By Jaime Sherman
This week I pulled out a well-worn collection of stories from one of my favorite children’s book authors, Robert McCloskey, to read to my littlest girls. His books One Morning in Maine, Make Way For Ducklings, and Blueberries for Sal are old favorites, but this week I gravitated toward the lesser known story Time of Wonder. The book is a bit mournful and certainly sober as the playful days of summer are exchanged for the early days of autumn when a hurricane slams the coast and the natural world speeds toward dormancy.
It’s a fitting tale for us as we say goodbye to the freedom summer afforded us when we pulled down our masks and enjoyed sweet and unfettered time with family and friends. It’s a story that mirrors our own wary greeting of a new season as we “reset the clock from the rise and the fall of the tide, to the come and go of the school bus.” We echo McCloskey’s words…
Take a farewell look at the waves and sky. Take a farewell sniff of the salty sea. A little bit sad about the place you are leaving, a little bit glad about the place you are going.
Like the hurricane that threatened to change McCloskey’s idyllic inlet, storms are brewing in our lives as we enter this season with questions, qualms, and quivering. Summer’s freedom teased us with hopes of healed habits, hobbies, and hearts. And in the reality of it all, many of us are now feeling alone as if what we’re facing is unique to us alone, but the truth is that storms aren’t selective. They impact us all, and so this season of uncertainty laced with anxiety and fear, of lost motivation and depression, of anger and pain of all sorts, of questions about life and the goodness of God, and of loneliness is hitting each one of us.
In the midst of it, we must remember we are not alone.
As McCloskey writes of the girls rowing home on the darkening waters…
You snap off the light and row toward the dock as the stars are gazing down, their reflections gazing up. In the quiet of the night one hundred pairs of eyes are watching you, while one pair of eyes is watching over all.
This season of COVID combat seems unending, but the amazing, wonderful news is that God has not — and will not — let us out of His sight! He declares in Isaiah 41:10:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In addition to giving us His Spirit to live in us, He gives us each other. Even though our times together look different than in the past, we can make the most of this time He has given us and remember that we are walking through this season together. Let’s continue to seek out each other, to invest in small groups within our church, and to reach out to people who need an encouraging word or a practical need met. And please join us as we…
- Begin our moms’ gatherings this Monday, September 13. We want you, regardless of age or stage in motherhood, to join us. See the details below.
- Enjoy a special outdoor event together the evening of Saturday, September 25. Keep an eye out for details coming soon! Please note that we have postponed the fall retreat.
- Study I Thessalonians on Thursdays beginning September 30 as we join the entire congregation in examining the aspects of discipleship that characterize our church. See study times below.
Finally, if you’re struggling in this season, please let us know. We want to be praying for you and journeying through this season together. We love you. Your Heavenly Father loves you. And we want you to know that you are not alone.
Moms of all ages and stages…
Join Joanna Sheppard and her team several Monday mornings each month at the Barn to build friendships, share the ups and downs of motherhood, pray together, and open up God’s Word. The school year gatherings will be from 9:30-11:30 a.m. An additional Monday morning a month will be solely devoted to prayer from 9:30-11 a.m. Childcare is offered each morning.
Oct. 11 Prayer
Nov. 8 Prayer
Dec. 13 Prayer
Jan. 17 Prayer
Feb. 14 Prayer
March 14 Prayer
April 11 Prayer
May 9 Prayer
June 6 year-end celebration
June 13 Prayer
Fall Bible Study
Join Jamie Harms and her team on Thursdays this fall as she takes us through First Thessalonians. Plan to spend one hour at either 9:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. in God’s Word and in fellowship with other women, or choose the online option in which you follow along at home with posts twice a week here on the blog. We will be releasing the registration link soon, so stay tuned!