Seasons, "they are a changin"
The seasons are changing, as they do, for some of you summer has given way to the fall. The trees, once full of life and wonderful green leaves slowly changing ccolor, first sunshine yellow, then turning a deep gold before changing to a deep brown and finally leaving their abode as the tree goes dormant waiting for the spring and new life.
For us in the southern hemisphere we are in the start of the change to what promises to be a glorious summer, the cold and rain of the last few months are slowly and reluctantly giving way to the warmer dry times ahead.
For me, I notice it most in the change in the way people behave, the cold grumpy one waiting for the bus (and who wouldn't be grumpy having waited half an hour in the rain!) is slowly giving way to the cheerful "I've been enjoying the sunshine" folks that inhabit the summer months!
The difference a month makes
As one winter ends another spring begins
Let's face it, our Earth, as wonderful as she is has always been a globe, every part interconnected! but that means that if we're closer to the sun then someone else is further away! they're going into winter when it's cold and dreary at times, but there is hope as there is always summer on the way!
For us the winters aren't all that cold (Hamilton is too near the Equator for real cold) but it does get down below freezing at nights there are some plants that actually need the cold to blossom.
Isn't it the same in our lives too? There are things that we actually need the 'hard times' in our lives to bring out for us! Stuff that we would never really know was 'in there' if it wasn't for the tough times!
For us for the last few years we've gone through some tough times that at times we really didn't know where to turn for help and even though we're both strong believers it really didn't feel as if God himself was all that interested, yet no matter what the situation and no matter how much worry or crying at night we did things just seemed to come out right in the end!
At the start of the week there wasn't enough in the bank to see us through to the end of the week, yet at the end we got there and there was still a bit left!
Actually that part is a bit of a lie as for about five years there wasn't any left and in fact each week the gap was growing bigger! we weren't listening but we were screaming at God!
Eventually the crunch came and the bottom loomed ahead, that was when things started to change, we knew we were in a 'winter' and it was a lot worse than we we'd thought, that was when the words "You're finally listening" was heard, and "Don't panic, follow my lead"
Winter in New Zealand
Following the lead
Has taken us down some paths that we would never have even dreamed of at the start (mind you I never dreamed this hub would take this angle, but I'm going with the inspiration and the muse!). Job loss lead to working three different jobs in less than a year and eventually to a job that's much more like a vocation than a job.
By the way I've decided that having a pastoral qualification (I went to Bible college) helps for Bus drivers as you get to hear many of your passengers woes and they actually listen to any advice or words of wisdom (rarely given out) you give out.
That paid the bills but we still needed a place to live, we'd had to sell our own house and to add insult to injury we were renting from the new owner, then something happened and within a few weeks we were moving into a house that was beyond our wildest expectations, OK we're renting it but it's amazing, and while the neighbors are 'interesting' (they'd be in fits of laughter to see me writing that) they are probably the best neighbors we could ask for!
Slowly the seasons have changed for us.
A recent trip
Spring is here, that means summer is coming!
But that's enough of the negative stuff! why? because the seasons are changing, and just as they're changing through the year thwy are also changing in our lives, the thing is do we notice it?
How about you? Those seasons are changing in your life too! That's a fact that none of us can change! and nor should we want to, As we head into the next stage of life remember we need all the seasons to really grow! Spring's new growth and flowing rivers can't come without the hard lessons and snow of the winter. Summers bounty can't come without the rains of spring topping the lakes and rivers off (in NZ that's vital as most of our power comes from Hydroelectric power plants). Autumn preperations can't come without the bounty well planned for and used and finally without the preperation of the Autumn the winter would be a problem.
So, whatever season you are in, rest assured that the seasons are changing, and with the right preperation (and the Good Lord to guide you) you can prepare for the next and better part that's to come!
Okay, I can almost hear you saying how did they change? Well I've got to be honest, it took planning on our part. Planning to make sure we lived within our budget was the first part, but that wasn't all.
One great bit of advice we were given right at the start was to plan for the little luxuries! Plan that once a week Jodie and I would meet up and go out for lunch, just to have some time for us with no one else or anything else around!
Another part was we stopped using the cards! Easy to say, hard to do but when the wages go in Jodie pays our bills and takes out cash for things like groceries and petrol, once that's out of the account then we don't touch the account until the next payday! Not enough money to pay for the groceries then things go back on the shelf until the next payday (we prioritize what we need even with the groceries) it was really hard at first but slowly gets easier! Our basket is usually full of fruit and meat! (you can make the pies and cakes for a fraction what they cost in the store!).
Planning like that meant that for the first time in years we had a day in Auckland recently where we got to so some of the 'tourist stuff' and even went down to the 'in place' to dine in Auckland (the Viaduct harbor) to have lunch and we erally didn't have to worry about how we were going to pay for it!
By the way the two New Zealand icons are the Sky Tower (No, didn't get to bungy jump off it this time) and the America's cup racing boats that we saw on the water!