when ashes of summer usher in the new

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There is still beauty to be found in the ashes of summer’s ending, these dying back days when flowers lose their lustre. There is a tendency for us to fade with them in sympathy with summer’s passing, as we ache inside at the dimming of the light.

We might grieve a season’s closure, a period when life seemed bright and happy but is fast becoming a distant memory. Sadness can pervade all too swiftly when good times end and we get caught up in busyness.

My summer passed in a blur of unusual activity where I was overly preoccupied with the tasks before me, namely supporting my spouse’s post-op recovery. It’s still an ongoing process because of the setbacks he has endured and how much his progress has been slowed.

I mourn the months I feel I’ve missed, those lazy, leisurely days we cannot get back again for a while. I miss sun’s warmth, long evenings and length of days. And I could easily become stuck in a groove of grumbling, unless I make a conscious effort to consider how beginning again is available to us 24/7, any day, any month, any year.

God is the God of the Now. He reveals Himself through a series of This Moment moments which echo His presence with us. If we fail to pause and absorb the lessons last season (or even yesterday) has been teaching us, we also retain the weight of it, those burdens God is asking us to relinquish to Him.

Moving on and moving forward is only possible if we have arms wide open to receive the new, hearts ready and receptive and minds aligned with God’s will.

In moving on from one season to the next, it helps to remember how new life comes cyclically in creation and our lives mirror the morphing it represents.

Death is always a precursor to the new. Leaves shrivel into crispness, flowers lose their bloom as they fade and die, and plants need to be pliant while they switch between new roots and shoots or a necessary dying back season.

It’s reassuring to our restless souls to believe in new life springing up at a time of God’s choosing. As we sow seeds of faith for the future, we are sowing into a bountiful harvest to come, invisible as it may be for now.

Joy is a seed which needs to take root in good soil. If we are still digging around in yesterday’s detritus, meandering in its mess, we are not well placed to see and sense joy’s presence in the here and now. And that’s reason enough to relinquish each day to God, so we can begin to embrace all the new, joy-filled things that lay before us.

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Welcome to #day2 of 31 days of journeying into joy. It’s good to have you here! I am no expert in this topic, but I am hoping we can learn together about how to have more joy in our lives.

How are the changing seasons speaking to you? Please share in the comments below.

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25 thoughts on “when ashes of summer usher in the new

  1. Dear Joy, The gardener in me rises in JOY with your thoughts today! Yes, I so want to learn to accept the changing seasons. And then this hit me square on: “If we fail to pause and absorb the lessons last season (or even yesterday) has been teaching us, we also retain the weight of it, those burdens God is asking us to relinquish to Him.” Oh, I will be pondering this long and hard today, asking God for help in relinquishing what He asks. Thank you my friend for sharing words that ring so true today. –xoxo

    • Bettie, those words were hard wrought in the furnace of affliction and hauled deep from the well of experience. I’ve failed to pay attention to my days in the past, wanted to move on when there was unfinished business God was urging me to attend to. And the weight of it nearly drowned me. These days I tread more warily, seek to listen better and respond more swiftly to Holy Spirit’s inner promptings. Seasons of life are as vital to note as seasons in nature, because each one has much to teach us. I’m praying you gain insight into those things which God desires you to relinquish or to savour, and have the wisdom to discern between them. Rest in Him, dear friend. This isn’t an exercise in self-condemnation, only grace-led conviction. xoxo

  2. God is the God of the Now. He reveals Himself through a series of This Moment…..
    That spoke to my soul. It is so easy to literally speed right through these gifts he presents every day. Such beautiful writing and teaching. Thank you for sharing. Peace and grace roy

    • That phrase snags my attention, too, Laurie. Maybe because I don’t always bend well to Holy Spirit’s wind. But if we fail to yield we tend to break and snap instead of bowing and springing up again. 🙂

  3. Thank you, Joy, for this encouragement to open our hearts to joy. What especially touched my heart is that when we keep digging around in yesterday’s messes, we can’t see or sense joy’s presence in the here and now. God has been opening my eyes to that truth these past months. May the joy of the Lord be our strength! Hugs! ❤️

    • Thank you for being here, Trudy! I’m so pleased you could relate to those thoughts. It’s often something we need a wakeup call about, to remind us to begin to loosen our grip on the painful things of the past. May God give you strength and grace to press through to all the new joy filled things He longs for you to embrace. Hugs! Xo

  4. Thank you for encouraging us to reach for joy, Joy. It can be hard sometimes, can’t it? What especially touches me is what you say about how if we keep digging around in past messes, we aren’t open to see and sense the joy in the here and now. So true. May the joy of the Lord be our strength! Hugs!❤️

    • I agree, Trudy, the way to joy is often more fight and battle than anything else. But oh so worth it when we can start to relinquish the chains of the past and finally move forward in faith. Yes, my mantra and prayer is the beautiful Bible verse you close with here. May God strengthen you with His joy. Thank you for being part of this journey, sweet friend. Hugs! 💜

    • Tara, I love the way you always manage to draw a nugget or two out of all you read. It’s such a blessing and encouragement to those whose words you comment on. Thank you so much for being here, friend. xo

  5. ” If we fail to pause and absorb the lessons last season (or even yesterday) has been teaching us, we also retain the weight of it, those burdens God is asking us to relinquish to Him.” Wow, Joy, this is powerful and so true. How much better to give them to Him and make room to receive the joy He wants to give.

    I’m glad you’re writing this series about joy! It’s been a blessing to me already!

    Many blessings to you, dear Joy!

    • Gayl, I often marvel at the way God gifts us with insight which we need to receive just as much as those who stop by to read our words. It reveals the wonderful way He fires and inspires us in the writing process. I’m glad to hear you’re getting something out of this series, and so happy to have your company as we journey deeper into joy. Bless you, dear friend! xo

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Michael! Yes, joy waits to be discovered each day, though we may have to seach harder sometimes to sense its presence. Bless you, friend, keep on looking! 😊

    • Autumnal leaves are a joy to behold. Their magnificent colours evoke hope in a dying season. So pleased you had an uplifting walk, Michael. Please crunch a few leaves for me next time you’re out and about!

  6. Beautiful post, Joy…as per usual. I used to adore the changing of the seasons – when the heat of summer gave in to the beauty of autumn & autumn ushered in Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It all changed five years ago come this November when my firstborn son gave in to his demons and took his life. It was two days after Thanksgiving in 2011. Now this changing of the seasons makes me sad.

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