Ken and I have just returned from a visit to see our oldest daughter, her husband and our two grandchildren in South Carolina. In recent years, since our girls have moved to parts of the country where they actually have four seasons, we always try to schedule a trip to enjoy the splendor of fall. This year when we pulled up in the driveway, our granddaughter Evelyn proudly showed us the pumpkins she had found at the pumpkin patch that were now decorating the front steps. I love that my daughter had mixed in several of my mom’s ceramic pumpkins throughout the house. The tradition of loving fall has passed down through the generations. I remember celebrating with my own grandmother.
When my youngest daughter flew in from New York a few weeks ago for a long weekend, one of the first things we did was to go to the craft store to choose some fall leaves because she wanted me to make a wreath for her to bring home to her little NYC apartment. Somehow, she managed to fit it in her carryon bag for the flight home!
During our trip, we took our two granddaughters and Maggie to the mountains for two days in search of color and fall fun. The trees were beautiful, although not as glorious as some years since many had lost their leaves in the hurricane that blew through the area. Still we loved driving together, singing songs in the car up the mountain roads and searching along the roads for trees in their autumn glow of orange and red.
When we arrived at the hotel I lit the pumpkin candle I had brought along to enjoy with yummy pumpkin bread and snacks. We went shopping in the Highlands, NC and it was such fun to buy Evelyn a new pair of bright pink boots. Only a lively three years old child can pull that off! Baby Audrey made everyone smile in the stores in her little hat as we strolled along the streets. There’s nothing like a happy six months old baby to brighten your day! We took time to savor the moments together, stopping at a coffee shop for a latte and a cookie. While we waited for a table for dinner that night, Evelyn was perfectly content to jump in the leaves outside on the steps for forty minutes. It’s the little things!
Little Evelyn was quite taken with trying to find beautiful leaves that had fallen as we made our way up to view a gorgeous waterfall, so we brought a stash of red and gold leaves home to add to the table decorations.
We visited the beautiful site at High Hampton Inn where Maggie and Spencer were married and took a picture of their two girls where mom and dad had taken their vows. Then we enjoyed a roaring fire in the old inn before heading back down the mountain.
I love fall! I love the pumpkins, the bright colors of leaves and decorations. I love the cool temperatures that call us to pull out the warm jackets, cozy sweaters, and blankets. I love snuggling in front of a fire with a cup of hot tea. And even though we often don’t get much fall leaf color in Baton Rouge, LA, I enjoy just looking at pictures of fall in other areas of the country. I remember as a young girl riding my bike with my friend Jan to the TG & Y store and seeing giant paintings at the top of the shelves of bright fall leaves and thinking – they just made that up! You see our Louisiana autumns are not quite so brilliant in color. I had never experienced such a wonder in God’s creation, but it captured my imagination as a child.
It wasn’t until I traveled to Europe and New England in October as a young wife that I saw for myself God’s glory in all its autumn splendor. We’ve made many an autumn pilgrimage ever since. Sometimes, I must make the pilgrimage in my mind through beautiful photography while enjoying the scents and tastes of the season in my Louisiana home and other years I am blessed to experience it in person.
Either way it captivates me with beauty and wonder and renews my spirit after a long, hot summer. As I have often written in recent months, this past summer has left me feeling a little parched from the great loss and sorrow we have experienced.
And so, I anticipate with hope a new season.
Psalm 126:5-6 (NIV)
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Perhaps you have also been through a hard season. Maybe you feel a little barren or parched.
I encourage you to pause and take in the beauty and wonder of this new season of autumn.
Sometimes our circumstances don’t change. Those we love still face difficult trials and pain, but it restores the soul to breathe in the beauty of the everyday moments...the scents, sights and sounds of a new season, the splendor of bright colors, the promise of hope.
And this truth we can cling to, no matter what this new season brings…
Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
You can trust this season of your life into the loving care of Jesus.
He is enough! He will sustain and strengthen you in the darkness and the light.
One thing that I have learned is that often through the painful seasons and trials of life the Lord brings forth beauty. The colors of our lives, like the leaves in autumn on the trees can shine most brilliantly after a season of draught. In those times of trial He transforms our character, refines and strengthens us for the days ahead. We can enter this season of harvest with the promise of blessings and look for joy.
It helps to look for beauty and the joyful colors of life in the little things…
the smile of my youngest grandchild Audrey,
the laughter of my granddaughter as she jumps in the leaves,
the scent of a pumpkin spice candle burning beside me as I write and read,
a prayer for a friend,
the phone call from a loved one who lives far away,
the comfort of a Scripture verse,
a piece of pumpkin bread with dark chocolate morsels,
a son-in-law who loves his girls and my daughter,
visits with family in Greenville,
a red sunset through the airplane window seen through tears as I fly away from my children and grandchildren,
two daughters who love generously,
the comfort of my own bed,
seeing my mama,
a prayer lifted up for my sister,
the promise of a hug,
an unexpected email of love,
my husbands shoulder to rest on during the long flight home away from my babies….
These are just a few of the moments of joy that I have breathed in over the last few days.
Fall is also about release.
There is a slowness to the season if you will let yourself take it in.
It is a time of preparation for the season of winter rest or perhaps a little respite before the rush of the holidays.
As you watch the leaves fall this year, consider what the Lord might have you release into His hands.
Perhaps a negative attitude or habit.
Maybe you need to release someone with forgiveness
or let go of something that is draining your creative energy.
Maybe you need to release your schedule and plans to the Lord.
As the fallen leaves cover the ground and rest for winter before the burst of Spring, give yourself permission to rest a little.
Write down your thoughts as the Lord reveals His heart for you about release on one of these cool autumn days. We reap what we sow.
Light a candle, fix a cup of hot cocoa, coffee or tea, put on some beautiful instrumental music
and take some time to breathe and pray about the season.
Take in the beauty and God’s glory.
Rest and savor the little moments of joy.
Enjoy a little eye candy of God's glory on display in the slide show below. Let it stir your senses!
Autumn is truly a feast for our senses.
What are some of the things that you love most about Autumn?
What are some of the blessings of joy that you have known in recent days?
Perhaps you would like to write them below in the comments on the blog website or on facebook or twitter.
Sometimes hearing what others love about the season spurs us on to find our own moments of beauty and joy.
What does autumn look and feel like to you?
Savoring God’s Autumn blessings and joy,
Resources: Slideshow Pinterest photos
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