When summer gathers up her robes of glory,And, like a dream, glides away.
Sarah Helen Whitman
Some quaint streets of my city awaited me yesterday. Their beauty held me captive, as my dear husband, sweet aunt, and I nestled into our old Mazda 626 and headed for drives filled with old cottage homes, southern charm, overhanging elms, oaks, and maples, and the lasting blooms of summer.
Driving slowly, we nearly strained our necks as we soaked in storybook views. We absorbed sights of old architecture. Were amazed at abundant ivy growing up old fireplaces. Even stopped to peek in windows of a neglected English cottage, starved for new owners. Then, witnessed the care of late summer gardens that were at once stunning and intimidating.
Our awe was eclipsed again and again. The rare grace of Jackson Vine moved me to follow where I could not go. Colorful lawns filled with lasting impatiens, lingering lilies, and other lovelies brought pause.
But, we did not see many roses. Scattered sweetly, yet scarcely about, we observed only a few.
Not many are now left to warm our hearts and fill our eyes with season's beauty. Once symbols of a new beginning, of long, lazy, hot days, and sultry nights with air full of lightening bugs and sounds of children, their beauty now begs one last look at a time past.
I do not see sadness in their meager disposition. Only forward joy. For what was once will again be, and the future, crisp fall will bring its own beauty and color and vision and promise. The last roses of summer are reminders of God's goodness and hope. The final blooms of this season are simply telling us to walk through our fall and winter with promise, to find treasure in chilly days, falling leaves, freezing nights, plains of snow, and trees of ice.
Seeing the final blooms of summer is remembrance for me. The few summer roses now left make me think of my favorites from spring. They were an anniversary surprise. Twelve long stems and lovely flowers. They were much more than material. Those precious roses were love. Real. Lasting. Love.
Their soft, ruby red petals begged my stooping over to whiff about ninety times each day. When they finally began to droop and fade, I separated them into two bunches, placed rubber bands around the stems, slipped the bands over a wire coat hanger, and hung them upside down in the tiny little closet in our guest room.
To me, the perfect dozen still lives. Now dried, their crinkly petals can fill a crystal vase and whisper, "You will never forget."
Perhaps you think me a sappy sentimentalist, but please remember I'm thinking good and thanking God for good. For roses, for a wonderful husband, for family, for friends, for a full season. For you. Because "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17, NIV).
This Labor Day weekend, as we realize another summer past, let's treat God's wonder with amazement. Let's stand in awe of His beauty and truth. Let's beckon His deep workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let's prepare ourselves for a special season of autumn and winter. Let's look forward to new days of Bible study, prayer, sharing, and giving. Let's determine to fall on our faces and confess our unworthiness and our need for Him.
God bless each of you mightily! Through the power of His Holy Spirit may He give you exactly what you need today! And why not allow this Labor Day weekend to be unforgettable? Somehow, somewhere, get alone with Jesus. Pour your heart out to Him and ask Him to whisper His voice to you. To prepare your heart for His special blessing. To open your life to new abundance. New harvest. New joy.
You will be pleasantly surprised at His loving answer. Oh, how he longs to hear you! Oh, how He will answer!
In His Grace,
Thank you, Lidj, my dear friend, who loves the Lord so fully, for graciously passing the following awards on to me. I am very grateful and humbled, and I appreciate her kindness. Please visit her at http://mla-crownofglory.blogspot.com/. You will be uplifted and inspired by her testimony and passion for Jesus Christ.
In kind, I want to extend these awards to all my followers. Your faithfulness and friendship are invaluable to me. Your lives, your love for God, and love for one another, and sincerity are testimonies of grace and truth.
Please accept these awards and unhesitatingly post them. I love and appreciate you all!