The buzz of spring and summer has slowed significantly as we gracefully enter the beloved season of autumn in the South. The nostalgia of fall quietly knocks on our doors, bringing hay rides, pumpkin carving, and Bath and Body Works scented candles. We pull out our plaid button ups, our cool weather scarves, and our worn-in boots that haven’t left the closet since April. We “crunch-crunch” across the yard as we take the kids back to school and begin to decorate the house for the coming holidays.

A Pause in Creation

As the temperature cools, leaves and plants turn brown and fall away, and crops stop yielding for the season, creation seems to take a deep, cleansing breath. The world pauses around us and the Earth silences itself as autumn wraps us up in a peaceful time of rest and reflection. Our surroundings take time to slow down, cool off, and be silent. Do you pause for rest and reflection in the same ways? God designed the seasons with balance and purpose, as He did you and me. As you feast your soul on the delights of fall, take direction from the creation around you, and slow down enough to fall in love with your Maker. The same God who hand-designed the beauty around you designed you, as well. And you are far more radiant.

A Child of God

As you place name tags on your kids starting new classes and joining new clubs this fall, remember to put your name tag on, as well. God has given you a name; in fact, He refers to you with many names of blessing, all throughout Scripture! We are called “children of God, complete, free, the workmanship of God, fearfully and wonderfully made, the apple of His eye, a son or daughter of the Most High, called, chosen, highly favored, conquers, the righteousness of God, anointed, overcomers, forgiven, qualified, precious, filled with joy and peace, redeemed, made new, loved, understood, made alive, overtaken with blessing” and SO MUCH MORE! This is your true identity, beloved! What will you write on your name tag today?

Get Honest, Get Help

As the trees lose their foliage and get bear with the world, choose to lose the lies and denial you’ve been carrying all year. Be honest with yourself and confess the areas of your life that you have no victory over. Choose wisdom and transparency by contacting the appropriate support for the problems you’re facing. Don’t take this baggage into the new year! Begin counseling or seeking godly counsel on whatever stands between you and your peace, or between you and another person. As the Earth rests and prepares to regenerate life in the coming months, start your own process of renewal and spiritual growth. The counseling and healing that will take place in your life by next Spring will astound you! As you open your door for trick-o-treaters and family get-togethers, open your heart to the God who heals.

Choose Joy, As Seen on Hallmark

Everyone loves a good Hallmark movie, especially during the holidays! And do you know why? I feel it’s because each movie has a “hallmark ending.” The joy can’t be counted as each title closes the final scene with complete hope, harmony, and happiness. Some of us watch those movies to escape the misery or sadness in our own lives, wishing we could relate so deeply to the joy we see onscreen. While no one can control the circumstances of life, as a movie director can control scripts and scenes, we can control our joy! We have the ability everyday to choose joy! And there is so much to be joyful about if we have a willing spirit to open our eyes and see the blessings all around! The joy of the Lord is our strength. Our wonderful Daddy withholds no good thing from his beloved children. No matter the pain, joy comes in the morning!

Beloved, are you wearing your name tag appropriately? What do you have especially inscribed on the name tag of your heart from the Father, today? Will you be honest about your struggles and seek appropriate help and support to live your best life? Would you choose complete joy today, by prayerfully claiming it with an attitude of gratitude? The things of God are never as difficult or confusing as we try so desperately to make them out to be. Allow these simple truths to truly rest in your heart as you rest along with the creation around you. Take a deep, cleansing breath, and fall in love with your Maker this season. He waits patiently for you; You are the crown of his creation!

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