“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~ William Cullen Bryant
I remember how the cool breezes danced red maple leaves across our lawn. The smell of homemade applesauce lingered throughout the house as we all started to bundle up by the year’s first fire. These are some of my fondest memories.
Now as a mom I live in Florida. Hot, humid, green Florida. If I want my boys to enjoy striking fall colors and crisp weather we have to leave the state.
A few years ago my husband and I started a new tradition for our family. We make sure not to miss the peak fall season. Each year we plan a fall family getaway. Last year we had the amazing opportunity to spend time in Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. This year we just returned from camping in the mountains of western North Carolina.
As I get a bit older I’m learning that there is so much more to fall than a kaleidoscope of colors. Fall offers us a time to look back – individually and as a family – over our year and plan to finish well.
Fall offers change. A change of scenery, temperature, food, and clothing. It’s time to discuss with my boys if they are seeing change in their own lives. Are they maturing? Are they growing spiritually? Do I notice a difference in my spiritual walk? Is God’s Word taking root in my heart and changing me?
Fall offers beauty. A time of colorful ripe harvest. Are we producing a healthy crop of spiritual fruit? Does our light shine like Sugar Maples at sunset? Am I showering grace down upon my children with each breathe?
Fall offers peace. An opportunity to rest and just be still. Can we name the things that distract us? Are we spending enough time in God’s Word? In prayer? Are we peaceful or anxious? Do we praise God for the work He is doing in ourselves and speak it to each other?
We have become busy people. Many things tug at our time, attention, and our hearts. We rush far too often.
The possibilities of fall are meaningful when we allow it to linger.
Set aside purposeful time with your family to enjoy God’s creation. Before fall fades, mark your calendar for a time of personal evaluation. Sing out thanks as your family prepares for advent. You can finish this year as strong as you started!
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9 (nasb)
Check out this Nature Study from Five in a Row as a way to enjoy fall with your family!