The wind whipped today, and I found myself shivering a few times while out with my dogs, despite being bundled in my winter coat, and gloves, freshly pulled from the closet for the first time since April. The weekend too, felt different, with rains, wind, the cold coming in, and sparse sunshine.
A new season is upon us.
There’s no hiding from it, especially considering NEXT WEEK is Thanksgiving. Which means Christmas will creep up in no time.
I’m still trying to hold on to the bits and pieces of fall, though. I came upon this beautiful spot last week, as the fall colors were desperately holding on for a few more days of glorious color.
The scene appeared to me as a welcoming, an invitation. Perhaps it was its warmth, or its opening to a world of color; I’m not sure exactly, but I do know that I want to receive this beautiful invitation.
And so I wonder…what will these weeks hold? What is this season inviting me to?
That’s the question on my heart.
There is certainly a pull to the hustle and bustle, frantic rushing, fretting over supply chain issues, making and performing so that everything is just right, or at least looks just right on Instagram.
But I don’t think that’s what our hearts truly want.
What if we could heed the invitation to slow down, to look, and listen, to soak up the season for all that it truly is?
That type of attentiveness and openness to the world around us seems to become harder in this holiday season – gone are the gorgeous sights of spring, summer, and beautiful spots like these from the fall.
And instead we come upon the barrenness of the winter.
But even in a season of darkness and decay, there is light and there is life happening below the surface…Will we notice it?
I have been learning and striving in this work, as I’ve shared a bit about with summer wildflowers, fireweed, and the unfurling of ferns. But I am still learning, always learning. And right now, I am really enjoying thinking about this spiritual practice in terms of holy noticing.
In his book, Holy Noticing: The Bible, Your Brain, and the Mindful Space Between Moments, Charles Stone describes this as “Noticing, with a holy purpose, God and His handiwork, our relationships, and our inner world of thoughts and feelings.” But central to this slowing down and awareness to both surroundings and what’s going on inside us, is noticing God first and foremost, and trusting his goodness and timing, accepting that we do not know and see everything.
What an invitation that is!
To see, to notice the good, to trust.
That is the invitation that I am going to accept for this season, even if in some moments it is more of a begrudging acceptance. And I hope you will join me, too. But whatever the invitation that is on your heart this season, I hope you will accept.
May we all find the opening to slow down, and to listen to whatever the welcoming is that weighs on our soul. And when we slow down, when we listen, may we hear and know the lovingkindness of the Lord.
- The Music of Spring
- Forsaking Perfectionism: The Living Water of God’s Love
- New Year, New Mercies Each Day
- God is Not Santa Claus