The first day of school here at Feodora has come and gone and in the blink of an eye, fall has arrived. Like, we could literally see our breath this morning. SO. WRONG. But there have been signs for weeks… I should not be surprised. It all start with the deepening darkness of morning and my freezing appendages in the wee smas (however you want to define “wee smas”, it is probably accurate, whether in reference to anatomy or the clock).
My alarm is what wakes the day in our household. During the summer months, my husband, who I believe I have mentioned is a savant about air flow, sets up the fans so that everyone can sleep comfortably (it is magical) and for our bedroom, that involves a fan set inside an open window, blowing the cooler night air into our not-so-cool room and it is splendid. It is always tricky to know just when to stop turning that fan on, because the sound really does assist in helping me imagine that I haven’t somehow moved to a house on the busiest of all roads (tell me — what is so wrong that you have to lay on your horn at 11 pm? You cannot all be in labor with your 14th child and having to drive yourself to the hospital, because your husband is overseas serving our country and that is literally the only excuse I could ever find valid for such obnoxious behavior, and I tell you what, if that is you, you have no business being on a motorcycle without a muffler) and it is lovely to want to burrow down into the blankets in a chilly room. But there is a fine line between late summer chilliness in the early morning and Siberia and we may have crossed it this morning.
As the first one out of bed, it is incumbent upon me to unplug the fan. This morning, I seriously contemplated army crawling to the outlet in order to stay out of the powerfully freezing breeze blowing in through the be-fanned window, but decided my old bones probably would turn in letters of resignation on the spot should I attempt such a maneuver at 5 in the morning. The chill outside was undeniable, and doing this frisky little hop to the outlet in the pitch black of early morning further reinforced the undeniable: that no matter how hot the weather may turn during the day, fall has in fact arrived.
My littlest quail (who, let’s be honest, are no longer little) always pop into our room in the mornings before my husband and I enjoy coffee and prayer. If they are sleepy enough, they “plug in” — a bleary head crashing into my armpit for a snuggle. I realize, that probably does not sound appealing to you, but that is only because the majority of you, dear readers, have never had the privilege of spending time in my armpit. You have no idea what you’re missing.
Anyway, it was during this peaceful interlude the other morning that the quail were mourning the loss of summer as demonstrated by the looming dark, and I (wooly baa lamb that I am…) tried to play Eternal Optimist (hey, if toddlers can dress up as Wonder Woman, pretending to be something they quite obviously are not, why can’t I?) and pointed to the pre-dawn sky at a twinkling star. Behold, young quail! In the dead of summer, the stars have already vanished by the time we awake and is this not a profound thing, witnessing God’s creation at the very break of day??
Then the star began to blink. And move. Aw, drat.
Well, if it wasn’t for our creative, infinite, personal God, we wouldn’t have airplanes either, but I confess, it knocked the wind out of the sails of the moment. I hate it when airplanes wreck my object lessons.
But now I turn this over to you, because with school beginning (and rest assured, this applies no matter what is happening in your life), we have need to search the skies for bright spots and to declare the majesty of God. Yes. This is going to be one of those posts. The kind where I tell you to COUNT THEM — scan the skies of your life and I double-dog-dare you not to find that it is inundated with mercies.
There was a rap song years ago (please don’t ask me why I know this. I can’t splain) wherein B.O.B. and his special guest, Paramour (an object lesson in not going redheaded unless you are entirely willing to commit) sang a song that propounded the philosophical question:
“Can we pretend that airplanes in the night skies are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now, a wish right now, a wish right now…”
Gah. This is going to be running through my head for hours.
But here’s the thing — you do not have to be a Pollyanna, pretending that every blinking thing is a star. You can stare with eyes unblearied by the emptiness of so-called “positive thinking” at the truly hard providences in your life and thank God — because He is working all things for His glory and your good. You can feel it all — you can get overwhelmed by the weighty responsibility of schooling your children, you can be daunted by the calling to be the caretaker for the bodily and spiritual health of your aging parents, you can feel the tug on your soul to flee the season of flux, of uncertainty, of waiting that you find yourself in — when you know that God is telling you to wait. You do not have to pretend that the airplanes are stars. But you do have to give thanks. In all things. There is not a single circumstance in your day today (including the third grader’s math problems that you managed to give the wrong answers to. Wait… was that just me? You’re trying to tell me that you already knew what cardinality is?) that has not been handcrafted for you before time began. Do you realize that before Julius Caesar lived, before Martin Luther got busy with a hammer, before Winston Churchill picked up his first cigar, God ordained that you would be running full speed ahead into the good works of today? This is by design. And it is GOOD.
God cannot lie. The blinking in His skies are always stars.