Reflections of Autumn
Autumn is a special time for me. It was in the autumn over thirty years ago when I put my faith in Jesus. I think that’s why this season brings about a special feeling of reflection for me—a stirring of the heart. Every autumn, I am reminded of that eternally significant commitment I made to Him. He saved me from my sins and brought me into everlasting life. There is nothing more beautiful on this earth than what God did for us through His son, and autumn revives those feelings in me. The new smells, the new colors in the trees—they all speak of the hand of God creating something beautiful for me to look upon.
God didn’t have to make seasons so beautiful, but He did, and that speaks volumes about His character. He wanted to make it beautiful, and He created us to appreciate that beauty.
Psalm 96:11-12 (NASB) says, “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all it contains; let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.”
Seeing the trees change from their vibrant greens to various colors of orange, yellow, gold, and brown, and hearing their sound as they rustle in the wind, I can almost picture them singing praise to their Creator.
Every year the trees of the forest cycle through their song, carefree of the stresses of deadlines, proofreading, spellchecking, and improper punctuation. I’m sure no maple tree in the world stresses with blooming block. They just do what they’re supposed to do and it’s beautiful.
So, why don’t we?
I’ve just come through a long season of writing an elementary literature curriculum. I was on a serious deadline, working with another author, copy editor, and a team of proofreaders, all the while knowing there was a number of homeschool moms waiting to start out their school year with my workbook. While I’m through the most stressful part of the project, I realize I haven’t been feeling very glad or exultant.
Writing is something I love. It’s something I believe God created me to do. So why was I lacking joy? Did other authors ever feel this way?
My summer seemed to have spun out of control. Every morning, I sat down at my laptop with a kind of diligent dread. I had to get it done—but I was exhausted. What was wrong with me? I’d been under deadlines before. But this one wasn’t fun. Writing a curriculum was nowhere near as exciting as writing another Christian fiction novel. Why was I doing this to myself? When I finally submitted my proof, I literally avoided my laptop for a month.
And here it is late September. I finally slowed down and took a breath. Creation is doing what it does every autumn—trees are changing color, flocks of birds are heading south, wild asters are in full bloom, exploding with bursts of purple and yellow, and once again this season of reflection has brought me to an important epiphany.
I’d worked hard writing the curriculum because I believed it was what God wanted me to do. I’d had many homeschool parents ask for a writing curriculum for their elementary students. I felt responsible to do that which was set before me, and I needed to do it excellently.
I considered the trees. Every autumn they turn on their colorful display and do that which was set before them. But winter is coming. It’s going to be cold. Those lovely trees, now covered in color will strain under the weight of ice rain, snow, and cold. It won’t be easy. I will enjoy the visual benefits of snow-covered trees, but they’ll be working. Hard.
The beginning of September I started using my curriculum at a homeschool co-op where I teach. It still has kinks to work out, and it’s not yet available to the public, but I’ve been blessed to see the enthusiasm my students have exhibited about the book. They’re enjoying it. Their joy has been a huge encouragement.
God’s creation is always at work. The trees are doing what they were created to do and “all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12b). They do it with joy.
That reminder is good for me. Believing that writing is what God wants me to do, I need to do so with joy. I need to remind myself that, though sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s discouraging, sometimes I’ll be asked to write things that aren’t fun, and some days I will feel the weight of a heavy snow dump on my shoulders, another season is right around the corner and I’ll get to see the fruit of my labor. Others will be blessed by the work of my hands—provided I do so to the glory of God.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” Colossians 3:23 (NASB).
Carol Kinsey lives with her husband and their two daughters on a farm in rural Ohio. She and her husband have been involved in youth ministry for over twenty years and currently serve at a small country church, which inspired her first published novel, Under the Shadow of a Steeple, in 2013. She has also published Witness Protection (2017), Greater Love (2015), and Until Proven Innocent (2014). Carol is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Along with her fiction, Carol is published in several nonfiction venues. In 2016, she launched a homeschool writing curriculum, Creative Writing Through Literature. She is also a contributing author for Relationships Under Construction, an internationally used abstinence curriculum, and has written for Heartbeats. She has a passion for writing exciting, Christ-centered literature that uplifts, encourages, and gives glory to God. For more information, visit carolkinsey.net.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed.” Ty Westgate is an ex-lawyer living under witness protection. Brooke Dunbar is a young nurse, struggling to find hope and healing from her past. After four years in hiding, Ty puts his faith in Christ and realizes his moral duty to tell his unsaved parents about Jesus. While this step of faith holds eternal significance for Ty’s parents, it also puts Ty’s life in jeopardy. Together, in this fast paced novel, Ty and Brooke work to unravel the truth behind Ty’s adversaries. Will Ty’s decision to share his faith cost him his life? Will Brooke learn to trust the One Who can heal her past? The price of freedom may be too high.
Carol, thank you for this beautiful post today and for sharing about your struggles and joys. I think everyone who is called by God to a job can lose sight of their joy from time-to-time. This is a great reminder for all! Carol has agreed to give away one print copy of her book, Witness Protection. To be entered to win, please leave a comment for the author. Winner will be drawn on 10/3/2018 at 8 AM EST from commenters.
THE FINE PRINT: CONTEST VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. ONLY US RESIDENTS WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A PAPERBACK COPY. EACH COMMENTER IS ASSIGNED A NUMBER AND THE WINNER IS DRAWN USING RANDOM.ORG. WINNERS WILL HAVE TWO WEEKS FROM THE DATE OF THE DRAWING TO CLAIM THEIR PRIZE.