All that remains of a broken dream:
Shattered leaves strewn on the ground.
Once so whole, so vibrant, so green,
Faintly glowing without a sound
As darkness surrounds.
Just dead gold and red left on the tracks
And flying by the window in the wind.
Words that say, "No more lookin' back,"
But turn around and it's there again:
A plea to send.
(To read the whole poem, click the tab above called "Seasons of Humility.")
About half of the poem centers on "autumn." In the seasons of humility, autumn is the hardest time to go through. It represents the seasons in our lives when we are desperately clinging to our own way, aching as we refuse to seek God's will and submit to His plan. We have so many selfish desires, and we have so many ideas on what we think would be best for us.
It's also the time in our lives when everything seems to fall apart. Our dreams fall and fade away, and we don't see how we can ever have any hope again. And we stare at those "shattered leaves," unwilling to deal with the heartache of surrendering to God and thereby failing to see the possibility of spring.
We all go through this over and over, as regular and visible as the change in seasons in the world around us. I'm struggling with it even now--that longing to hold onto what I think is the best for me. I was consumed yesterday with thoughts of my future, and at one point last night I decided to look at the "Careers" pages on some Christian publishers websites to see if they had any internship information up yet. And that's when I came across it: a job description that broke my heart. It seemed so perfect--a job as a publicist, coordinating author interviews and blog tours (etc.) and maybe even getting to travel. The job called for those who had certain majors, English being among them.
I cried because I knew that I still had another two years or more of schooling, and that job most likely wouldn't still be open by the time I was ready. I was already really emotional yesterday, and that revelation was the last straw. I'm so, so thankful that I was able to call my mom. She told me she would pray for me, and she reminded me that I would be able to do whatever it was God wanted me to do. And she urged me to pray. What a comfort! I cried and poured out my heart, and I was reminded that the Lord does indeed have a plan for my life. I can see only bits and pieces right now, as my passions are being revealed like different artifacts at an archaeological dig--not all at once, but slowly being unearthed and coming together.
I know I won't understand it all now. God's perspective is so far above mine, and I can trust Him. I'm learning more and more about who God has made me to be, and I'm excited to see what He has in store . . . what He will do with all these little odds and ends that make up the things I love to do.
One of those things I've really grown to love is getting to know military men and women, their stories, and ways that I can encourage them. I'm so excited about the new turn "Mondays for the Military" is taking on my blog! I have met someone just recently who said he was willing to be featured on my blog for "Mondays for the Military," and I've been contacting the Coast Guard in my home county, as well.
Which leads me to the explanation of the header picture this season. This was a picture I took when I was in Washington D.C. this summer of the Vietnam Women's Memorial. That particular memorial is so deeply moving, and it was one I used at the end of one of the videos of pictures I compiled from the trip. I confess that one of the first things that drew me when I was trying out different pictures was how well this fit with the color scheme. I know it sounds shallow, but I really think that the somber tone of the picture contrasts well with the brighter background, and it really evokes the emotions that are part of this season of humility.
But most important is what the picture and the memorial itself stand for. On my last "Monday for the Military" post, Julia wrote (in regards to "meeting" military men and women on my blog):
"I would love the opportunity to encourage and to know how to pray for them. There are so many that have sacrificed so much. I was just thinking it so fits your blog because of the sacrifices."
How true! Humility is all about sacrifices, and the military is such a profound example of that. This picture represent something so powerful, I can't describe it. But I do think that we can indeed learn from and be moved by its message.
Well, I've really written a lot for today! I hope it wasn't too overwhelming; there was just a lot I wanted to talk about regarding autumn. I do want to add that there will be a new addition to the weekly schedule called "Fall Fridays," which will continue this sort of theme--talking about the literal season of fall as well as that particular season of humility. I hope you'll be able to join me for those days!
Also, be sure and check out the "Coming Soon" feature in the sidebar! I'm really excited about "Bluegrass Festival" weekend, and I have a couple of guests lined up for that. Plus, bluegrass just fits so well with the idea of harvest festivals and the like!
If you've read this far, thank you! I really appreciate your time. And to celebrate this new season (and to thank you for reading so much!), I thought it would be fun to do another giveaway! I mentioned this book last week for "Mystery Week," and I would like to give one of you a chance to read it. If you would like a chance to win my gently used copy of Under the Cajun Moon, here are the rules:
- Leave a comment saying you would like to be entered, along with your e-mail address.
- This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.
- Entries will be accepted through Thursday, September 30. A winner will be drawn on Friday, October 1.
- You can get 2 extra entries by leaving a comment on the first "Fall Friday" post! *This will go up on Friday, September 24.*
- You do not have to be a follower to enter, but feel free to become a follower if you would like to!
New Orleans may be the "Big Easy," but nothing about it was ever easy for international business etiquette expert Chloe Ledet. She moved away years ago, leaving her parents and their famous French Quarter restaurant behind. But when she hears that her father has been shot, she races home to be by his side and to handle his affairs—only to learn a long-hidden secret that changes everything she knew to be true about herself and her family.
Framed for murder, Chloe and a handsome Cajun stranger must search for a priceless treasure, one whose roots weave through the very history of Louisiana itself. But can Chloe depend on the mysterious man leading her on this cat-and-mouse chase into the heart of Cajun country? Or by trusting him, has she gone from the frying pan into the fire?
Following up on her bestselling Gothic thriller, Whispers of the Bayou, and Amish romantic suspense, Shadows of Lancaster County, Mindy Starns Clark offers another exciting standalone novel, one full of Cajun mystery, hidden dangers, and the glow of God's unending grace."
Note: The picture at the top of this post, along with the two new pictures in the sidebar, are ones I took on a nature trail here at Corban. Many of the fall pictures I'll be using in the near future will be from that same nature trail. It's lovely!