Free Fly Like Autumn Leaves

I love to watch the autumn leaves—and not just for their colors. I love to watch them fly as well.

The leaves of fall are free flying. They’re not bound by a must-follow route or a set of rules. No one tells them to drop at a perfect 90 degree angle—or any other angle. Each one is different. Each one takes its cue from the wind at the moment it falls.

Some fall headlong, landing right below their former homes. Others venture a few feet away as they drift gently through the air before finding a new resting place. Still others fly like crazy on the wings of a major wind gust, soaring as never before, looking like frolicking birds—up and down and all around, going great distances before running out of breath. Yes, autumn leaves are free flying.

Makes me want to do some free flying myself. Anyone else?

The good news is we can. As believers in Jesus, as children of God, we can free fly on the wings of his Spirit living within us. We can abandon ourselves to his leadership, whether on short straight paths, lilting walks, or adventures of a lifetime. Following the Spirit, we’ll soar as never before.

We can also free fly on the wings of encouragement. Sometimes all we need to be spurred on to try something new or go after a dream is the confidence inspired by a friend or family member who cheers us on. Sometimes all it takes is a little push. We then find ourselves free flying and loving every minute of it.

Other times it takes a little more. It takes a major gust of courage to launch our flight. The ride holds out hope of great and mighty things—but only if we’re willing to take the risk, only if we’re brave enough to step out of our comfort zones or battle whatever problems are trying to hinder our flight.

As the leaves free fly around us this autumn season, let’s ask ourselves if we’re ready to do a little free flying ourselves. Let’s abandon ourselves to the wings of the Spirit, let’s fly on words of encouragement. Let’s be bold and allow courage to carry us to new heights. Let’s free fly!

“. . . where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

*How have you been free flying lately?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by _hq_, Creative Commons License

Adventure Booster

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If you read the last issue of my Life Notes inspirational newsletter or if you caught my blog posts in January, you know that adventure is on my mind this year.

Adventure is my theme word for 2016 in fact.  But since it’s easy to forget a theme word as the year goes along, I thought June, the mid-point of the year, would be a good time to go a little more in-depth with it here on the blog.

So here is an acrostic of ideas and avenues for adventure—an adventure booster so to speak. Even if adventure is not your own personal theme word for the year, maybe you’ll find something here to incorporate into your life this summer. No time like the summer for adventure, right? Enjoy!

Ask someone to join you in trying out a new restaurant or ice cream shop.

Drive to a familiar destination by a new-to-you route.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a special needs camp, or other outreach for those in need.

Educate yourself on a topic that interests you.

Notice the amazing beauty and creativity of God’s ever-changing sky each day.

Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.

Unwind with a new-to-you book and a different variety of chocolate, coffee, or tea.

Risk a physical challenge that will push you out of your comfort zone or test your limits.

Enter a contest that spurs you to excel at one of your talents or abilities.

So here is the challenge: If an idea here caught your eye, determine now to make it your next adventure. It’s time to get out there and do something new!

“I will sing a new song to you, O God . . .” Psalm 144:9a

*What adventure are you going to try?

*CCO Public Domain photo

Adventure Wanted!

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I admitted this on Facebook a couple of weeks ago so I’ll admit it here, too—I’ve purchased two travel journals recently. But since our twin grandsons were born in January, my travels have consisted of making the nearly 6-hour trek to go see them as often as I can get away with it. So, my travel journals remain empty as of yet. After all, I have a grandparent’s journal for all things grandparenty!

Thoughts of adventure have been popping up with me lately, though. Last week I exhorted all of us to live life. Adventure fits right in with that mantra, doesn’t it? In January, I predicted that adventure awaited us all this year. And now, here it is pulling at my heart again.

In truth, it can be unusual or even difficult for people like me—creatures of habit—to break free from our regular routines and actually welcome adventure. So when adventure starts calling to our spirits, we need to pay attention. We need to be alert to what life may hold around the corner.

Let’s not forget that adventure can look different at different times and to different people. The past several years adventure for me has looked like vacationing in new places, like shown above in our trip to Yellowstone National Park. The past few months, however, my great adventure has looked an awful lot like two sweet baby boys. My life changed forever with their birth. Yes, I set sail on one of the best adventures of my life—being grandma to precious twin boys. I want to be available this first year of their lives to answer the grandma-we-need-you call to adventure. Their momma needs an extra set of hands fairly regularly, and I love lending my hands to the cause.

Even though my new grandmothering adventure is of prime importance to me right now, I want to be ready for new adventures. I want to start making entries in my travel journals. I want to see my world with fresh eyes. I want to be ready for what life may have around the corner. Yes, I want to live life.

Are you with me? Let’s hop out of the regular ruts of our lives. Let’s strain to see what God has in store!

“‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?’” Isaiah 43:19a

*What does adventure look like in your life right now? What great adventure would you like to pursue?

*Photo by my husband Don

Midweek Morsel: Live Life

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I attended a writers conference recently where I was once again reminded and exhorted to live life. By the very nature of the work, a writer can spend much time in front of a computer, whether writing, marketing, doing research, communicating, learning, or you name it. The list goes on. It’s not surprising we may need the reminder to go out and actually live life.

Often times all of us, no matter our profession, can get so bogged down in the duties of life and work, we neglect to break free every now and then for a taste of life outside our norm. But here’s what we need to remember: Not only will we be better writers or teachers or business people if we are actively engaged in living a full life, but we will be happier, richer people as well.

So recently when I saw a scene outside my window that called to me and my camera, I threw off the chains of duty that sought to hold me back and whispered to myself, “Live life!” And I’m so glad I did. Treasure awaited.

With that in mind, friends, allow me to exhort us all today—let’s not miss the treasure. Let’s take time to live life!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

*When was the last time you broke free from your duties and lived life?

*Flickr photo by Paulin’a, Creative Commons License