Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A summer kind of gal

Everyone online seems to be talking about autumn. Blogs about "back to school" and "changing seasons" move me in a different way than expected. I am SO relieved that fall and winter won't be coming here.
The neighbor's hedge
I love summer. For the past 30 years, I've loved only spring and summer.

My friends look forward to the colors of the changing seasons. They exclaim with pleasure when the leaves turn red and gold. Not I. I get depressed when the days get shorter and the sun lies low in the sky.

Those northern winter chills and greys are coming. But I admit that I hate winter. I grew up in Winnipeg so maybe I got an overdose of minus 20-40 degrees?
Green, year after year
"Will you miss the changing seasons?" our friends asked when we moved to the tropics.

Nope. I won't. Probably not ever. I don't care if I never see another snowflake, pull on another warm scarf, or experience another six-hour day of sunlight. (Maybe W will.)
Specialty rice costs $1.50, poolside at Ethnic.
Color and warmth pull me in. Lift my moods. Make me laugh. It's God's gift and how he's wired me.

I tried to decorate with black and white when we moved into our rental house. After a few months, a few pillows crept in. A man came to the porch with rolls of his oil paintings ($7 each). We put some on the picture ledge. And suddenly we are back to bright and cheerful. It's inevitable.
The natural creep of color on a black-and-white IKEA rug
It makes me happy to live in the tropics. I'm thankful every morning for these hot bright days, balanced with "cool" nights (70oF/20oC).

This afternoon, I opened the bottles we found at the Bangkok airport, returning from a work conference a few weeks ago. With wooden chopsticks, I pulled the fingerling-sized orchids from the planting medium.

Borma (Indonesia's Walmart) didn't have orchid mounts in their garden section. I'm not much of a shopper so I went to the cleaning department. I found just the thing! coconut-husk brushes. The replacement bristles have little loops at the top so they can be attached to a handle.

I soaked the brushes, pulled a string through the loops, and attached the little plants on the side. They're now hanging from the empty perches of an abandoned birdcage. I'll mist the teeny orchids until they grow big and strong.

Life is uncertain - sometimes we must leave behind family, friends, and familiar comforts to follow God's plans. And sometimes, part of His consolation is an unexpected alignment with our inner hopes and unspoken wishes. Warmth. Green. Light. Flowers. Color.
The joy of new friendships at Sunday lunch
God is good. My heart is grateful today as summer continues. (I suspect heaven will be summer-y all the time so its streams never freeze over, and the Tree of Life can bear its fruit year-round.)

I'll surely enjoy your notes and your pleasure as the maples turn red and golden. As the nights chill. As you enjoy autumn and the winter. Blessings on you who appreciate all the seasons God made!

Read more:
*Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work. Exodus 20:9-10
*Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord, the Lord lightens my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29
*When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them. Isaiah 41:17
*The sabbath was made for humankind. Mark 2:27
(Christ says,) “I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.” John 12:46
*Let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. Revelation 22:17 
 Moravian Prayer: Provider of wholeness, give our souls peace. Light our hearts’ flames yet again. You are the giver of all good and wonderful gifts. Let us never forget to use those blessings to glorify you.
Trusted Rock, faithful Savior, thank you for offering shelter to our weary souls. Thank you for healing our brokenness. You have called us by name. We hear your voice, and we will follow you.
Star of the morning, you have written on our hearts your divine salvation. You are the Lord of the ages; your love never ends. Your grace is perfectly eternal. Only you can grant us true rest. Let us be ever humbled by this amazing gift. Amen.

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