small tree with red leaves with tall green trees in the background

Fall Forward!

This cute tree surprised me the other day. It seems autumn is arriving earlier than usual this year!

Short tree with red leaves in front of green woods

Our little piece of land sticks out into the ocean, which normally somewhat moderates the temperature and color changes into fall. The mainland temperatures drop and the trees are more vibrant earlier than what we experience here. We tend to stay a week or so behind the times from what happens only 25 miles (40 kilometers) away.

Our leaves normally begin changing color a few weeks from now, with peak colors showing out the second half of October. This year drought has sped up our timetable a bit.

What’s happening?

Tree Responses to Drought

Remember learning in science class how plants make food? Their leaves photosynthesize using energy from the sun to turn carbon dioxide and water into food.

But what happens when water is scarce? That makes photosynthesis a bit trickier, doesn’t it? So instead of trying to support all of those leaves, some of our trees are conserving resources instead. Chlorophyll begins to break down early, and the leaves will soon fall to the ground.

How Do We Respond to Drought?

Trees aren’t the only organisms that experience a lack of resources at times.

We may go through seasons when our own resources of time, energy, health, or money aren’t abundant enough to meet our expectations. We thought we’d have plenty to go around, but reality says otherwise!

What should we do? Should we simply try harder? Get angry about what we’re lacking? Sit back and do nothing, waiting for things to get back to what we expected them to be?

I think there are better ways to handle the situation!

A few ideas:

  1. Remember who holds your life in the palm of his hand. Things may look bleak today, but your life on this earth is not done until he says it is!
  2. Live with an open hand. Letting go of things is not always easy, but it’s certainly not quite as painful when we don’t grasp tightly with all our might.
  3. List your priorities. What must stay, and what can be set down even if for a short time?
  4. Take inventory. What do you still have to work with? What limits will you need to keep in mind?
  5. Find someone who understands. Who else do you know who has been or is currently in the same situation? They may have insight about how to move forward.

If you are in a season of drought right now, I pray that you find peace in knowing that God will provide for you!

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

Jesus, in Matthew 6:26-30 NLT

9 thoughts on “Fall Forward!”

  1. Great list on processing and reacting to a season where we don’t have enough to meet the expectations. A couple others that helped me during my last season of high capacity/low capability:
    1) carve out small accessible repeatable prayer times with God (5 minutes every three hours). Guard that time zealously against other items encroaching on my calendar.
    2) make sure I’m eating healthy, working out 3-4x a week. Try to get enough sleep, but don’t beat myself up if I don’t get it.
    3) have grace on myself when I’m not enough knowing Jesus’ grace is sufficient.

    Liked by 1 person

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