Fall is beautiful where I live. The velvety Blue Ridge Mountains have spun the color wheel and landed on warm yellows, oranges and reds.

I’m blessed to live in an area that enjoys all four seasons, and I enjoy watching them come and go.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (niv)

The cyclical nature of life amazes me, everything in constant motion toward the next season. All of it under the watchful eye of God.

Change can be hopeful when it’s something you’ve looked forward to and can enjoy with God’s blessing. Graduations, weddings, and retirements promise new exciting horizons. Change is stressful when the unexpected wrecks us or life takes a tragic turn. Events like death, illness, and job terminations usher in feelings of loneliness as we face the unknown.

Since change to be a constant in life, it’s healthy to remember some of the most comforting words in scripture:

It came to pass

Because it always does. Sometimes the change is for the better, leaving us in situations that bless our socks off. But sometimes change leaves us with holes in our hearts. Holes that never quite close. The jagged edges of hurt may smooth with time, but the hole remains.

As I look at some of the holes in my life, I’m reminded of the only One who knows their full scope. The One who knows the emptiness and Who can fill it perfectly and completely.

Jehovah Shammah

He is always there. As circumstances change, as people come and go, as trees drop their leaves preparing for their winter rest, we rest in this important truth:

We are never alone. Omnipotent, Sovereign, Unchanging: God is present, making everything beautiful in its time (Eccl 3:11a).

Email Author    |    Website About Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell is a wife to Steve, mom to Scott and Sarah. After that, she writes, teaches, blogs and speaks. If you want to see her get really excited, ask her about her travels to Israel! One of Susan’s favorite things to do is to chat over coffee. And don’t forget your smartphone and laptop — this former programmer is full of helpful hints! You can connect with Susan on her websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram, or Google+

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I do not look for lost things…and it’s a lesson I am teaching my children

Okay, I’m certain that statement makes me sound a little crazy, but trust me, it’s a personal object lesson in Faith. I am inclined to get agitated by the little things, e.g., misplaced keys, lost documents, items I just had my hands on. Oddly enough, the bigger things I am adept at managing. Trust me, when disaster rolls in, I’m your go-to girl. But it’s the little things, conversations I anticipate will be difficult, silly things that manage to get under my skin, waiting for information beyond my control, until I decided to get a handle on them, those lost things would have been my undoing.

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May I Pray for You?

Prayer

She reaches out weekly. Sometimes through email if we miss our hug at church. And when she asks how I am, I know she wants the honest truth no matter how long it takes me to get it all out. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like, but I know she lifts me up to Our Father in prayer often. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the best kind of friend there is.

I trust her with my heart because she handles it with love and always lifts it up to Jesus for Him to take care of.

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Don’t Should On Me

Photo:SusieK

I was raised in the church, my family attended services twice on Sundays, every Wednesday night and sometimes every night for a week. Our church was like a wonderful extended family and I loved the way it became a warm and comfortable social circle for me.

The center of that circle was the shared desire to serve God in all areas of our lives. We were taught to read our Bibles everyday, attend church as much as possible and spend time in prayer everyday. As a teen I can remember starting one Bible-reading system after another, marking my calendar with my assigned Bible passage to read that day.

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The Wind Is Speaking. Are You Listening?

Seasons change.  If I had it my way, I would forever live during Spring, where there is new birth and the promise of the warmth of Summer.  But with each passing day, I see signs of Fall, as the leaves change color and are making their way to my driveway in record number. And although I don’t mind the Fall, I will turn a corner and walk straight into Winter.  And with Winter comes storms. And when the storms come, you will find me inside, under a blanket, sipping a hot cup of cocoa and enjoying a warm fire. I will do everything within my power to avoid a storm.

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Because Sometime you Have to Walk Scared

One of my dearest friends was on the platform and one sentence she said in her message changed my life.

“Sometimes you have to do it scared.”

Almost every time I have said yes to God I’ve had to do it scared.
Scared of the “what if’s.”
What if I’m wrong?
What if I fail?
What if I succeed?
What if I totally mess everything up?
What if this is more than I can handle?

During my last two pregnancies I wasn’t a happy pregnant person.
In fact, it was one of the most difficult times in my life.
I fell into a pit of depression and sadness.

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God is good, All the time

God-is-Good-All-the-Time-message

Sometimes you don’t know why the Lord is calling you to read a particular book in the bible. In recent months I felt like God wanted me to know the gospel from John – like a pro! Not sure if I am a professional anything, maybe with God’s grace and mercy I am a decent writer but I am not a theologian or bible scholar by any means! But God is good. He speaks to everyone through his Word, especially those who seek after him with their whole heart (Jeremiah 29-13, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.) Man, I love that verse.

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When the Waiting Gets to Be Too Hard

Psalm 62.5I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And birthdays…well, each one is not quite as exciting anymore. The anticipated wait doesn’t drag anymore. Now it flies by.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Unless time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God? It. Is. Hard. Some days waiting on God feels impossible.

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