Pumpkin Spice in the Midst of Pain, Heartache, & Loss


Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
The weather is suddenly turning cool and the fall autumn breeze is whipping through the windows of my country home. The first signs of fall has begun to blossom, the minority of colored leaves on the trees, the yard filled with sporadic splotches of brown, cool crisp air, and pumpkin spice advertisements everywhere I turn.  Once again, I am reminded of the fall festivities we proudly share as a family each year, pumpkin patches, apple picking, bonfires, and of course pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.  However, this year in the midst of all the turmoil surrounding our nation, I’ve found myself a little less excited. As I was pondering my lack of zeal this morning and began searching my heart in quiet contemplation, it hit me like a slamming door; My spirit it downcast within me. 

Like most of you, I’ve kept up with the news regarding the natural disasters around the world, especially those hitting close to home, within our very own country.  Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and all the fires blazing out of control in several other states. 

This year I’m finding it hard to rejoice and partake in traditional seasonal festivities due to the loss, heartache, and trauma facing the people of our great nation. Somehow, it’s hard to partake in the pleasures of a pumpkin spice latte, while my friends and fellow citizens in Texas are simply trying to cope in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, Floridian friends and family are dreading possibly the largest hurricane seen in Earth’s history , and many others are facing fires resembling a present day hell. 

My heart aches for the friends & family I know personally, and for the friends I may never meet. This year my family’s fall festivities will look and feel different! Because, this is a year of suffering, loss, and pain. “My heart’s place this fall…

“Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”  
Despite the rampant suffering, fear, and loss this fall brings with it… I am reminded that it is also a year of triumph a reminder of the things that are most important; national unity, harmony, and universal survival.  
“There are no politics in 8 feet of water; there are people in 8 feet of water.” Sandra Bullock
This fall there are people hurting, traumatized, and engulfed with loss all around them due to natural disasters. Personally, I can’t make since if it all, but I continue to trust in God’s promises!  
    Romans 8:28 “All things work for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.”

Despite all the suffering, damage, and loss we see all around the United States this fall… I’ve seen beauty, survival, togetherness, and unity abound! I’ve seen videos and pictures of people all across the nation coming together in heroic endeavors to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Whether driving their boat from Kentucky to Texas to rescue lives in flooded waters, handing out food to rescuers, filling up diesel sized trucks with survival resources to drive across the nation, writing sacrificial sized checks for relief efforts, or praying fervently; I’ve seen something that’s so rare and beautiful in this country. I’ve seen unconditional love, sacrificial support, and unity!  

I’ve seen the goodness of the Lord show up in the lives of His people!
In my pursuit of attempting to find a balance between enjoying fall pleasures and feeling empathy and heartache for my fellow friends; I have decided to continue enjoying my fall traditions, all while maintaining a sober & prayerful mindset for those suffering from today’s natural disasters. Each tradition relived will be a reminder to pray for my friends across the nation and to remain mindful and open regarding how God desires to use me to help; whether in talents or financial resources. In addition, I’ve determined to get my entire family on board and pray together for the trials facing our nation and the American people.  

Today I anticipate having my first pumpkin spice latte of the season, an eagerly anticipated occasion every fall. With each sip I will lift up prayers for those suffering at the hands of nature.  Praying especially today, that God will calm Hurricane Irma and calm the storm that is terrifying the world.  Please join me in praying for this storm to calm!  

Psalm 107:27-31 “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”

In my prayers, I will listen to God and his heeding… because wherever he calls “I’ll go!” Whatever he asks “I’ll do!” There is one thing I dread most in life, one thing that terrifies me the greatest, to be out of God’s will! For now… I’ll allow my fall festivities to remind me to pray and I will pray without ceasing! With every cool crisp breeze that blows across my lawn, every apple I pick from an apple tree, every cup of pumpkin spiced flavored coffee I sip; I will be in prayer for my fellow citizens, friends, and family!  

“Please join me in praying for the natural disasters plaguing our country!  Let’s pray for the sea to be calmed, the hurricane to greatly and quickly drop in intensity, for our fellow neighbors surrounded by flooding and disaster, and for the many losses experienced due to tragedy.  Finally, lets be doers and give of our time, finances, and energy as the Lord burdens our hearts with compassion for others.” 

Here is the most touching story I’ve seen to date in the news.  This Kentucky man prayed and heeded God’s call to go and help. He went to the Lord in prayer, God burdened his heart to go and rescue people, and God used him in mightier ways than he’d ever imagined!  Click the link below to be touched, make sure you have your tissues handy!  

http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-minister-inspires-with-trip-to-Houston-442279093.html

God bless America!  
Blessings, Crystal

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