, we’ve all had the feeling of grasping for one of these fruits of the Spirit while wondering if we had a...
I recently finished writing a Bible study on the life of Joseph. His story is captivating for countless reasons—we all “get” Joseph on some level. We can relate to him. We may never have had a multicolored robe that nearly cost us our lives hanging next to...
I’m battling an invasive weed cropping up in my vegetable garden beds. It surreptitiously twists itself around my tomato vines while somehow looking like part of the team. It’s quick to grow and hard to root out. Its most troubling quality is its ability to blend in...
I grew up in a church environment where a “Plan of Salvation” was regularly presented. If you prayed the sinner’s prayer, it was generally understood that no matter what happened from there on out, you were saved and good to go. Bibles were sometimes passed out with...
The concept of delegating isn’t a new one. Anyone who’s been a leader in any capacity knows that at some point you have to let go of certain pieces of your work. You realize that you can’t get to everything and you’re not good at everything. You see the idea of...