Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Excerpt

Harriet Michael's photo.This week saw the first day of autumn. How could it be fall already? Time has a way of flying by. I have stayed busy trying to get two books launched as well as continuing to write short pieces. One of the books that will soon be released is a short, seasonal devotional book I co-wrote with a friend I grew up with on the mission field. This is an ex co-wrote with a friend I grew up with on the mission field. Here is an excerpt from that book. 

Life’s Ripples

Read: Psalm 74:13-17 
The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
Psalm 74:16-17 (NIV)

Autumn was once an enigma to me. As a little girl growing up beneath the hot tropical sun, I had no memory of autumn. Oh, I had experienced it when my parents were in America on furlough but I was too young to really remember what it was like. 

Nonetheless, even in tropical Nigeria, I learned to love the autumn season. Why did I love it as a child when I had not experienced it? Where did I get my love for this season of cooler weather, colorful scenery, scurrying squirrels, crunchy leaves, and frosty mornings? I think the credit goes to a missionary aunt who taught my school—my Aunt Lil Wasson.   

Because she had a teaching degree and several children of her own in need of an education, Aunt Lil bravely took on the job of elementary school teacher to all the missionary kids on the compound. Ogbomoso, the Nigerian town where we lived, had both a hospital and seminary with about a half a dozen missionary families working in each. All together these missionaries had at least a dozen or more elementary age children depending on who was on furlough in any given year. Aunt Lil taught all of us in her garage which had been made into a one-room school house. She was a brave woman, indeed.  

Aunt Lil loved autumn. She grew up in Arkansas where trees are abundant and autumns are glorious. Nigeria had only two seasons. Half the year it rained some everyday and the other half it did not rain at all. America’s autumn months fell at the end of rainy season.

Aunt Lil always decorated her schoolroom with pictures representative of autumn and had her American citizen students learn about their homeland. I can still remember sitting in her garage classroom looking at the decorations all around me—bright orange pumpkins, brown squirrels, and trees with red, orange, and yellow leaves.    

She had a large poster-size picture of Jack Frost painting a leaf with an artist palette of fall colors which always intrigued me. One hand held the palette and the other held a paintbrush. Of course, we all knew Jack Frost was not real, but my imagination went wild just the same with thoughts of a magical place where the world turned bright with colors, where shiny, frosty crystals formed on the ground, and a little elf painted the leaves when children were not looking.  

Today, I thank God for my missionary aunt’s enthusiasm over the world He made, both tropical and temperate. And I realize how everything people do can have a lasting ripple effect on those around them.

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