Mrs. Miniver and Autumn

by lora on October 6, 2009

Last week when Lindsay was in Oklahoma, she went to a little shop that had many vintage items, including books.  Lindsay knows of my love for old books and found one that was just perfect for me. It is a 1942 edition of “Mrs. Miniver,” by Jan Struther. It is in great condition, and smells of old book. I couldn’t wait to start reading it and last night I began my adventure with Mrs. Miniver. If you are unfamiliar with the story, it takes place in England during the early days of World War II. One of the reasons I find it intriguing is because it was written before the war was over and the outcome was still uncertain. The 1942 edition is a re-release of the October 1939 edition with an added chapter. I love the movie as well which stars one of my favorite actresses, Greer Garson.

 As I was reading last night I came across a few thoughts that Mrs. Miniver had about autumn and they line up with many things that have been in my thoughts. I’d like to share a few of the passages with you.

Stepping lightly and quickly down the square, Mrs. Miniver suddenly understood why she was enjoying the forties so much better than she had enjoyed the thirties: it was the difference between August and October, between the heaviness of late summer and the sparkle of early autumn, between the ending of an old phase and the beginning of a fresh one.

Because of all that is happening in my life right now, I am having to examine the phases I have gone through and am entering a great deal. In a way I am trying to hang onto that which is changing, much like a branch hanging onto the last few leaves, not wanting to let go and to move into winter. I am seeing that I can’t hang onto the past and that I need to embrace what lies ahead, no matter what that may be. If I truly believe I serve a sovereign God, then I need to embrace what He has in store for me and to view it as fresh and exciting, not something to be feared.

Upstairs in the drawing-room there was a small bright fire of logs, yet the sunshine that flooded in through the open windows had real warmth in it. It was perfect: she felt suspended between summer and winter, savouring the best of them both.

I am at a stage where I am suspended between things as well. I am finding that I need to find the balance and be able to savour both sides of things. I have a daughter that is moving towards marriage and moving 1,000 miles away, but yet, I still have 4 daughters who will remain at home. Many conflicting thoughts and feelings are coursing through me during these days and I need to focus on the blessings of both situations. The Lord has blessed us so tremendously through all of this and we can see His handiwork all around.  Any negative feelings that I experience are only those of a mother whose daughter is leaving. It amazes me how I can be so thrilled and excited while also feeling a sense of loss.

Oh, yes, October certainly suited her best. For the ancients, as she had inescapably learnt at school, it had been the eighth month; nowadays, officially, it was the tenth: but for her it was always the first, the real New Year. That laborious affair in January was nothing but a name.

Autumn has always brought thoughts of new beginnings to me. I love the crispness of the air and the sky seems to have a crisper blue to it as well. The smell of leaves and wood fires makes me feel warm inside. I love the coolness of the day; it makes me feel invigorated as if anything is possible. Every day is a day of new beginnings, but somehow autumn makes me more aware of it. As I go through this season of change in my personal life, I want to focus on the blessings and joy and not let busyness and stress rob me of my joy. Having joy in the Lord is something I need to not be distracted from it. Many different things can rob me of my joy and I have to be ever-ready to combat them. I have been looking at verses on joy, to get me thinking in the right direction.

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. Ps. 5:11

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Ps 32:11

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Ps. 51:12

The Lord wants us to rest in Him. If we are truly at rest in His arms, then we should be able to find joy in every situation. Our joy shouldn’t come from our circumstances, it should come from Him, due to His grace. I hope and pray that the Lord will grant you the grace needed to feel total rest, peace and joy in His presence.

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