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The falling leaves

from theDesk of…

by Patricia Swyers, Commissioner –

The falling leaves drift by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold.…” This song from the past came to mind in recent days, as I’ve enjoyed the magnificent colors with which God has painted my life. On a quick trip to North Carolina to see my mother, my husband and I sat in large rockers on the long wide porch and thanked God for this place that has brought together family and friends for good conversation, games, and food. North Carolina is known for its beautiful autumn colors.

On our way to the International Zonal Conference, I was able to have this short visit with my mother. She suffered a major stroke several years ago and now resides in the lovely Autumn Care Skilled Nursing Home near my younger sister, Teresa, who helps brighten her days by her frequent visits and good care. Our mother always brought “color” to our lives with her outgoing personality, friendliness, and sense of fun. She loved to garden, and I’ve often said that she could plant a stick and it would grow into a beautiful flower or a delicious vegetable. Today her mind is still active, and she has wonderful memories, but sometimes she forgets that some of the people from her past are like the “leaves” that rush by and are no longer visible to the eye. It was good to remember and recall with her the beautiful colors of yesterday while celebrating today.

The beautiful colors of autumn also cause me to recall the days when “dad” would rake the leaves into large piles, and our sons would take great delight in running into each pile, while tossing large handfuls of leaves into the air and scattering them once again all over the yard. It is a lot like trying to gather the many colors of God’s blessings as I see the lovely hues of each person that God has brought into my life along the way.

I fondly recall the golden memories of laughter from grandchildren as I watched them carefully design the pumpkin that they selected from the pumpkin patch, remembering that just last Thanksgiving I was able to help each of them bake their very first pumpkin pie and then have them pose for a picture to record this special moment.

What brought all of this to mind? I believe it must have been while reading 2 Timothy 1:5 where the Apostle Paul, talking to Timothy says: “I’m reminded of how sincere your faith is. That faith first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I’m convinced that it also lives in you.”

This Scripture caused me to remember my own wonderful grandmother who lived her faith every day and had more influence on my life than anyone, and kindled my own desire to be that kind of a grandmother too. I give thanks to God for her and for all those who have come alongside of me, some who just “drifted” by but left the fragrance and beauty of His presence along the way.

Oh, I pray that others will be able to look at me and be “convinced that faith lives in me too!”


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