Monday, October 14, 2019

Practicing our Purpose: Fall Traditions

Thanksgiving season in 2013
We woke up early on move-in day. We had been familiar with our new house for exactly 15 hours (8 of which were dedicated to sleeping in a hotel).
When the movers came in, my job was to get the kids to help with the items we had in our cars. My job was also to keep them out of the way so my husband and the movers could work uninterrupted.

Arriving at a new community colors every aspect of your life, fall traditions included. Traditions are things we repeat year after year. This Fall, I realized that our family cares about things that are eternal. Eternal things are not seasonal but we manage to work them in our Fall Traditions.

I came back with the kids after a productive time running errands. I noticed the kitchen table was where it was supposed to be. I proceeded to focus on what is really important to us: connecting around the dinner table.

I found the Fall decor. I also bought the scented candles we light once a year. As a Christian family, we live in a world that is celebrating Fall but we go through every season with eternity in mind.

The goal of the Fall decor, the trip to the pumpkin patch and the warm soup in the slow cooker is to connect us as a Christina family. I see each moment as an opportunity to think about the eternal, long-term picture. I want the kids to remember how much we love them and how much God loves them. I want them to know God. I want them to know how to grab a hold of Him for themselves. I also want them to know and love God’s word.

Here are a few practical ways we practice our purpose during the Fall:

We enjoy warmer and heavier foods during this season. While we put some effort into the cooking part, the goal is to connect as a family around the dinner table. We’ve been waiting for a long time to have chili so we had it last night with cornbread and all the fixings.
We teach what the Bible has to say about thanksgiving. Years ago, I decided I can’t wait until Thanksgiving week to both model and teach on the subject. We start early because it is a priority for daily living.
We teach Christmas hymns. Some timeless, theologically sound Christmas hymns have been written. We teach those lyrics ahead of time. We use YouTube as a resource, where you can find kid-friendly lyric videos. We love all hymns and we teach them to the kids. I find that we enjoy the Christmas season more if we know the lyrics of the hymns we hear in different concerts and presentations.
We celebrate family. We have always lived far away from family. The Fall is when we get together with a lot of our extended family. My husband’s birthday is also in the Fall. We focus on celebrating him well. This is another principle we teach. We want the kids to know and practice the value of celebrating others well. It takes a heart attitude. It also takes planning and practice.
We have a few Thanksgiving-themed books we read each year. Reading is something we encourage on a daily basis. I believe that books awaken and enhance the imagination in a Godly way.
We do decorate for the Fall. We try to do it early and I save my decor from year to year. I started decorating when one of my kids asked about it. She was a little toddler and I thought, why not make the house festive for the Fall? I don’t go all out but it is decorated enough that we know there is something special about this season.

For other practical ways to practice your purpose during this season, reach Sally Clarkson’s "The Lifegiving Home."

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