I read the weather report and decided today was a good day to rake leaves  before it gets too cold.  I pushed through my desire to be a lazy couch potato and walked outdoors to begin the drudgery of raking billions of leaves off the grass.  Aspen came outside with me and had fun watching the leaves fall from the trees.  She asked what kind they were and if they were helicopter leaves since they twirled around and around as they drifted to the ground.  I did enjoy the sunshine, and the leaves, though dead and covering my yard, had an autumn beauty that brings to mind campfires and hot chocolate.   One other seasonal benefit is the fact that, by this time of year, it has been cold often enough that most of the bugs are gone.  During the summer when I went outside there were so many bugs I didn’t want to open my mouth to speak.  I would put on my wrap around sun glasses and a surgical mask before going outside to do any yard work.  But now, no pesky little buggies to spoil my enjoyment of the beauty of nature around me.

I got to thinking about how the heat kept the bugs around and multiplying while the cold killed the bugs until eventually they will be gone until the weather warms up again.  I got to thinking how annoying little bugs are a lot like annoying little negative thoughts.  I think Satan tries to pepper us with a plague of negative thoughts to distract us or downright ruin our enjoyment of the beauty God puts in and around us.  It reminded me how, if I have a negative thought, it will multiply if I give it a warm place in my thoughts and continue to think about it.  But, if I give those negative thoughts the “cold shoulder”, soon they will disappear. 

 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. Proverbs, 15:13