Evening comes more swiftly now, and street lamps dot the misty corners of town. Can you hear the harsh crunch of maple leaves, smell the cloved oranges? A socially distanced autumn still has plenty of beauty to offer. All we have to do is seek it out.
Looking back at how I’ve introduced September’s favorite things posts in the past, you might notice that this month is one of my most treasured times—school is starting up, autumn comes flouncing in with her glorious smells and tastes, and those trees! But this year, everything feels different.
Can we all just agree that the world is a dumpster fire right now? 2020: zero stars, do not recommend.
Springtime! (And day number 34,928 of quarantine, but who’s counting?) Even though we’re still mid-isolation, God refuses to let hope die; just cracking the window lets in a symphony of birdsong, bloomy aromas, and a lovely breeze. So rebel against the voice that groans bleakness over the world—vibrancy is bursting out all around us! There are tons of ways to pour Miracle Grow into each aspect of our lives. Here are a few, hand-picked just for you.
What a weird time to be alive! While blooms unfurl in the gardens outside, headlines pollinate our hearts with anxiety. COVID-19 has masked more than faces in the last few weeks—it’s clouded our entire outlook. I’ve noticed the resurrection of my own tendency toward orphan thinking, and it’s not pretty. Why do I assume shadows must yield despair? Especially when my Rescuer burst forth out of them with victory in His freshly scarred fists? As we turn our gazes to the cross this month, let’s encourage one another to hold firmly to the hope that won’t let us go.
If Nat King Cole could sing about “those lazy-crazy-hazy days of summer,” can the “cozy-dozy-frozy days of March” be a thing, too? It’s our last chance at enjoying winter hygge—all of the furry blankets, hot soups, candle lighting, and cocoa sipping a soul could want—so let’s make the most of it! We shall squeeze out every last drop of goodness the lingering cold has to offer. Who’s with me?
Let every heart rejoice—we’ve survived January! It’s pastels and pretty florals from here on out. If the gloomy weather is pressing in on your soul, push back. Put the kettle on and build a fire. Cut heart-shaped marshmallows for your cocoa. Host a game night with some bosom buddies. Turn on those twinkle lights. Spend an evening with your journal and a great worship playlist. Whatever it is that will bring your heart around to truth and beauty, do it.
A new decade has dawned. Can’t you smell all of that fresh possibility? The future is ripe and our hearts are ready. Let’s shake off the shadows of the past, take a deep breath, and jump. 2020, here we come!
A thousand December wishes for you all! May you be overcome by the Lord’s goodness every time you turn around—in the wrapping of presents, the baking of treats, the singing of carols, the brewing of beverages, the writing of cards, and the clearing of snow. And when you put pen to paper for a fresh year’s hopes, take a deep breath: that’s the smell of God’s faithfulness in ways yet to be discovered, just waiting for you.
When October swishes out of town with her black mask of sequins and feathers, November bustles in bedecked in an apron and armed with a giant crock of soup. She gathers community hearthside, eyes shining at the joys to be doubled and the sorrows to be halved throughout the greying days ahead. Claim a soft blanket, grab your marshmallow roasters, and cozy on up.
Winter pulls me inward, spring calls me forth, and summer sets me loose, but fall—it invigorates me down to my toes. There’s nothing like the energy that accompanies orchards and county fairs; you can almost taste it. Football games send cadences up into the air until even the staunchest introvert is dizzy with excitement. Leaves come crashing to the earth in a mad rush while mugs fill with steaming cider and plastic buckets fill with candy. Foggy mornings give way to crisp, clear afternoons scented with anticipation. Oh, friends! The God who thought all this up must be a very good God indeed.