If you're actually among the few to read this ol' post- you better grab a cup of something and get cozy- it's a long one ;p
I love this time of year! The weather cools off - the leaves start to change - jackets and pretty scarves begin to be pulled out - cute boots get to be worn (but not out of necessity just yet;) -pumpkin patches are found around every corner - apples are ripe for picking - nights around the bonfire begin again - hayrides and corn mazes are penciled in on the To-Do list & the Season of Autumn truly begins to take root. Or at least it use to.
Florida is different. Florida Fall for me is something that I'm realizing I need to work at appreciating. I feel bad even admitting that! It's beautiful here - I truly have NO right to complain. I have just realized that instead of the winter blues that I often felt in MD - due to the fact that my bones just hate the cold (and yes cold to me is anything below 65;) I have the Autumn blues here in FL because I just LOVED this time of year in MD so very much. And frankly it's just weird to me that I shouldn't be looking for warm fluffy or furry Halloween costumes for the kidddos because here they would fall over from heat exhaustion before a sugar crash! So of course this is the time of year when I do find myself home sick a bit- and for those family & friends who read this it isn't the weather alone- it's the fall gatherings that occur during this time as well which means spending time w/ many of you watching our kiddos pick pumpkins together or beg a stranger for candy or sit around a fire -any and everything that involves You- I miss. And that's when the miles and distance are felt the most. But here we are.... =)
Called to Florida as I say 'for such a time as this'. In truth that could mean forever or for just a few years- only God knows. But I do know that He brought us here and I shall not complain (just vent a bit-lol) on my Seasonal Blues. And above all I will continue to Greatly thank the Lord for the new friends He has brought into my life here- some who even seem like they've always been a part =) And that simple reason was one day brought to my attention when a dear friend sat at our bar in 66Beans and told me that friendships like those are rooted in the 'spiritual' so it's natural to seem as if you've always known or will know someone =) I think there's a lot of truth in that. In fact I know there's a lot of truth in that!
When we first moved here last summer I prayed for the friends I knew I needed! After all don't we need to do life with others? So leaving behind so very many wonderful people and coming to a place where no one knew me or knew my family - where I came from- who my husband was - how many kids I had - where I grew up - how many times I've changed my hair color ;p I knew I needed people - ladies who would become good friends- quickly! And for me there's only one place to meet people fast who I'd have common ground with right from the start- church.
If there's been any constant in my life other then family & friends it's been God. Jesus. His Spirit. He's been my anchor in times when the waves of life have wanted to pull me under. He's been my rock when everything around me felt so unstable. He's brought me Joy & Peace that I'd only know through knowing Him. And I only hope you can say the same! Blessed to be raised in a Christian home I can only imagine what it must be like to endure moments of unrest - moments of crazy sadness - burdened and rocked to your core - moments of silly seasonal Blues -without knowing The One who can rescue you from those times and cause your eyes to look up & to See His Love all around. Because it's there for us- daily and it's a Love that's so deep that it can only come from Him. In fact it's a place deep within each of us that He created so that we would at some point get to a place where we realized we were missing Him all along. (i didn't make that up-it's in the bible;) And even for those of us who Believe - those of us who are 'known by our Love' go through times when we allow life to take first place and our eyes begin to shift from Him to everything or everyone else around us. And oh how easily it can occur in our fast paced world - even when we busy ourselves with "His work".
What do I mean & how do I know- I've been there- too many times than I'd like to recall.
Living here in FL now for over a year I've had numerous friends and family from back home tell me "FL looks so good on you" or "You look so happy" -which first makes me question how I was looking before -lol- but truly it's made me evaluate why. For me I know it's more then all the Vitamin D I'm soaking in - and I know it's more then the fact that I get to enjoy more family time - but it's Greatly due to the fact that I've made my relationship with God a priority again. Truth be told if I were in MD living the same lifestyle we have here I would be hearing the same. It's not Location - it's not the new Vocation- it's Determination in keeping first things first again. Back home I allowed the business of 'doing good things for Him' replace my personal time with Him- and the scary thing is I didn't even realize it. But He did. He Knew. And He rescued me from myself. Now that may sound weird or extreme to some -thinking I needed to be rescued- but truly I did. Life began to get so out of balance - and I couldn't blame it on having a business - couldn't blame it on taking on design jobs on the side to help out financially - couldn't blame it on saying yes to this 'good thing' or to that good thing - I could only blame it on allowing all those things to replace Him - to crowd out my time with Him. So the pressure and the stress piled up- as it does for so many of us - and for me it began to manifest itself in ways of a constant rapid heart beat - the kind that wakes you up from a dead sleep with your heart pounding like you ran a marathon. Mental manifesting itself into the physical - later to be revealed that it was rooted in the spiritual. And this realization only truly occurred this past year when God had to literally Move me not just physically but spiritually. And He could only do that because I became so desperate in my crying out to Him (scared something was greatly wrong with my body) that I finally placed Him first again. I didn't squeeze Him in- I squeezed everything else in- and He once again was able to direct my steps. He was able to do what I couldn't do alone - bring me the Peace that I was so desperately in need and search of and once again I was able to Hear His voice! And a few things He has had to say haven't necessarily been easy to swallow- some things I hope to slowly reveal through words on this screen when time allows (but now I have hungry kiddos I'm going to have to attend to and for your sake it'd make this long post even longer).
So I'll wrap it up with this - because truly it's the thing that you too can be Blessed by-
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you" -Matthew 6:33
Basically if we would just remember to keep God first - first in our every day lives - from the simplest of things to the greatest of things (because after all it's all simple to Him) - everything else will flow with a lot more ease. He'll be able to move in and around us. He'll be able to direct our steps - He'll be able to help us say No to the things we aren't called to do or be a part of when we'd love to say yes and add them to our plate. We'll find Rest for our Souls - and our bodies -because He knows for us mamas especially - a worn down body is Not a good thing ;) We will begin to realize margin is a good thing and filling our schedules to the max isn't what He requires (after all Jesus himself rested while walking here on earth) - He'll reveal to us that at times even the things that we could use our gifts and talents to help others out still aren't meant to be things for us to do at this time. Life comes in Seasons... and this Autumn Season friends I only hope you feel Peace and Joy & I hope you're surrounded by those you love who begin to say... "You look so much Happier"! =)