Monday, September 12, 2011

A Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils

I love the budding Internet romance in You’ve Got Mail when Joe writes to Kathleen, “Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” I'm a romantic when it comes to fall too. Even though I'm now a Grandma, September still symbolizes fresh starts and new beginnings.

I get the itch to select spiral notebooks, colorful pencils, construction paper, and new books. I love the weight in my hand as I riffle through the pages, the smell of newly sharpened pencils, and crisp fall mornings.

Each of us can claim this season of new beginnings, whether a student, young adult, parent, single adult, or grandparent. January may be our official New Year, but I also claim September as a time to start again. Miss Stacy encourages Anne with these words, in Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery, “Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” No matter what we’ve done or not done in the past, in this new season, we can begin again. We can make better choices; we can look to God for every decision and word.

Whether that means cleaning house (mentally or physically), getting back to healthy habits, making amends for wrongs, or starting each day in conversation with God – we each get a fresh start in the newness of fall. If we will take hold of it.

God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV).

So, even though I don’t know you personally, I would like to send you a bouquet of sharpened pencils to wish you a Happy Fall! If I could, I would have them delivered to your door with this message of hope: Whatever your need, God can fill it. Whatever wrongs you have done, He can and will forgive if you ask. However dry and desolate things appear at the moment, He can pour out streams of Living Water on your soul to revive your strength. He loves you no matter how many times you have failed or rejected Him and wants to make you new. Don’t you love our God of new beginnings?


  1. Beth, I always enjoy your blog. There are 5 million high school students here in Metro Manila. Statistics say that 50% have made mistakes that go against God's law. We want them to all know Christ died once for all sin, righteous for the unrighteous to bring some to himself. Pray for the Philippines. Derek

  2. Yes! Thank you, Derek. I will continue to pray for you and your family and ministry in the Philippines. You are doing a great work.

  3. I have a bouguet of freshly sharpened pencils on the bedroom's lamp table. What fun to write with a fresh one - just like each day is a fresh one!

  4. This is a lovely post. I feel the same way about September. My son just started college and doesn’t need crayons, colored pencils, markers and construction paper anymore. He needs are different now - on several levels.

    I always remember that line from Anne of Green Gables, and used to give my son those words when he needed them.

    Thanks for sharing your gift.

  5. I love the smell of pencils. I remember going into Coral's Book Shop in Corvallis as a child and that wonderful wooden pencil smell would hit you as soon as you came in the front door.