I took this photo last year in Arkansas. I never grow tired of looking at the leaves when they are the most beautiful - in the fall. They are dying, preparing to drop to the ground. Yet in their most colorful state of death, they are giving life to the soil...replenishing it...preparing it for the next year of growth.

Sometimes without realizing it - in our most difficult, trying and 'deathlike' experiences of our lives, we are actually producing vital life-giving strength within our souls. Of course, it doesn't feel like we could ever help anyone during the time of our struggles. But, when the dust settles and time helps to heal our wounds...we are often able to give out encouraging thoughts to others.

Like the leaves, we live through the seasons of our lives. Each season and event - good or not so good - affects the next season. Our struggle at times is letting go of the season that is over. Mentally challenging thoughts of the past often interfere with moving forward. Yet, many of those thoughts must die...so we can continue to replenish the soil of our thoughts and hearts.

            So we can enjoy life once again ~ looking for the beauty in the dying places of the soil within our hearts. . .