Are Ya’ll Fallin’ Apart in Fall?

While many are rejoicing, shouting, “Sweater weather! Changing leaves! Back to school!” I fall on my face in fall. I’m already missing the warm, sunny walks, where the temperature only requires me to throw on a t-shirt and jeans. My eyes already thirst for the refreshing color of green, which normally dominates the giant trees that line the country road leading up to my house.

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My clock falls back, leaving me in darkness, an hour earlier. I fall back to memories of moving during many falls: falling away from friends I had to leave behind, falling away from everything familiar, and falling away from the churches I loved. Fall was when I threw up 20 times a day, every day, for five months while carrying my twins, before they arrived beautiful, and premature, at 29 weeks. Fall brings back that smell of rotting leaves that would make me vomit again, every time the front door opened, during that pregnancy. Fall was when I’d send my boys to school, before we started homeschooling, and grieve during the long days when someone else taught them, and spent long precious days with them, as they kept growing way too fast.

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Falling leaves mean the holidays are coming fast! Stress! Fall means that I can’t take my daughter into stores that have “scary stuff.” We don’t celebrate Halloween; but most would agree that a giant Grim Reaper, greeting your child at your local pharmacy, is quite intimidating! Fall makes obvious, the areas where I fall short. I have trouble keeping up with school, and keeping my house clean. I love to decorate for the seasons, but adding decorations to clutter, seems, well…backwards! Fall is the season where I struggle with depression. Fall was when I went through the darkest season of my life. It’s no wonder, that in fall, I tend to feel like I am falling… to pieces.

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But God is faithful. He has been changing my outlook on fall. Our daughter arrived in the fall, like a ray of sunshine, bursting through a completely overcast, cloud-filled sky. Fall now begins with her birthday party, which means family, laughter, friends, and fun.   Fall is when we draw our faces onto baby pumpkins. Though God made all of us artists, the pumpkins are just silly and imperfect, like us. They sit on our fireplace, reminding us that we belong to each other. Fall brings a corn maze to explore. My daughter says, “We have to bring Daddy with us, so we will know how to get out!” In fall, we walk the country road, taking in the beauty of the colored leaves, as we stop to pet the neighbors’ horses. I admire my favorite fall tree, the orange maple. Fall means coming home, cuddling in warm blankets, relaxing, and reading together by the fireplace.

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In fall, my heart bursts with joy, as my Sunday school students, run in bright-eyed, and giggling, ready to learn about Jesus. Fall means gathering in the warm, sunny kitchen for school. There are new subjects to explore, and fresh new boxes of crayons. There’s creativity, comfort, and conversation. I watch my kids, greeting their friends, as I drop them off for outside classes. My twin sons, now young men, are nearing the end of their schooling years, while my daughter is just beginning. I’ve brushed my daughter’s long curls, for school, and put her in a cute, fuzzy sweater, to keep her warm. Her backpack is too big for her. I find myself enjoying…fall.

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God wants us to enjoy ALL the seasons! By fall, I’m a rubber band, weakened, and stretched to capacity. But Jesus repairs the broken, making us stronger. God has provided miraculous healing for my precious family. This season is a good time for our family, and others, to fall on our knees before God, thanking Him for His good gifts. We can fall back on trusting God, because God blesses the faithful. We can fall back into bed for that extra hour, because God tells His children to rest in His word. We can pray about any fall-outs with friends or family, because there is forgiveness through Jesus. We can also fall back on biblical boundaries, removing ourselves from harmful relationships, while entrusting reconciliation to The Holy Spirit. We can pray, and ask God to change the hearts of those who have fallen away from Jesus. As sinners, we will fall down again, but as God’s children, we can dust off our jeans, and hold our heads up high. We are forgiven through Jesus, and nothing can separate us from God’s love.

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We will have difficult seasons in life. But the silver lining is that seasons change, and we don’t have to walk through them alone, if we invite Jesus into our hearts. God can heal us even during our coldest, darkest seasons, and use them for our good, and His glory. Our healing may be emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual. God knows what we need. He promises that the seasons will continuously change, as long as the earth exists. This also applies to the seasons of life. Jesus wants to walk with us through every season. He’s fallen in love with us, and he wants to be a part of our lives!

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“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Gen. 8:22

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: “ Ecc. 3:1

New International Version

Short update: We found our third winner!

Congratulations to Sue, who has contacted me! She is the 3rd winner to receive The Silver Lining Basket of Encouragement! This blog will be updated in an edited version of the blog post: “Congratulations to The Silver Lining Winners!”  Just wanted to let everyone know.  I’m looking forward to the next giveaway!  I will be praying for all of you this week!

Blessings,

Angela

Congratulations to The Silver Lining Winners!

Congratulations to the three winners, who will each receive The Silver Lining Encouragement Basket!  My family prayed several times for the winners to be specifically those who needed an extra dose of encouragement at this time.  We prayed for salvation for them and their family members.  We also prayed that each and every subscriber at The Silver Lining, would come to know Jesus, have their families know Jesus, and be blessed!

We will be doing another giveaway at Christmastime for ALL of our subscribers.  This means everyone who is currently a subscriber, and who becomes a subscriber by December, will be eligible. This includes those who have won this basket of encouragement drawing.  We hope you will continue to share The Silver Lining with your family and friends!

I’m so happy to announce that Cindy, Vicki, and Sue have won our prizes!  They have all been personally notified. You can also follow us on The Silver Lining’s Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic, and invite your friends to join.  The encouragement baskets will be delivered this week!

I assigned each of you a number based on my subscriber list, and then had each of my children draw a number.  It was a lot of fun to look through the list to see who had won the prizes!  It felt like I was the one opening a present!  Thank you all for participating.  I have a special love for each of you, that I know God has placed deep within my heart. I pray for all of you, and instead of numbers of “followers” or “likes,” I feel that God has placed each of you in my life for a reason, and that it’s my privilege and responsibility to show you the love of Jesus, by sharing the words that God places in my head, my hands, and my heart.  I’m excited to see where God will take us!

God bless you all, in Jesus’ name, and I will see you on The Silver Lining, next week!

Blessings,

Angela

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Call Out to God…He Will Meet Your Every Need

Last week, I got a call from a precious friend I’ve known for years. She is a single mom and grandmother, who suffers with a bad back and other injuries.  She is also the main provider, and caretaker, for several children in her family.  She’s walked a long, rough road, and it hasn’t been easy. Our family has been privileged to follow God’s lead, and help when needed. We’ve also been blessed with wonderful friends who have volunteered to pitch in with us.

This time, the call was different. My friend works hard, and we’ve discussed her financial hardships over the years. During that time, not once did she ever come straight out, asking the tough question, “Can you help?” I knew it was serious when she told me she only had pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, and a little bit of flour in her pantry.  A favorite bible verse immediately came to mind:  “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person” (1 Jn. 3:17 New Living Translation)?

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Because of God’s grace and goodness, the emergency need was met. God also laid it upon my heart to stock my friend’s pantry to the fullest. On social media, I asked friends to message me if anyone felt led to give a few groceries. The responses came in right away. One of my friends, the next state over, is the founder and president of Combined Community Ministries, a non-profit group that feeds the hungry. One of its ministries, Kidz Power Pacs, collects kid-friendly food donations. Volunteers put the food into packs for kids in need, so they won’t go hungry on weekends and holidays, when school is not in session. The CCM president packed up two huge boxes of extra food, and my other friend, who volunteers for KPP, delivered them straight to my house the next day. She cheerfully hoisted the heavy boxes into the back of my vehicle. Giving each other a big hug, we marveled at how God had so quickly, and greatly, met the need.

IMG_0038“Suppose you see a brother or sister who is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do” (Jas. 2: 14-17)?

But when God answers prayer, He always goes beyond our expectations. The next morning, I had an appointment, with just enough time to pick up even more groceries from another friend, who had been the first to let me know she wanted to make a donation. When I got to her door, I found not one, but two beautiful faces smiling at me. Both women surprised me with an abundance of grocery bags, which we added to the big boxes of food already waiting in my car. I was overwhelmed with love, gratitude, and encouragement. Four loving sisters-in-Christ, had joined me in serving God, by helping one of our own sisters-in-Christ, when she had a need. Our smiles were a reflection of the warm sun, shining up above us, in the beautiful fall sky.  We hugged each other, feeling the joy of The Holy Spirit.

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“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God” (Heb 13:6).

The back of my vehicle was now stuffed. My friend rejoiced with thanks when the food arrived. Her grandson immediately went to work stocking their pantry. I enjoyed catching up with her, and having the chance to chat with her grandkids, while I held her adorable, sweet, cuddly grandbaby. God had provided exactly what was needed, while creating another silver lining by opening the door for even more godly relationships to grow. God knows what He’s doing. As willing servants, we can be part of His miraculous plan to meet the needs of others. Call on His name. He is faithful, and wants to give us good gifts. Trust in Him to take care of you.

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“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

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Links:

Diana Wall is the founder and president of Community Combined Ministries.

KPP, Kidz Power Pacs Ministry, is part of CCM, which is a non-profit organization. For more info, or to volunteer, find them at:
www.communitycombined.org

or on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/CommunityCombinedMinistries

Compassionate Child, is a column written by Angela Royse Pelleman, for Child Guide Magazine.  The Fisher Kids volunteer with Kidz Power Pacs, and were featured in the May/June 2015 issue.  You can read below, about how they are making a difference fighting against hunger:

www.issuu.com/childguidemagazine/docs/mayjune2015cgweb/37

Silver Lining Gift Drawing! Three Winning Subscribers!

Looking for some weekly encouragement? Subscribe to The Silver Lining, at its new location: https://angelaslittleattic.com/. I like to write up high, near the rooftop of my house, looking out the window at God’s beautiful trees and mountains, for inspiration to encourage you. That may help you remember that Angela’s Little Attic is where I pen The Silver Lining, or you can become a subscriber, and it will come to you!

 To grow our readership, and encourage and support each other, The Silver Lining is having a gift drawing for our subscribers. On Sunday, October 25th, we will be drawing THREE WINNERS after 12 p.m., and each one will receive a cheerful gift basket from “The Silver Lining!” This drawing is for all subscribers, both new and old; please make sure that you’re subscribed at the new site. You can also share on social media, and join our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic.

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Thank you for supporting The Silver Lining, and please pray that I won’t grow weary in doing God’s work. If you have not yet, I hope you will take a step of faith, and ask Jesus into your heart today. He is your salvation, and only through him, can we receive forgiveness for our sins, and the promise of eternal life. Earth is a dark, dark storm of turmoil, but Jesus is the silver lining, because he is the SON of God, who is always there to bring light, even on the darkest, cloudiest days.

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“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

Knock Out Discouragement…with God’s Word

Just when I start to feel a little encouraged, after walking a long rough path, the devil rushes in, running at top speed, attempting a headbutt, in order to knock me out cold. The devil plays dirty, and it makes me feel like throwing in the towel. He wants to discourage me, hoping I’ll give up. I scowl and say negative things under my breath. I yell and get angry. I sulk and listen to the lies the devil whispers in my ear.

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But, I’ve got his number. The devil, though crafty, is uncreative. He knows our weak spots, and he narrows in when we are most vulnerable. He does the same things over and over again. In my family, he uses sickness and strife to bring us down. He does it when we are looking forward to something, or when are climbing another set of stairs, in order to do God’s work. I hate the devil; I hate that he actually tries to steal from me; the very gift God gave me to share with other people…the gift of encouragement.

Does this mean if I quit doing God’s work, that the devil will leave me alone? Maybe…for a little while…but no, not really. A child of God won’t settle for quitting, anyway. It’s not really in us, because we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, and a desire to do God’s work. Discouragement is an emotion. Emotions are strong, and we can’t count on them to tell us the truth. But we can count on the full armor of God, mentioned in Ephesians 6, to deflect the devil’s fiery arrows. Add prayer, along with scripture, and the devil won’t stand a chance.

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My family now prepares for the devil’s attacks. If we are going on a vacation, we start praying against illness. If we are doing a specific task for God, we know we need to pray more often, for each other, and with each other. Yesterday, when I felt like giving up, I decided I would not give the devil a victory. Instead, I chose to write my thoughts, and share one of my favorite bible verses. You don’t have to let the devil bring you down. Instead, you can allow your heart to be lifted in Christ.

I hope these words encourage you today, during the time you need it most. Discouragement is a lie from the enemy. The silver lining is in knowing we can pray away discouragement, in the name of Jesus. When the rain stops, the ground may still be wet and slippery, but the flowers glisten, looking fresh and pretty. The sun always returns.

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

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