A few weeks ago now, I stepped out on our patio around seven in the morning and startled, exclaimed to my husband, “Honey! I feel coolness!” It wasn’t hot, or warm as it has been for months, but the air actually felt cool on my skin and bubbling up out of my soul from deep down came a “Thank God!”
I felt incredibly grateful for that one tiny thing. That small blessing of a break in the oppressive heat and the whisper of a change teasing my senses and instantly, my mind turned from the “Just hang on and get through the summer” mentality to all of the freshness of fall and the changing of seasons.
Of course, it was still hitting over a hundred degrees during the day but just that little bit of cool air in the mornings had me throwing open the windows for as long as I could and setting out a fall centerpiece my son and I threw together, and turning my mind toward the things I want to enjoy about fall. The warm spicy drinks, the apples, and pumpkins, and baked goods. The ability to actually spend time outside again.
It was funny how just that little breath seemed to give me renewed energy to clean and go through things and bring about more order. Go through the toys and the closets and give the kitchen a little more thorough cleaning than normal.
I re-organized the pantry and made applesauce. Tried a few scone recipes in my search for a great one, but they didn’t make the cut. (If anyone has a tried and true amazing one, let me know. I’m looking for a regular one and a gluten free option)
Now, the weather is cooling a bit more and we are only hitting the low 90’s and the mornings are almost chilly instead of just cool. We’ve had some rain and some cloudy days and we can be outside past nine.
I’ve been struggling for a while with a general morning grumpiness. If I don’t get enough sleep, my default is a bit of a grumpy attitude. Or too much noise without some oasis of solitude and quiet during the day will also do it. I find it far too easy to sink into a discontented and negative outlook. Perfectionism, and the harried pushy feelings of needing to do it all now, get our life together now, frequently overtake me.
But I’m finding that the remedy can be surprisingly simple.
“Give thanks with a grateful heart”, as the song goes.
I decided to start really taking stock of the hundreds and thousands of things I have to be thankful for. And not just thinking about them, but actually giving Him thanks.
Practicing and cultivating a grateful heart is turning out to be a good way for me to battle against all of the irritations and stresses of life. Intentionally looking for the joy and fun to be had, all the ways to really enjoy this journey has made a world of difference.
I’m also finding that finding ways to infuse the daily rhythms of our life with the wonderful things of each season has enhanced my enjoyment of them.
I’m looking at simple ways to tweak my menus to have more of a fall feel. Planning for the pumpkin picking, and harvest festivals, apple cider, pumpkin carving, hiking, and planting (for our area) so that they actually get scheduled into our lives has helped to give us things to look forward to and brings all the feelings of the season. I also started putting out some easy decorations and things to make our home feel more welcoming and cozy.
Intentionally ordering our life around the changing of the season has helped me to really see with fresh eyes all the things I take for granted and all the beauty and wonder of His creation. It helps me cultivate the grateful heart that I want to be the rule of my life instead of the exception.
It’s obviously been a month or more since I actually wrote the above, and we have entered November heading toward Thanksgiving. We are still waiting for it to get cold enough to wear sweaters during the day, and I am looking forward to it with glad anticipation.
Practicing gratitude hasn’t been easy and I have struggled some days with the overwhelm and daily irritations but when I intentionally let go of them and turn my mind toward taking it slow, enjoying my children and the rhythm and joys of the season and give Him thanks…well…it overflows and helps to wash away the negative.
Another small thing I’ve been enjoying that makes a big difference for me is turning on some good music (for me right now it is the Jazz Holiday station on Pandora or Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God” album) and diffusing some Thieves essential oil. It is such a great fall smelling blend and an amazing boost for the immune system! It sets a peaceful yet festive mood for me and I feel almost immediately calmer and more grounded with just those two things.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you can find ways to enjoy your season and see with new eyes all that we have to be grateful for!
**If you are interested in essential oils or would like more information about their benefits and uses, send me an email or comment below! =)