Setting the Scene...

Today is a day I dream about every year. The air is crisp (think 65), the sky is blue (think not a cloud in sight), school is just around the corner (think Tuesday), college football has begun (think Game Day on ESPN), I have an apple spice cake in the oven (think of Heavenly smells), my coffee is steaming (think french vanilla), all my windows are open (think gentle breeze), and Travis and I are home (think picture perfect). Yes, today is officially the start of Fall in the Armstrong house. All of our favorite things are happening and later today, I'm going to start pulling out my fall decorations to make the transition complete.

It's funny how I'm able to simply let summer go, considering we certainly don't get a long one here in Minnesota. When it rolls around every year, I'm always grateful for the warm temperatures, for the opportunity to wear shorts and flip flops, and for the stretch of sunny days. But now that I'm back in the midwest, I'm just as ready for it to go again and for a new season to rush in. There's just something about starting a "new thing." Letting go of the past, starting over again, making new choices, growing in different ways, it's all part of the package. I think I love it so much because it's also so reflective of our walk with Christ.

"See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."
Isaiah 42:9

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

I love that the Lord is all about the "new thing." He has no desire to live in old ways, to dwell on former things, we do that. He is ready with new mercies everyday to usher us out of the old and into the new. It's an amazing benefit of knowing Jesus. We do not have to beat ourselves up over an old mistake and live with the shame and guilt it brings. He is ready and willing to lavish his forgiveness on us, after we have sincerely acknowledged our mistake, and to help us start over with a "new thing!" I've been reflecting on that this morning and just thanking Him for that blessing.

I don't know what your summer brought you, maybe it was a great one, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was full of victory or maybe it was a struggle through the valley of defeat. Regardless of how it was, it's time to do a "new thing!" Today is a new day, September is a new month, and Fall is a new season. I hope that you can find some peace in letting the old thing go, and living in the new thing.

Travis took his Mom to the airport this morning and we're looking at a great weekend ahead. We had such a great time with his Mom, just catching up, eating out, shopping, and being together. Don't they look so much alike? We LOVE to have family visit and this was no different. Ryley is so sad this morning because his "Grandma Pam" is gone...He's been following her around all week! I think now he's ready for a "new thing" too!

This weekend will be a nice one, our last rest before fall kick-off begins at Church. We've still got lots to do to pull it off, but I know it will get done. I can't wait to get to know the new 7th graders and to welcome back the 8th graders. It's fun to see how much these kids will change from the beginning of the year to the end. We're always amazed at how little they'll seem now and how old they'll seem in May! We've also got a crop of new leaders this year that we are excited about. God has really blessed us with some solid people who love junior high students...that's a rare thing to find!

I hope your Saturday is full of things you love. We are reveling in ours and so grateful for the "new things" ahead. Have a blessed day!


MiMi said...

OK, I'm ready for a change, too, but still too hot here to think about fall yet. (Although I DID see some mums out at the nursery last week!) I do LOVE the Fall, though, and you've got me anxiously looking forward to it!
I am glad that you had a good time with Travis' mom, and yes, - they do look a lot alike!
Have a great weekend!

amy said...

steph.. your posts are so refreshing! i LOVE fall as well... although it's looking to be just as busy as summer! :) ahhh... the life of being married to a pastor! i'm glad you had a great relaxing saturday.... you guys deserve it!!!