Sunday, September 15, 2013


Friday, the Hub's day off and our weekly "date day",  we took a drive out into the country.
With the way Portland's urban growth boundaries are, one of the loveliest things about our city is that it's a quick and easy drive out of the city into rural farmlands, scenic, winding country roads and beautiful woods next to rushing rivers.
One of my favorite places to go, not far outside the city, 
 is this historic old pioneer cabin and little country church.
Friday, evidence that we're only a week away from the official first day of fall greeted me there on the green grass by these old historic landmarks as I saw the first of many more leaves to fall.

It's rather interesting to read why deciduous trees lose their leaves. 
Pardon me for using a quote from Highlights for Kids,
but I actually found their explanation to be the most interesting.

When winter approaches, our part of Earth receives less sunlight, and the air grows colder. When these changes happen, trees prepare for winter. Trees that drop their leaves seal the spots where the leaves are attached. Then fluids cannot flow in and out of the leaves, which change color and fall off.
The falling of the leaves does more than mark the season. It also helps the tree survive the cold, dry air of winter. In the warm seasons, leaves use sunlight, water, and air to make the tree’s food. In that process, the tree loses a lot of water through tiny holes in the leaves. In winter, the tree does not get enough water to replace what it would lose through the leaves. If the tree did not seal the spots where the leaves grow, it would die. When spring brings warm air and fresh water, the tree will sprout new leaves and start growing again.

I guess this is significant for me, being in what I would consider the autumn of my life, my fifties.
If I liken myself to a tree, then the way I respond to each season in my life is crucial to the way I am going to handle the winter.
I really want to be a person who faces the last season of life, who faces eternity, confident that I finished the race well.
I don't think that's going to happen if I wait until I'm in the middle of life's winter to think about it.
I'm thinking an awful lot about it now.
I really, really want the rest of my life to be the best of my life.

I don't want to waste any more of my days, hours or minutes, trying to change someone else.
I've already wasted enough precious time with that sort of futile endeavor.
I also know that there are a lot of outward circumstances that I have no control over, that I can't change.
But there's one person, with God's help, that I can change, and that's me.
There are a few outward circumstances that are in my control that I can change as well.
Those are the things that I must choose to place my effort and focus on in this season.

For many people, autumn is their favorite season of the year.
Who's to say that it can't also be our favorite season of life?
After all, it's a lovely and colorful season to be in!

I'm so thankful to be co-leading, (in) life after fifty an (in)courager group with (in)courage.
My friend, Rhonda Quaney, is co-leading the group with me.
We became in real life friends after meeting at Jumping Tandem.
If you want to be in a group with other "colorful" women in the "autumn" of life,
registration is now open here.

Space in groups is limited.
Click here to check out other (in)courager groups.
There's something for everyone!


In 2012 I followed the prompts in Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare in counting my thanks.
In 2013 I'm going back to the way I did it in the beginning,
just noticing and recording the many extraordinary blessings in my ordinary life.
And so I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of them via my camera or iPhone)

#3773- #3796

-the grandkid's photos of their first day of school
-a cool morning with fog in the foothills
-talking on the phone to the two oldest grands after school to see how their day went
-a great run
-bbq chicken and homemade coleslaw for dinner

-a nice breeze on a hot day
-crafting and catching myself humming because creating makes me happy

-face time on the phone with youngest granddaughter

-meeting my friend from church at Starbucks
-the Hubs meeting with his mentor
-the Hubs buying the grandkids some crickets to feed the bullfrog we caught last summer
(then the phone call from only grandson reporting that the frog ate all 30 crickets in one meal!)

-the way the hydrangeas change colors as fall approaches

-really encouraging prayer and worship at church tonight

-a ride in the country

-buying some local apples

-a sweet date day together

-talking to and praying with Rhonda Quaney, my (in) life after fifty co-leader
-a husband who says, "you go ahead and go on your run, I'll vacuum for you"
-getting out some fall decor

-trusting God, He's the Rock beneath my feet that can't be shaken, even when seasons change
-worshiping with our church...powerful
-lunch with our youngest daughter
-the excitement of launching our (in)courager group

 gratefully yours,


  1. You are going to rock your group my friend!

    1. Thanks, Barbie! There's lots of groups for you to choose from!

  2. Oh, how I want to join this group! I need (in)couragement so much right now. My problem is that I'm not sure I'm going to keep blogging. Sigh... I just do not make decisions well. I know I'm going to miss out on an opportunity.

    1. You don't have to blog to be in the group. You do need to be on Facebook because we form a Facebook group to "meet" together. You would love the group, do it!

    2. Hey Elizabeth, I joined the group but didn't see until it was too late where I was supposed to put my full name. I then read where it is required. I'm sure you know it so can you add it to my registration or do I need to go back and do something different--re-register or whatever?

      And Debbie, I'm not sure I am going to be blogging either--but we need you in this group!

      I'm so excited at the prospect of us all being in a group and MAYBE getting to meet each other one day.

    3. Dianne, are you on Facebook? If so, friend me, which enables me to add you to our (in)life after fifty group personally.

    4. yea, I am, but I have looked for you before and not found you--and I tried to find a facebook page this morning for the InCourage group but could not find one. What am I doing wrong?

    5. How are you listed on FB? I just tried again and the one I found in Portland was not you.

    6. How are you listed on FB? I just tried again and the one I found in Portland was not you.

    7. here's my link for Facebook

  3. Just the words I needed today! We are in a different season of life since my sweetheart retired. It would be easy to do nothing for awhile - to just sit and 'rest'. Making a difference is what I long for. I'm waiting to hear God's voice about choices for making a difference - what that looks like, where it will be. Perhaps close to home. With grandkids and family. For now.

    1. Friend me on FB, so I can add you to our (in)life after fifty FB page

  4. your comment:
    """I really, really want the rest of my life to be the best of my life."""
    ... really spoke to my heart. deeply. sharing your post on fb.

    1. friend me on FB and then I can add you to our (in) life after fifty FB group without waiting for all of your info from (in)courage

    2. Hi friend, You signed up for two (in)courage groups and you can only be in one. :( I'm so sad, but if you think the other group would be most beneficial I won't be upset by any means. Choose which one you feel would be best for YOU. Love you bunches.

  5. Great post, thanks enjoyed reading. I am 43 and fast approaching my 50's, but with a 16 month old, 4 year old, 10 year old and 13 year old! I am very conscious of, with God's help, making the right decisions ... as I have wasted so much in the past making foolish ones. I especially like your point about not being able to change anyone. Not really understanding the 1000 Gifts thing, but going to try and get involved as I really need the (in)courage - ment. :)

    1. The 1000 gifts idea of counting your gratitude is based on the book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts. It's an amazing book and I highly recommend it! I'm including a link if you are interested.

  6. Hi Elizabeth, absolutely love your photos of the church and barn! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I'm adding you to my blog list so I can be sure to visit again. xo

    1. Thanks Lynda! I've been a long time follower of your blog, though rather a quiet one.

  7. Beautiful photos. Wonderful to continue to date your husband. I have come to the conclusion since being in my 50's that I want to SPEND my life well.
    BTW, just learned last week that the new statistic for being middle aged is being 53. Which means I won't be middle aged til next year!

    1. That means we would all live to 106! How do they come up with these things!


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