I love a good meme. I saw some the other day that were surrounding Fall and they just gave me a good giggle. The one that got me the most-
Two weekends ago, when the weather dipped below 80 degrees, I busted out my crockpot- made 15 lbs of chili, let my husband watch endless hours of college football instead of Bluey, lit up every pumpkin pie spice latte candle in the house, and threw on my only chunky sweater.
You could say I was ready for the change.
The funny thing was, the change did not actually last very long. Within the next week- we were back up in the 80’s. And I’m still eating leftover chili.
What is it about this magical season that we long for? One of my daughters pointed out the other day on the way to school that, “I beg for summer and sunny, warm weather and then when I get it, all I want is winter and cold, snowy weather.” Yup. Sounds about right.
As much as people claim to not like change, there seems to be a true pining, a yearning for it each year. I believe it’s why the Fall season is so widely loved. With hints of cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin in our foods, warmth in the textures of our clothes, a chill in the air, and a place by the fire calling our names- it all just makes for a welcoming, friendly time of year.
And for me, it’s the leaves. Not to sound cliche or even silly- but I truly love watching the leaves change. In fact, I was so busy admiring the leaves on a huge Maple tree, that I was a sitting duck for falling acorns. One hit me so hard directly on the crown of my head that I actually yelled out, “OUUUUUUCH! That really HURT!” It was so loud that I apparently scared the dickens out of June laying there in the stroller.
I shared in my latest book, Just Compose Yourself, (in a list of confessions) that I once packed my ziplock bags, dusted off my best sneakers, and holding a flyer from a telephone pole that read “Neighborhood Leaf Collection”- went out to meet my neighbors… to collect leaves.
Turns out… that I was slightly mistaken, and the trucks were coming to grab piles of your raked up leaves. And that was it.
So, after a good laugh every year at this time, I still stop and pick up leaves, collecting them as a reminder of the beauty within.
I say within, because- get ready- a fun, scientific fact about Fall leaves: the color has been in them the whole time. Due to the lessening of the sun shining, and the lack of chlorophyll created, the overwhelming green diminishes, and the leave’s true colors are revealed.
Having that little tidbit of information in my back pocket has helped me with all the changes going on in my own life. This is a busy time of year. I am now spending the better portion of my day in the car-commuting my children to their different schools, toting a tantrum-y toddler around, (she actually launched a handful of Dunkin’ Donuts tater tots at me from the backseat yesterday) helping with hours of homework and test prep, signing permission slips left and right, all while trying not to burn dinner, dropping and cheering the girls at their three different sports, and tucking them all in with bedtime stories and kisses. And as a result- not even getting close to knocking things off my own daily to-do or would-like-to-do lists.
To be honest, it’s very tempting to lay down each night underappreciated and wake up each day overwhelmed.
But, as I rise each morning, to a quiet, dark house- I have tried to sit up in bed and whisper these 16 simple words before ever touching the floor or grabbing my phone. And believe me, the devil will take swings at you when you try this- telling you that this is too small of a step and it won’t make a difference. But friends, it is making a difference- all the difference in the world.
It’s a reset button. It’s not one more thing- it’s the ONLY thing, when I’m feeling this way. When I’m overwhelmed, I’m choosing to be overwhelmed by Him. I feel it setting the stage for Thankfulness- realizing I am still blessed while over my head in the mess.
And being “glad”? It requires opening our eyes, ears, and other senses to the good (its in there!) that lies beneath. Sometimes it’s just buried beneath the to-do’s, the paperwork, the miles in the car, the hugs and heartaches.
No day has been perfect, but there is more joy in my Fall season this year. And it’s not just my from the warmth of chunky sweater or the sweet smell of the hundreds of pumpkin spice everything. It’s truly as if I’m seeing all the beauty and colors in my daily world that had actually always been there, but were covered up before.
So, my friends- pick up that PSL, go for a walk, and look around. Recite Psalm 118 and meditate on those words. The Lord made this day. The next 24 of your hours are a gift. So, embrace it for all can be and all it is. See the beauty in the true colors of the spilled coffee, the mistakes and mayhem, remembering that seasons come and seasons go. But there is good to be glad in. Just don’t forget to watch for those falling acorns.
BONUS-DIY pumpkin decor
CUTENESS overload, right? These are so easy to make- just follow the simple steps below!
Materials: ( I used everything laying around my house- when I want to craft- I want to craft right away! )
- ribbon in orange-y colors
- a background- I used leftover tiles from Coaster craft night – you could also use a canvas, card stock, an old picture frame, etc.
- gold wire or wired twine
- brown card stock or a brown paper bag
- scissors and glue gun
Step 1) Take the end of your first ribbon and after twisting it a bit, pinch to hold tight.
Step 2) Make a dot of hot glue in the center of your background and push your twisted ribbon onto it.
Step 3) Continue to twist your ribbon and gluing it in a circle.
Step 4) Decide when you want to switch the ribbon colors- it could be a back and forth pattern or just half and half! Cut the first ribbon free.
Step 5) Take your second ribbon and following step 1, attach it right to the end of your first ribbon. Begin twisting and winding and gluing.
Step 6) Finish your pumpkin shape and cut the ribbon free.
Step 7) Cut a stem from the brown card stock and glue it on top.
Step 8) Wrap your finger in the gold wire to curl it, cut free, and glue it to the stem.
Voila! Display and enjoy!