Fruits & Nuts: On Making One Small Change…

By Paddy Elkins

Valley Bugler Columnist

Don’t you just LOVE the change of seasons? As summer waves Good-bye, the sights, sounds and smells of September set the stage, heralding Autumn’s imminent return. And Oh, I do so LOVE Autumn!

Our Grandchildren flock back to school. Football Season arrives and resumes in earnest. Fall-schedules beckon us adults back into routines temporarily laid aside during the more spontaneous summer days… LIFE is full of wonder, surprise and POSSIBILITIES.

I stare at my open day-timer, considering my options: I definitely need to get back to the YMCA for exercise, swimming, aerobics! I pencil in some dates and times.

Tuesday morning Bible Study is a much-needed and long-cherished time of fellowship with good friends from church… I pencil that in.

Wednesday night Small Group and weekly church services with my husband… “Check” and “check”.

Early morning Quiet Times, a habit started last year, goes back on the planner, to keep me feeling “centered” and “in-tune” with the Lord.

And this year, I am adding something new: Each week day, I’ll take time to pray for a specific member of my extended family, and maybe jot them a note of encouragement. My hubby… Siblings… Children… Grand-children… Nieces… Nephews… Cousins…

Folks I think about often but rarely see or talk to because of geographical distance.

I remember years ago, as a new bride in Massachusetts, receiving occasional hand-written notes of encouragement from my new husband’s Grandma in Seattle, whom I’d never met. Her insightful and often humorous words seemed to find their way into my hands at the precise moment when I needed relief from loneliness, confusion or fatigue. Her hand-written communiques were godsends, encouraging me in my duties as new wife, and later, as new mom. (Thank you, Grandma Alburty!)

There’s just something special about “hand-written” instead of digital communications. Anyway, that’s my plan. My sister, Marie, has been doing this sort of thing for upwards of forty YEARS, and she has been a great blessing to me and many others! (So Ree, this month’s column is dedicated to YOU, Sis! Thanks for your shining example and inspirational life!) Warmly, Paddy

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