Miller: God’s love is constant

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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The subtle nuances of the coming season help to bring structure and constancy to our lives. Without fail, the brisk autumn delights will find their way to us, and those who appreciate change are waiting for even the subtlest hint that bonfires and pumpkin spice are in our not-so-distant futures.

I must admit that I have already enjoyed the first delicious taste of my favorite pumpkin spice latté, complete with whipped cream, and it did not disappoint. Even though the air conditioner in my car was cranking out the cool air, I couldn’t resist this classic fall treat, and it got me in the mood for sweaters and chilly nights!

Missy and I walked the neighborhood this morning, accompanied by a cool breeze. Her short legs moved a little quicker, as if she was energized by the subtle change in the air. Callicarpa dichotoma, more commonly known as beautyberry plants, brightened up the vacant lots along our way with their vibrant purple displays.

Upon returning home, I noticed the lawn needed attention, and I made a mental note to get to it later in the day. My precious grandmother also enjoyed the outdoors and her flower and vegetable gardens, although I think her flowers took the top honor. She had a way of making even mundane chores into a happy event.

The large yard of my grandparents’ farm boasted pecan, black walnut, and sycamore trees, to name a few. When the temperatures dived and the trees lost their leaves, I suppose all that raking could have been a chore. But Mamaw’s promise of roasted hotdogs and marshmallows in the evening filled us with excitement, and we raked the day away, laughing and jumping in the piles.

When the daylight began to fade and cooler temperatures settled over the old green farmhouse, our motley crew found our shoes and jackets. The girls dutifully ran to the bathroom to wash our hands, but the boys usually needed to be coaxed. Soon sparks floated into the deepening sky while fireflies winked.

“Mamaw, I couldn’t eat another bite! Do you have a jar so I can catch lightning bugs?”

“Sure honey. How many jars do you children need? Who wants one?”

We ran and played, making a game out of who could catch the most lightning bugs. The skies deepened until the twinkling stars and fireflies seemed to create a magical place of childhood delight. Our laughter rang out with pure innocence and joy. The deepening twilight and chilling temperatures, along with our grandparents’ urging, finally lured our tired little bodies into the warm arms of the old green farmhouse.

These days, my two bionic hips keep me from running, but I am thankful and blessed to be able to walk. The outdoors and cooling temperatures beckon me. I breathe His air and enjoy the fabulous world He created. I see and feel the constancy of Christ’s love with every step I take.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at