Hearts of Gold Community Day, Simpson-Waverly School, Hartford. (c) Kim M. Bennett, 2012.

This morning, I awoke to that first fall day when the grass, the trees, and the car windshields are covered in frost. The sunshine was blinding, the air was cleaner-than-clean, and the fall foliage was brilliant. The humongous bronze coleus that my middle son, Christopher, gave me spent the evening safely tucked into our front entryway. All kitties, much to their dismay, spent the night sleeping inside, waiting to be sprung the next morning. The aloe and rosemary which had prospered so in the front flower garden, perched on the windowsill and poked fun at the nasturtiums and pansies that cringed outside in the cold.

I love fall, but I think, in my heart, that I’m a summer girl. So when I pored through my photographs, looking for one that fit this week’s challenge, I was pleasantly surprised to find this one of two little girls playing with a gigantic foam soccer ball at a summer community event.

On this day, when wood smoke flickers from houses, leaves crunch under feet, and blue jays scurry around, collecting acorns that they will hide and forget about, I am thinking summer thoughts: the sound of laughter and children splashing in the playground sprinkler; the sizzle of ribs and chicken on the grill; the smell of barbecue and mesquite chips; the blare of merengue from the PA system; the burn of July sunshine on too-hot summer skin.

I am also thinking about the big things that have happened in our lives this past year:

  • moving from our house in the city to an apartment in the country;
  • starting a new homeschool schedule with our youngest son;
  • receiving the discouraging news of a new cancer diagnosis from my doctor.

But I also look back over the last decade, and these “big” things seem small, in comparison to…

  • starting a new life with my husband, Anthony;
  • experiencing the birth of my youngest son;
  • surviving, and prospering after, a bout with breast cancer;
  • building a thriving business from hope, a little cash, and a whole lot of encouragement and support from my husband, my family and my friends.

I thank God for the fact that He gives us a heart with eternity pre-programmed in it. If I was distracted by the seemingly “big” things of a day, a week, a month, even a year, I would miss out on the really important things of my life, and even the fact that I had a life (and an abundant one), at all.

That’s big.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jer 29:11