There is truly something about this time of the year.
It is the ending of summer and the new beginnings of fall. We begin to yearn for cooler weather the beauty of the different colors of leaves!Time spent around fire pits and listening to giggles and chatter.
While we pull out our sweaters and sweatshirts and say goodbye to swimsuits and shorts.
We prepare for shorter days and longer nights.
I think the past two years have taught us to appreciate things much differently.
How to slow down and enjoy the smell of homemade bread. It has the smell of home... I love when it comes fresh from the oven and you spread butter and strawberry preserves on it. Oh my goodness just the thought makes my mouth water.
It's the way a blanket feels while you're snuggled up reading a book or watching a show, snuggled up on the couch.
While you're wearing your favorite leggings and oversized shirt, your favorite socks!
The way your home smells of apples and cinnamon. As we see the soft glow of warmers or candles flicker in our homes.The warm cup of pumpkin spice everything! We count days down to enjoying again.
This time of the year makes me want to slow down and create memories. To take in the sounds and smells all around me.To take pictures in my mind as we make memories and less on my cell phone,
The past six years have taught me to slow down and rest. To enjoy the sweetest and the smallest joys in this life.
However, the pandemic has made sure that we prioritize the things we love most. To not take for granted the gift of time. Or those who make a difference in our world.
Something about this time of the year makes me nostalgic.
As my husband and my youngest daughter were spending time together this afternoon. We were discussing how her children will never know the world she grew up in if things continue the way they are now, I couldn't help but feel a little sad. Because in every generation there are always things passed on and left behind.
I feel that we have lost the art of making sure we pass on things that really count. We live in such a virtual world, we almost don't know how to have friendships and relationships past our screens.
However, there has to be an art to this time of our lives as well! Where we embrace the screen and use it to our advantage to grow! Especially in true relationships.I have been recently studying for the girls club we host and I teach, and we plan to begin Zoom meetings with the girls in hope of teaching the importance of friendship. Teach them also how to continually grow in a life of faith in Jesus. I love that no matter what lesson I am working on or studying. God teaches it to me first.
my scripture for them was from Ecclesiastes 4:12.
I truly love how the msg version says it!
By yourself, you're unprotected.
With a friend, we can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded cord isn't easily snapped.
God's Word makes it clear we need friends! He didn't make us be alone. He actually tells us groups of three are stronger.
I know what some of you will argue, He is teaching us that He should be the third strand. Yes, you are very correct, He should always be at the center of all of our friendships. I went on a little further and dug into how he would like for us to grow those strong relationships.It was by spending time together. Eating together, and sharing our world with one another! These same relationships should be built inside our places of worship as well! We are not meant to set with just my family and with for my church relationships to grow past that,
As a pastor's wife, I can tell you it won't work that way.
Our growth as people, families, communities, and our world. Will continue to become more and more withdrawn if we don't find a way to use our screens for more than YouTube and tic toc.
As I studied to teach the girls how things were certainly different in 1840 even more so today. The pandemic has made it very uncomfortable for getting together in-person tea parties for girls like me.
Not just me though, all of us. We have to find ways to stay connected and make memories, and not put people we love in danger of getting sick.
I can see your eye roll now and your thoughts going to this girl lives into much fear. Nope, not at all, I use the good common sense my Daddy gave me. I chose to vaccinate for those I love. My Mom is immune-compromised, my grandbabies are not old enough to be vaccinated yet, also for those who work on the front lines. Oh yeah, After all, that is someone's child, parent, or spouse. I would not want to risk giving them a germ that would take them away from those who love them. It has been made very clear covid would kill me! Each doctor reminds us at each appointment we have.So I need to make choices that are safe for me and my family.
The Bible said relationships grew because people went from house to house, and they broke bread with one another!
So how can we do this safely even for people like me who are on lockdown because of a very fragile immune system?
Let's put these things that take up so much of our time to good use. Have a virtual tea party. Fix a meal and ask a friend to do the same and have a dinner date. Cook together, share recipes that you bake at your own homes! Have someone put together a cooking class! If it's safe for you to be in the company of other's go on a picnic, have a movie date chose the movie get your favorite snacks, and facetime your bestie as you watch it together. I know what you all are thinking. You have done lost your mind. I hope not, because the Washington Post shared an article this morning, 1 in 500 people have died of covid. I hope that 2022 offers the hope of being able to get past the spread of this virus. We can come together as we once did. Until that time comes, and we face more and more spread.
Let's embrace the change that is not only in the air but in our world. Teach your kids it's okay to have that facetime with her bestie, play dolls with each other! Find a book they can even read together and inspire their imagination! It's okay to host a group tea party and dress up in your living room by yourself, just as you would have for a group of 10. Remember, the face of the church is also changing during this time! The Bible said they met from house to house! We can still have those same things we have always loved! Maybe just in a much different way than we are used to.Still, in a powerful way that draws you together and makes us family! Because when we come together in groups we are so much stronger than one and even more so than two, we are the strongest with 3 or more!
There is strength in numbers. How can you create a new tradition or host something fun to help those around you feel safe and included?
I can tell you now that there are more people like me in this world who are like me. Who is not supposed to be out in the world right now? Who would love to feel included in something fun!
If you have a small group, you feel safe coming together with making a rotation of fun things you can host for adults and kids alike! Kids often are not sure what to do with all of these feelings that have come with such a crazy time!Make a fun autumn bucket list, plan to make some fun fall snacks, maybe share them with a neighbor or a church shut-in!
The days ahead may be ever-changing and sometimes feel very unpredictable!
Still, there is such beauty around and so many memories just waiting to be made!
Let's come together and make this a fall to remember! Come back here and share with me what you did to make memories! Or how you brought a group together and came closer to Jesus and each other!
No matter where this leads us! I hope you have a beautiful cup of tea, talk with our Daddy to increase your faith, Always walk in the footsteps of Grace.
Prayerfully Yours Always,