Fall: An End to a Chapter
The tell-tale signs of autumn are upon us.
The smell of warm cinnamon in the air, nature's vast array of colors boldly on display, the gazillion luring pumpkin options that fill the shelves of Trader Joe's...
I love all things Fall.
But the one thing I cherish most about this season is its sound reminder:
The close to one chapter is merely the start to a new one.
Fall is a closing of sorts. And it's also a time of hopeful expectation.
- It prepares for the slumber of winter by letting go of things that were once useful and are no longer.
- It embraces change when it's time to move on to the next right thing.
- It doesn't resist seasons of barrenness but instead embraces them, trusting in God's goodness to use such time as preparation for what's ahead.
May we each embrace this same perspective this October.
May we remember that we live in seasons. Seasons of struggle, seasons of growth, seasons of lack, seasons of flourishing, seasons of promise, seasons of disappointment.
May we embrace all seasons with hopeful expectation, remembering everything on earth has its own time and its own season (Lamentations 3:1) and nothing is ever wasted by God...even hardship.
There is a place for every season.
And not one of them is wasted by God.
A New Perspective on 2020 (A Year of HARD)
2020 has not been the year many of us were expecting.
It sure has been filled with a whole lot more hardship and struggle than we could have ever predicted.
YET STILL . . . may we remember that there is still purpose in this season.
Yes, even this pandemic season.
God desires to use this season of hardship, less, and slow to grow and change us--in a way that perhaps could only be possible through struggle.
So let's lean in and trust what He has in store.
Let's also pay attention to our life. Let's slow down and mine for the lessons He's trying to teaching us along the way.
"We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience."
A Time for Reflection
Without pausing to reflection, we may miss out the lessons God's trying to teach us through our experiences.
So as we kick off October, I invite you to join me in a simple exercise of reflection to help you digest what has been and prepare your heart for what will be.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What has this pandemic season of “less” and “slow” taught me about myself?
- What has been most challenging to let go of this season? Has it revealed any strongholds or habits that God wants to prune away from my life?
- What things do I most look forward to welcoming back in? (e.g., attending church in person, family/friend gatherings,
- What mindsets, behaviors, or habits are best for me to leave behind?
I encourage you to set aside some time to pause, turn inward, and reflect on these points in prayer with God as you usher in October.
Make sure to have some fun this October and choose to seek out joy despite the "hard."
On that note, how about we jump into those TOP 5 PICKS for October?
Top 5 with Rachael
FOR THE MIND
#1 - Tea Time With God
It can be so easy to jump right into our day without pausing to spend our first moments with God.
This month I encourage you to join me in daily Tea Time with God. Grab a warm beverage (like this Pumpkin Spice Roobios tea from Trader Joe's) …perhaps even grab a blanket and make your way outdoors.
Commit to a “pause” each morning in silent prayer with God to sort through your insides and take captive your thoughts (2 Cor 10:5).
Click on the button below to check out TJ's yummy tea and other pumpkin goodies.
FOR THE HEART
#2 - Fall Outings With Friends
Our Fall festivities may look a bit more limited this year thanks to COVID. But there are still plenty of options for us to safely social distance and enjoy Fall outings with others.
Some of my favorite ways to usher in this season? Pumpkin carving parties or making a trek up to an apple orchard, pumpkin patch, or Farmer's Market to pick up some Fall delicacies.
Looking for some other ideas? Click on the button below for a list of 55 other Fall activities.
FOR THE SOUL
#3 - The Chosen
Have you watched The Chosen yet? If not, do yourself a favor and check out this TV series based on the life of Jesus (directed and co-written by Dallas Jenkins).
This isn't some cheesy, cringe-worthy, low production Christian watch. It's incredibly well-done, engaging, and heart-moving and will help you see Jesus from a fresh perspective--through the eyes of those who walked alongside him.
Click on the button below for more info on the series and where you can watch it.
FOR THE BODY
#4 - Olive & June Nail Polish
In need of a little self-care?
Olive & June's new Fall 2020 Nailfie Ready set is a great little treat to spruce up your look and usher in Fall. I'm obsessed. Interested in nabbing some new Fall colors for yourself? Click on the button below to get $10 off your $50+ purchase.
JUST FOR FUN
#5 - TJ's Cinnamon Broom
It's that time of year again - Trader Joe's cinnamon brooms have hit the floors! If you haven't had a chance to snag one yet…
DO IT! These bad boys will fill your house with the warm scent of cinnamon. One broom packs a punch and lasts for a good long while. And at $0.99 for the small and $3.99 for the large they won't break the bank.
Cinnamon not your thang? Check out their Honeycrisp Apple candle ($3.99) - another delicious scent to kiss your home with autumn.