Fall is here!

Fall classroom units are planned, children are back at their desks, gardens are producing harvest, and football is beginning again. Signs that fall is here!

Each season brings new beginnings. I love starting the fall activities at our church and seeing kids start a new grade (which somehow makes them seem older so quickly!). The beauty of the harvest and the leaves. Sweatshirt-weather and high school football games. Brach’s candy corn and mellow pumpkins. And I cannot help but long to spend fall days at Edward’s Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, IL.

The sadness of saying goodbye to summer still lingers… I want to soak in every ounce of heat I can before the chill and cold settle in for a stay. I want to print the fun pictures of family visiting, summer birthdays, and teacher-friends who once had more time during summer months. I’ll embrace the fall, but oh I love and long for the warmth of summer fun!

Are you ready for fall? Pumpkin cookies and apple cider, trick-or-treat, and football? Fall is a fun season on its own. A delightful season of anticipation. A season that culminates in the holiday of Thanksgiving. A beautiful celebration to help us carry an “attitude of gratitude” all year. I worked on thank-you notes over the past week… an excellent reminder of how many things and people I have to be thankful for. In the midst of today, perhaps one person comes to mind who needs to know that you are thankful for their presence in your life. Write just one thank-you this week.

Fall is here! Celebrate the beauty of the new things, enjoy the harvest that God has given from your garden or grocery store. Start making your list of things to be thankful for… there is always lots no matter what circumstances you find yourself in right now.

Fall-is-Here

Bring hope.

Sometimes in the hurry of life the beauty of the moment is forgotten. Even when the moment is a disastrous kitchen, overly-curious-into-everything toddler, homework-laden-hard-working in need of help husband, and a very tired soul – me!

In the midst of the craziness that is our life – starting a new business, a toddler who still does not sleep through the night, full-time school, shoestring budgets, volunteering at church, and then making time for ourselves and friendships…. I sometimes grow weary. This weary place is where I found myself last Tuesday. Just having completed six weeks of the aforementioned schedule with the addition of contract work and family members in and out of our home (all for whom I am very thankful!!!) – I was exhausted and looking at two more crazy weeks. Therefore my mental state was in need of adjustment.

My heart just longed to have time and space. Time to sit and read. Time to go away for a weekend by myself. Time to go to the bathroom by myself. So sulking through my week I made a resolution to go out on Friday night with a friend. So with dinner made I left the house and my son in the very capable hands of his dad and went out for an evening with friends. It is amazing what 4-1/2 hours of conversation with a friend, who encourages and challenges you, will do for perspective. Life looks different when you step away for a glimpse at the big picture. You are reminded that today matters, God has given what is need for the moment, He holds the future, and He gave us each other to walk together. Just one piece of a mosaic is not typically very interesting, pretty or desirable, but all together it is beautiful.

Mosaic

Missionaries are a group of people who have chosen to sojourn and love on people, putting themselves last so that the people around them may have a place to find hope. So, I’m certain that they have days that are weary and moments in need of encouragement. Bringing hope to others is a blessing to the one bringing and to the one receiving. As I was designing a thank-you for a short-term missions trip where they were able to bring supplies and serve along side missionaries for a week, I was reminded that I need to bring hope and beauty to those in my world. Whether it is people in passing, the neighbors around me, or good friends who are beauty in my world.

In the crazy moments of life, take a step back. This is just one piece. The whole of the mosaic is beautiful.

Kenya