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Sweater weather

Wanda Smith writes about the challenges that come with the changing of the season
On the Front Porch by Wanda Smith

My apple tree is ready to be picked, the nights are getting shorter and cooler and a few leaves are starting their descent. The free-spirit of summer is waving goodbye and the consistent flow of regularity is cautiously welcomed after the last hurrah of the September long weekend. There are so many benefits to getting back in the groove even though most of us dig our heels in and wish it wasn’t our reality.

I will admit that I haven’t fully embraced autumn for many years and I am determined to change that this year. Fall has been the reminder that winter is on its way and the inevitable decline of social activity, lack of early morning/late evening daylight, and tightening our belt due to the completion of seasonal work plays on my mind and heart.

How do you handle the changing of the guard? Do you embrace the beauty of the season or does dread whisper in your ear, reminding you of past hard times that you may have to face again? I am fully persuaded that I am not willing to miss the beauty and blessing of the season at hand and am taking steps to change that. “Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

One of the steps I’ve taken is to continue to purge and clean out extra stuff I have on hand in our home. I have realized that a cluttered home or room negatively affects our productivity, time, budget and mental health. I desire to have a place for everything I own and everything in its place. I also want to live in a fully functional, organized home that is a safe haven for all who live here and visit here. Decluttering and organizing takes time — days, weeks, months, or even years. 

Often times, it leads to small home improvement projects and takes on a life of its own. I have been slowly working on my laundry/utility room; moving a wall cupboard to a different wall, repainting a couple walls and putting up a new shelf. This makes the process of doing laundry much more inspiring.

Another step I have taken is to develop community on a deeper level. I have reignited a friendship with a childhood friend, pursued meeting with a mature mentor who is walking me through a difficult situation, as well as connecting with a few friends I’d like to get to know better. I believe as I grow closer with these people, our lives will become more intertwined and we can be a support and good friend to each other through the difficult seasons of life. Proverbs reminds us that “iron sharpens iron” and I am seeing the value of being in close fellowship as we sharpen our edges and become more functional in our gifts and callings.

Lastly, I am purposefully choosing what thoughts I will think as I move into this next season. I choose to not fear! I choose to not give in to feelings of loneliness. I determine to trust God with my needs and rest in His provision. I am filling my mind and heart with the Word of God; knowing that as I do that, my mind is renewed and steadfast.  “My eyes are fixed on You, O GOD the Lord. In You I seek refuge...” Psalm 141:8.

I pray you will be encouraged to “take time to sit and watch the leaves turn” (Elizabeth Lawrence) and breathe in the beauty that is unfolding before you. I’m praying for you!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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