Autumn

Saturday, October 1, 2022

 

"He changes times and seasons" Daniel 2:21  

I never thought about the Fall until I became a mother. My husband loves Fall and he taught our kids to have an appreciation for it. One year, as the kids watched the seasons change, my middle child said "mamãe, Fall is coming! We need to decorate the house!" I thought, "Okay, now how should we do it?" 

I'm no Martha Steward. I'm also a "less is more" type of person so we started small. We bought small pumpkins. We found a few decorative flowers in yellow, dark red, and orange. We placed them inside a vase. 

The kids were so happy to see those additions to our decorations. We lit fall-scented candles each afternoon. My husband always commented about how great the house smells with the spiced scent.  Fall is a feast for the senses. 

Summer is full of intensive activities. We feel energized. The Fall offers a retreat for the soul. It slows our bodies and minds. It draws us inside our homes. It offers plenty of opportunities to stop and think about the abundance of things we have. 


Over the years, our family developed recipes we only use in the Fall. My husband makes his award-winning "pumpkin surprise" cake. This recipe won second place at a church competition in Houston, Texas. 


We eat chili and cornbread. I didn't grow up eating chili but I learned to enjoy it during the Fall. The kids enjoy being creative with different toppings. Our favorite thing is to come together at dinner time and see how everyone decided to enjoy their chili. 


We bake pumpkin muffins and chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. We often share these desserts with neighbors. Part of the joy of cooking is giving away fresh baked goods to others. Baking is better when we share with friends.


We read year-round yet our book selection becomes significantly better during the Fall. When the kids were in preschool, I started gathering books with Fall themes. We only read those books during the Fall. As the kids grow older, we change our selections yet, we keep a few favorites for old-time sake. 


We created a playlist with Autumn songs. I taught the kids to sing "give thanks with a grateful heart" when they were little. We still sing it when we think of songs of thanksgiving. 


I think of all of these things we do as a slow start to the Thanksgiving holiday. My goal is to develop gratefulness to God for creating Fall. He changed the season. We gladly adapt and rejoice. 


The thanksgiving holiday is my favorite. I like it so much, and I want to be grateful throughout the season. Why wait until November if we can be thankful all year long? True thanksgiving starts in the heart. 


Autumn becomes more meaningful when we don't forget the heart. The heart is deceitful. You can have the best Fall decorations, the most delicious recipes, and an ungrateful attitude. What is Fall without a heart of continued gratitude to God? 


I can cultivate gratitude daily. How so? I start with the recognition that I can grow in gratitude. I continue my cultivation with repentance. I haven't always been grateful for the many blessings God generously gives me. I've complained. I've murmured. I haven't treasured the people in my life as I should. My so-called "service" to others was not motivated by agape love. I repent. God graciously forgives me. 


I continue this process by offering thanks to God. He is good. His mercy endures forever. Bible reading fills my heart with more reasons and reminders to be continually grateful to the Lord. Then, I do it all over again: wash, rinse, repeat. This process is like laundry, a continuing part of life. 


This Fall, I want to remember those who have are enduring difficulties. I think of those who are burdened by the hardships of life. God sees and He cares for you. He knows the tears, He knows your pain. 


I am praying for and with you. I understand that sometimes, it is difficult to see the beauty of the season. It is okay to feel as you do. It is also okay to continue to pray. It is okay to reach out and ask for help. Friends are often God's answers to the heaviness of life. Friends remind us of God's care for us. When we engage in friendship, we discover togetherness in trials. 


God created each season. When you are going through difficulties, please know that seasons change. Relief comes. Tides turn for it is God's design. 


I hope that you find beauty in the life God is giving you this Autumn. I encourage you to grow and nurture gratitude in all things. 


Thank God for the beauty of this season. Thank God the last season is gone. Thank God there's a season to come. 


These days, my family and I are enjoying each day the Lord gives us. We are watching the leaves change colors. We are mindful to give thanks to the Lord for Autumn. 

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Sunday Seven

Sunday, September 25, 2022


1. Hardship has the potential of making us stronger. I see this daily in my CrossFit training. I would say that most things I do today, I couldn't do on day 1. I kept showing up. I trusted the process. I didn't allow myself to back down from challenges. I'm stronger than I was on day 1. I'm excited about the potential for future growth as I remain consistently patient. 


2. Following wise pursuits bring peace and joy. I know the results of going after worthless pursuits. Browsing mindlessly. Wasting time worrying about things I can't control. Harboring unforgiveness. These things have proven to be worthless in my life. The way of wisdom leads us to fruitful results. It holds our hand as we walk beside still waters. It restores our souls. It is good to know the difference. 


3. After peace, answers arrive. I'm learning to do what it takes to get to a peaceful state of mind and heart. Jesus is the Prince of peace. He freely gives us peace, not as the world gives. I find the answers I need are often on the other side of making myself receive perfect peace. 


4. God places me where He wants me to be. The more I find peace in His leadership, the easier it is to live out His assignments. I'm firmly planted in my family. I'm firmly planted in His house. Any assignment that comes my way has to go through His plan and approval.


5. My husband is an incredible blessing from God. I'm grateful for Zeke's commitment to me and to our family. In 4 months we will celebrate 17 years of marriage. My prayer is that God will continue to lead our family.


6. On my worst days, I've learned to feel my feelings. I also learned not to dwell in them.  I learned that acting on behalf of others helps me find the simple joy of being human. This ability to do good for the other is truly a gift from God. 


7. Prayer is and will continue to be my lifeline. I choose not to live one day without praying. I'm not sure where I'd be without God.

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What I learned this Summer 2022

Friday, September 23, 2022

A truly peaceful summer is something I didn't have to seek because it was there. Peace is a great companion. It eases the mind, heart, and emotions. Peace is the atmosphere I have always wanted to dwell in. 

Friends will come to see about you. They will find you, no matter how far you are, they will come for you. This summer we enjoyed the closeness of friends and family. 

How we adapt to change is a matter of character, preference and choice. Character because when you're my age, your reactions to change display what you're made of. Preference because we all have one. Choice because we get to vote on how we react to change. We can be miserable because of change or marveled by change. We can't have both.

Summers are for swimming. The kids enjoyed being part of a neighborhood swim team. We got to meet and make good friends during the summer.  

This summer I saw dreams come true through my daughter's eyes. They told us that both of their birthdays were better than they expected. Children dream freely. We certainly encourage them to dream big and believe God's goodness with gratitude in our hearts. 

My children and becoming young adults. I see them growing right in front of my eyes. I stopped and celebrated one of our kids with a celebratory tea. It was an occasion to bless, encourage and celebrate the start of Christian womanhood. It was a beautiful blessing to our entire family.

God blessed me this summer beyond my wildest dreams and expectations. I am grateful because He is good at all seasons of life.

Related posts:



• Winter 2022
Spring 2022

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How to get back on track with your Bible in one year reading

Friday, September 16, 2022

 

I sometimes get delayed in my Bible reading plan. Today I want to give you a plan to get back on track. Enjoy listening to this episode!

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How to get inner peace

Thursday, September 15, 2022

If like me, you can use a bit more peace, listen to this episode:

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