Tag Archives: autumn

She Leapt and Walked

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Today I walked.  I mean I really walked!  Outside…for a long time as the sun was just beginning to embrace a new day.
I walked because of an invitation from someone this past week.  She said to me “Come and walk with us” and then told me about the group she walks with.  She told me the time and place to meet.  Something about her invitation reminded me of Paul’s invitation to the lame man in the 14th Chapter of Acts: “…Stand upright on your feet and walk.”  But as soon as my friend issued her invitation my inside gargoyles got busy with their discouraging voices.  “It’s too early!  It’s too far! You’re too old!  You’re too busy! What if it’s too hot, cold, rainy, snowy, storming, freezing,” and on and on and on went the chorus inside my head.  But my voice (and my faith) responded, “OK, I will see you there.”  I thought again about the lame man’s response to Paul’s command.  The scripture tells us “he leapt and walked.”  I knew my response was very different.   No, I wasn’t leaping at this opportunity to walk with a friend and to meet some people in my community.  Last night, as I set my alarm to go off at “way-too-early” o’clock I reminded myself that I could always hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.  It would not matter if I chose not to go.
But something amazing happened!  I woke up twenty minutes before the alarm was set to go off.  I mean I REALLY woke up!  Wide awake…and ready to go.  I think my gargoyles must have still been sleeping because there was no inner discouragement or negativity.  I was dressed and out the door with coffee in hand just as a sliver of sun peeked over the mountain.  I paused to take in the cool air and dawning light, offering a praise prayer for this moment of joy before continuing on to the meeting place.
This morning, only one other walker came…someone I did not know.  After some brief introductions we set out on our journey together.  She led the way as our conversation flowed and our feet strolled along paths strewn with autumn leaves.  We talked and walked.  We talked about our families and homes.  We talked about our community.  And we talked about our faith and love of God’s Word.  I learned from my new friend a new way of making scripture alive by telling the sacred stories as if they were my very own.  And I was reminded that we all share similar struggles and joys along this journey of life.  All that in a single morning walk in autumn!

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As we returned to our cars and shared good-byes I thought of a quote by Karen Kimsey-House in her book Co-Active Leadership:  Five Ways to Lead.  “When someone is walking beside us, we have more courage to walk into the unknown and to risk the dark and messy places in our journey.”  As these words passed through my mind I silently offered a prayer of gratitude for my new friend and sister in Christ AND for the lame man’s example of leaping and walking by faith at Paul’s invitation.
This evening as the sun has traveled throughout its course and is sending out it’s last rays of the day I am reflecting on that sweet, simple invitation to walk. I am glad to have been invited. I am also glad for Christ’s invitation to come and walk with Him.  My prayer is that in the coming days I will be wide awake and ready for opportunities to pass along the invitation to “walk in love, as Christ has loved us.”  (Ephesians 5:2).  Whether that invitation is to share a morning moment or a lifetime of discipleship may it bring the renewal of spirit of a fresh, cool autumn dawn.
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Photo: Timothy Hernandez

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” -John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

If you would like to more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our web site at gracestonesanctuary.com

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THE Master Artist of Autumn

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn.” -Emily Dickinson

IMG_1051“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.”  ― Siobhan Vivian

God is THE Master Artist.  I am reminded of this every year when Autumn begins to roll out her magical colors.  Deep burgundy reds against golden yellows bordered with fiery orange hues are a feast for the eyes of the soul.  Just when the heat of Summer has browned the grass and left beautiful blooms withered and spent God dips his brush into the warm hues and spreads vibrant color across nature’s canvas.  As Siobhan Vivian, author and editor writes, “It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.”  Even my knowing that this burst of beauty is a herald to the snows and cold of Winter does not make the Master’s painting anything less than stunning.

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These are the days I revel in, when the nights lengthen and the days chill.  Nature redressing herself in fiery shades  is only one piece of what nurtures my soul this time of year.  Autumn is a combined feast for the senses…the smell of the smoke from fireplaces that hangs over a cold morning and the aroma of my pumpkin spiced coffee also warms my spirit.  This is the time of year when the spices come out of the cupboard and dance in a curry soup or snickerdoodle cookies.  These are the days that my heart sings the Psalm “This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will be glad in it.” And in that spirit, today I completed an annual ritual of bringing the glories of God inside GraceStone Sanctuary.  Placing a spray of leaves or mums around autumnal candles was a celebration of joy as my favorite Autumn mood music, like Shaker Loops by John Adams and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Autumn filled the house with sounds like leaves trembling in the wind.

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Ecclesiastes teaches that everything has a time and a season.  This season brings a refreshing hope and joy to store up for the drearier Winter days ahead and a reminder that “God makes all things beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) My prayer is that when this season of celebration is past and my windows frame snow covered trees and gray clouds I will remember this day of vibrant color and know that THE Master Artist is always at work creating beauty in all things.  May my senses be open to the blessings that surround me.

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Would you like a little autumn music?  Here are my favorites:

Shaker Loops Live performance of the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School Of The Arts Chamber Orchestra directed by Matthew Cmiel.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons-Autumn Live performance by Detroit Symphony Orchestra

If you would like to know more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our website at gracestonesanctuary.comlp.aspx - Version 7


Autumn’s Glory

Day 308  November 6, 2013

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn.”  -Emily Dickinson

The Glory of Autumn - by Trish Hernandez

The Glory of Autumn – by Trish Hernandez

“Make something that you can only see properly from far away or at a great height.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“I often sit and watch the leaves change colour and fall from the tree. To me, those leaves signify the constant change in our own lives and all the beautiful colours signify our own emotions. As the leaves, change and fall from the tree’s with such grace and gentleness, they’re reminding us to be gentle with ourselves as this chapter ends and the next journey begins in our lives.”   ― Annalee Hopkins

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” ― Siobhan Vivian

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks


Offerings of Encouragement

Day 307  November 5, 2013

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” ― Chad Sugg

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God created the perfect Autumn day – I only took the photo.

“Create something based on the shapes found in a plant in your immediate vicinity.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” ― Kahlil Gibran

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers….In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there… Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. 
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.  They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”   ― Hermann Hesse

“But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.”  ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars


Joy- The Presence of God

Day 296  October 25, 2013

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”  ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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“Go someplace where you would normally never do something creative and work there today.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” 
― Iris Murdoch

“A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love. She gives most who gives with joy.”  ― Mother Teresa

“I want to thank you for the profound joy I’ve had in the in the thought of you.” ― Rosie Alison